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Creating type layers

From: After Effects CC Essential Training

Video: Creating type layers

If you've ever created text layers in a Photoshop document or an Illustrator file, you're probably already familiar with how to create text inside of an After Effects composition. The process is pretty much exactly the same. So let's add some text into our project here, so we can explore some of the different options. So let's get started by adding some text to our composition. Press Cmd + T, or Ctrl + T on the PC, to automatically grab the text tool. Now with the Text tool selected in the Toolb panel, here in the upper left hand corner of your interface. Look a couple inches over to the right and you'll see that we have Auto Open panel selected.

Creating type layers

If you've ever created text layers in a Photoshop document or an Illustrator file, you're probably already familiar with how to create text inside of an After Effects composition. The process is pretty much exactly the same. So let's add some text into our project here, so we can explore some of the different options. So let's get started by adding some text to our composition. Press Cmd + T, or Ctrl + T on the PC, to automatically grab the text tool. Now with the Text tool selected in the Toolb panel, here in the upper left hand corner of your interface. Look a couple inches over to the right and you'll see that we have Auto Open panel selected.

And if we look to the lower right corner of the interface, you'll see we have a Characters panel. and a paragraph panel. Now obviously if we deselect this panels will no longer appear any time we grab the text tool. I sort of like this feature so I'm going to leave this selected. This button to the left of the selection box will toggle those panels on and off. So this is also another good way of quickly getting our text options. Now, when I'm setting a lot of text, what I prefer to do is change my workspace. So let's go over to the workspace pulldown, click on the word Standard, and change it to Text.

Now, in the text workspace, notice the character panel and the paragraph panel are much more easy to access, right here on the right side of our comp. So to add text to our comp, Move your mouse just a little bit under the letter T in dedication, and click. And you'll notice I'll get this line. The line is letting me know that I can edit the word dedication. This happens quite a lot when you're trying to lay text right next to each other. So an easy way to fix this is to select layer four, and then just enable the lock option.

So that way I can't select the layer in my time line Nor can I accidentally edit it here in the comp window. Now let's try this again. Go ahead and click. And I've automatically created a text layer. And all I need to do is just start typing to add a word. So let's add the word to find. To set type in your project, you can press enter on the keypard or. Grab the Selection tool out of your toolbar. Now, your text may look different that my text, and that's because After Effects will always remember the last settings you used whenever you add new type into your projects. With our text layer selected here I'm going to decrease the size down to around something like 60 and I'll press Enter to go ahead and set that information.Now we can click on the text layer and move it anywhere in the scene. Now the type of text that we've created is called point text and I know this because the anchor point down here is in the lower left corner. I'm having a hard time seeing exactly what's going on with my text so I'm going to increase my magnification by scrolling with my mouse. Now you can also middle-mouse click and holding down the middle-mouse button click and drag.

You can see I automatically grab my hand tool and that just repositioned my composition. Now these handles sometimes annoy people when they’re trying to preview type and you can turn those off pretty quickly by going up to the view options in the comp window. So if you go to the upper right corner of the comp window, click on this little dashed icon with a triangle to the left. And go to view options. Under the view options, let's disable handles. Now when we click OK. I won't see the handles even though layer one is selected. This is great but it's really important that you don't forget that you turned that off because it will stay off any time you continue working on the project and sometimes if you forget It can be kind of scary. So with the text layer selected, let's preview some different typefaces. In the upper-right side of the character panel I'm just going to make sure Helvetica is entirely selected.

As long as the text layer is completely selected in our character panel you can then use the up and down arrows to scroll through the different typefaces that you have installed on your system. Now obviously my system may have more fonts then yours. So dont panic if you have different type faces popping up. You can also click on the pull down arrow and jump dirrectly to a specific type face if you want to choose something specific. So I'll choose Helvetica New. The first option up here allows us to make adjustments to the font family and the option down below allows us to make adjustments to the font style. If you press tab on your keyboard you can automatically jump down to the font style and again use the up and down arrows to choose different type faces. One thing that I do recommend if you are setting type for use in video you don't want to use a really thin type face because sometimes that'll break up when the video is compressed.

