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Text animation is one of the things that After Effects does extraordinarily well. Out of all the things that After Effects does extraordinarily well, text has got to be in the top five. Because, I have to say, text animation in After Effects is pretty amazing. But before you can start animating text, you need to be comfortable with actually just adding text to your compositions. Now the first time you ever add text to a composition, I want you to pay attention to one thing. It's down here in the Comp Viewer on the left-hand side next to your Magnification pulldown.
If you click on that button, notice there is an option for Title/Action Safe, go ahead and select that. And these lines that popup are guides, and basically, any important graphics should be inside this first large rectangle and any text should be inside of the next rectangle. Now that we can see our graphic is clearly inside of these boxes, I'm just going to use these graphics as the guidelines for adding our text.
So let's turn off Title/Action Safe by clicking on the button and reselecting it again. And to add text to our composition, just go up to your Tool panel on the upper left and click on the Text tool. Now I want you to pay attention to this switch over here because it may very well be active on your computer. If it's not, go ahead and select it. Now let's grab the Selection tool and grab the Text tool. See, with Auto panels selected, these two panels automatically popped up; the Character panel and the Paragraph panel.
If this wasn't selected, I can click this button here to toggle the visibility of the Character and Paragraph panels. Now whenever you add text to your projects, you should have these panels open. And as a matter of fact, if you're adding a lot of text to your project, you should go up to the Workspace and reset it to Text. I'm just going to leave it the way it's set up right now because this is kind of working for me. In the Character panel, you should pay attention to what we're actually going to set up to be our text.
So first thing on the right here, this is where you can set the color of your text. Now this other box that's right here will allow you to create an outline around your text, if you like. I like leaving that empty and just let's leave this white for now. The typeface we'll use as Myriad Pro and we'll use the Bold style. If yours isn't bold already, go ahead and click on that pulldown and choose Bold. Now when you hover your mouse over the viewer, you should see the Eye Bar with the box around it.
This lets us know where we're going to set our text. So let's click just to the right of our logo in the bar, and now you can see a cursor has appeared. So we're ready to start typing. I'm going to add the name Charlie Winters. Now a lot of the time when you're creating a lower third, you want to have somebody's name and their title. So let's press Return on our keyboard, not on the keypad Enter, but Return on your keyboard to add a second line of text.
Here, we'll call Charlie our News Anchor. We need to stylize this text because it's definitely way too dominant. So even before we set this text, bring your mouse up to the right of the anchor and you see I have an Eye Bar. So if you click and drag, this will select the text. Now as a general rule, when I'm creating text, I'd like to not use more than two typefaces in a project or at the very least, no more than three.
With this logo here I think this is going to be okay as long as we keep Myriad Pro as the overarching family. We can add different styles for everything else. So let's change the news anchor style from Bold to Italic. Perfect! Now we can change the size just by clicking and dragging in the value here and bring that back down. Now there's still a little bit of space between the first line and the second line and we can adjust that over here on the word Auto.
If you click and drag, that will allow you to make an adjustment for the leading. I like this, but I still want to draw some definition between Charlie's first name and Winters, the last name. So if you press the Left Arrow key on your keyboard, that will deselect News Anchor and if you press it one more time, notice your cursor will popup to the next line. Now if I hold down Shift and keep hitting the Left Arrow, I can select multiple letters.
Now if I want to change the style of the last name, go over to the Bold dropdown and just click inside of it to make sure that Bold is highlighted. If you just use your Up and Down arrows, you can actually scroll through all the different options. I want to choose Regular as the option. Now I think this is looking pretty good. To set my text, I'm going to press Enter on my keypad. You can also come up and grab the Selection tool. When I initially pressed Enter on the keypad, all it did was deselect my bold.
So the entire two lines of text was set when I grabbed my Selection tool. If I wanted to preview other typefaces, I could go over and highlight Myriad Pro and start pressing up and down. But since I've done all this other formatting, that would actually blow all that work away. So typically, when you're previewing typefaces, you want to choose exactly which family you want to use first before you start creating styles. This was a basic introduction to text, if you're really into text and text animation, we've got a whole chapter, in Chapter 8 you should definitely go check out.
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