Especially if its going to the web or standard definition. So I'm not going to choose to ultra light italic, I'm going to leave mine set to just italic. Even that is a little questionable as to how clean it's going to reproduce. But for now I think this kind of works. So that's creating point type. Now before I move on to showing you paragraph type, I want to draw your attention to the upper right corner of the character panel. See how I have a fill option for this big white square? Well, this black Outline square below it will actually allow me to create a stroke and there is a stroke currently on this text, but the stroke width is kind of small and the fill is set to be over the stroke. So let's increase this number to 10 pixels. Now I can clearly see the outline this way when I click on fill overstroke You'll see more clearly how adjusting the stroke over the fill for the fill over the stroke will change how that text appears.

I'll leave this text like this because I actually think it looks kind of cool. But before we jump into paragraph type, I want to go back to the upper right corner of the comp window and make sure we go to our View Options and reenable our handles. Now let's click OK. Let's zoom back out in the comp window so I have a little bit more space to work with. I'm going to scroll with my mouse. And again, middle mouse click and drag just to kind of reframe the scene. Okay, to create paragraph text, you can grab the text tool and then click and drag in the canvas.

And anywhere that I drag, the text will create a box. I can quickly and easily add some text just by typing. And that's obliviously a bunch of gibberish, but you'll notice the text only stays inside of that bounding box. I can re-size that box, and notice it's not distorrting the text it's just filling in more letters since I continued to type. So, this is a great way of creating things like credit scrolls, or creating large blocks of type. Now, another thing you can adjust with Paragraph Type that you can't adjust with Point Type Is justification.

On our system here, we have Justify All set up and that's why the text is going all the way from one side to another. I'm going to grab my selection tool here just to kind of set my text, but let's change the justification to left aligned. And here, you'll notice now, it's only aligned the left side of my text. Now, if you found some of these text options interesting, I want to let you know that we definitely have dedicated an entire chapter to animating and manipulating text.

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This video is part of

Image for After Effects CC Essential Training
After Effects CC Essential Training

110 video lessons · 51366 viewers

Ian Robinson
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 8s
    1. What is After Effects?
      1m 8s
  2. 30m 55s
    1. Welcome
      1m 11s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 19s
    3. Relinking missing footage
      1m 54s
    4. Working with keyboard shortcuts
      1m 23s
    5. Updating After Effects with Creative Cloud
      1m 25s
    6. Different ways to use After Effects
      59s
    7. Exploring the interface of After Effects
      12m 0s
    8. Exploring important preferences and setting up the cache
      6m 20s
    9. Video terminology
      4m 24s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. The six foundations of After Effects
      11m 5s
    2. Understanding compositions
      10m 35s
    3. Creating and manipulating layers
      9m 49s
    4. Building animation
      6m 29s
    5. Working with effects
      7m 5s
    6. Introduction to 3D
      8m 45s
    7. Understanding how to render
      6m 48s
  4. 38m 54s
    1. Importing elements
      5m 53s
    2. Organizing projects
      3m 51s
    3. Building compositions with layers
      6m 17s
    4. Animating with keyframes
      10m 0s
    5. Adding effects and graphics
      8m 7s
    6. Output techniques
      4m 46s
  5. 44m 49s
    1. Exploring composition and project settings
      6m 48s
    2. Importing Photoshop files as compositions
      8m 39s
    3. Importing Illustrator files as compositions
      7m 41s
    4. Viewing files in the comp panel
      4m 42s
    5. Understanding Pre-compose
      4m 21s
    6. Positioning layers with snapping
      4m 55s
    7. Interpreting footage
      4m 0s
    8. Keyboard shortcuts for compositions
      3m 43s
  6. 1h 5m
    1. Defining layers
      5m 4s
    2. Creating type layers
      7m 38s
    3. Precise typesetting techniques
      5m 42s
    4. Creating layer solids and shapes with masks
      9m 6s
    5. Creating design elements with shape layers
      6m 10s
    6. Layer compositing: Masks, switches, and blend modes
      7m 35s
    7. Using track mattes
      4m 49s
    8. Precise compositing with variable-width feathered masks
      9m 24s
    9. Working smarter by swapping layers
      7m 6s
    10. Keyboard shortcuts for layers
      2m 35s
  7. 1h 27m
    1. Understanding animation
      6m 20s
    2. Adding and adjusting keyframes
      9m 52s
    3. Understanding keyframe interpolation
      6m 20s
    4. Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor
      8m 26s
    5. The power of parenting
      5m 26s
    6. Using null objects
      6m 46s
    7. Creating expressions with the pick whip
      6m 25s
    8. Creating and adjusting motion paths
      9m 56s
    9. Building complex graphics with Pre-compose
      4m 54s
    10. Preparing audio for animation
      8m 57s
    11. Generating graphics with audio
      9m 13s
    12. Working smarter: Navigating the Timeline
      4m 32s
  8. 58m 59s
    1. Understanding the order of effects
      5m 58s
    2. Generating backgrounds with effects
      5m 33s
    3. Generating a scribble effect
      8m 12s
    4. Animating strokes with effects
      6m 37s
    5. Using adjustment layers
      5m 52s
    6. Adding gradients and glows
      4m 30s
    7. Saving pan and scan presets
      5m 20s
    8. Fixing exposure with Levels
      3m 5s
    9. Fixing color casts with Color Finesse 3
      9m 57s
    10. Masking individual effects
      3m 55s
  9. 55m 24s
    1. Understanding 3D in After Effects
      9m 2s
    2. Intro to cameras
      7m 51s
    3. Intro to lights and material options
      8m 56s
    4. Animating cameras
      12m 39s
    5. Creating depth of field
      6m 48s
    6. Exploring the ray-traced 3D renderer
      10m 8s
  10. 1h 43m
    1. Understanding CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects
      1m 32s
    2. 3D foundations
      10m 43s
    3. Matching CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects projects
      8m 9s
    4. Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite interface
      7m 31s
    5. Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files
      7m 28s
    6. Exploring modeling in CINEMA 4D Lite
      8m 8s
    7. Applying deformers
      5m 59s
    8. Understanding materials
      7m 32s
    9. Lighting your scene
      8m 14s
    10. Looking at detailed materials
      7m 51s
    11. Animating in CINEMA 4D Lite
      6m 51s
    12. Animating cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite
      5m 45s
    13. Working with CINEWARE
      9m 38s
    14. Render settings and the multipass workflow
      8m 38s
  11. 23m 35s
    1. Rendering with Adobe Media Encoder
      4m 45s
    2. Recommended settings for rendering graphics
      10m 21s
    3. Creating presets in the Render Queue
      4m 0s
    4. Prerendering with Import and Replace Usage
      3m 18s
    5. Working smarter: One render, multiple outputs
      1m 11s
  12. 29m 3s
    1. Creating type animators
      8m 52s
    2. Creating and animating type on a path
      5m 32s
    3. Animating shape layers
      8m 45s
    4. Animating brushstrokes with Paint
      5m 54s
  13. 23m 31s
    1. Retiming with Time Remapping
      8m 56s
    2. Retiming footage with Timewarp
      9m 10s
    3. Smoothing shaky camera footage with Warp Stabilizer VFX
      5m 25s
  14. 16m 6s
    1. Getting started with Keylight
      8m 43s
    2. Refining your key with Keylight
      3m 42s
    3. Cleaning up keys with masks
      3m 41s
  15. 26m 47s
    1. Rotoscoping with paths
      6m 47s
    2. Introducing the Roto Brush
      5m 58s
    3. Refining the Roto Brush
      6m 12s
    4. Using the Refine Edge tool
      7m 50s
  16. 27m 13s
    1. Creating a single point track
      7m 38s
    2. Applying motion with Warp Stabilizer VFX
      4m 29s
    3. Warp Stabilizer VFX: Reversible Stabilization workflow
      7m 47s
    4. Solving cameras
      7m 19s
  17. 6m 30s
    1. Archiving your projects
      3m 50s
    2. Removing unused footage
      1m 25s
    3. Moving compositions between projects
      1m 15s
  18. 2m 24s
    1. What's next?
      2m 24s

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