After Effects Apprentice 15: Creating a Sports Opening Title
Illustration by John Hersey

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Video: Customizing the preset

We have our text animation preset, but we have a couple of issues with it that give me a little bit of concern. I am going to turn the Camera move back off for now so I can see better what's going on. And I am also going to turn off the Title/Action Safe Grid. The shortcut for that is pressing the Apostrophe key. Now as my text tumbles in, I see some of it is going below the grid floor. That's not ideal. So let's dive into this preset, I'll twirl up transform, twirl down text and let's raise that position up. There are few different things you can do, underneath More Options you do have some control over the Anchor Point Grouping, but let's explore tapping down in the Animator.
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  1. 3m 39s
    1. Welcome
      1m 39s
    2. Using the exercise files
      2m 0s
  2. 17m 38s
    1. Building the grid floor
      8m 48s
    2. Creating a radar sweep
      5m 13s
    3. Adding lightning
      3m 37s
  3. 14m 18s
    1. Building the video panel
      4m 34s
    2. Using the Block Dissolve effect
      3m 52s
    3. Stylizing the footage
      2m 15s
    4. Duplicating precomps
      3m 37s
  4. 21m 22s
    1. Importing Illustrator files
      5m 47s
    2. Working with paths and masks
      4m 54s
    3. Animating the Stroke effect
      4m 20s
    4. Tinting the event names
      2m 42s
    5. Wiggling the rings
      3m 39s
  5. 33m 35s
    1. Starting a new composition
      1m 48s
    2. Spotting music
      5m 55s
    3. Building the floor
      5m 27s
    4. Adding a video panel
      3m 40s
    5. Creating a reflection
      7m 47s
    6. Adding the dial
      4m 7s
    7. Arranging the frame
      4m 51s
  6. 9m 22s
    1. Setting up the final pose
      4m 28s
    2. Keyframing the camera
      4m 54s
  7. 14m 39s
    1. Adding a text layer
      5m 16s
    2. Using text animation presets
      3m 16s
    3. Customizing the preset
      6m 7s
  8. 6m 56s
    1. Adding a Spot light
      3m 41s
    2. Casting shadows
      3m 15s
  9. 12m 7s
    1. Improving consistency
      2m 43s
    2. Adding a 2D background
      4m 29s
    3. Tying up loose ends
      4m 55s
  10. 20m 37s
    1. Overview of Main Comp 2
      3m 32s
    2. Grouping layers
      4m 39s
    3. Animating the swivel
      9m 2s
    4. Assembling the final comp
      3m 24s
  11. 25m 56s
    1. Adding a transition
      7m 0s
    2. Keyframing the camera
      3m 20s
    3. Adding a filmic glow
      4m 0s
    4. Increasing the motion blur
      4m 2s
    5. Retiming a video source
      7m 34s
  12. 13m 4s
    1. Exploring render settings
      2m 48s
    2. Outputting for archiving
      1m 15s
    3. Outputting anamorphic widescreen DV
      1m 57s
    4. Creating a 4:3 center-cut version
      2m 31s
    5. Outputting for web
      2m 23s
    6. Exploring components for editors
      2m 10s
  13. 12m 49s
    1. Creating the inner ring
      5m 19s
    2. Creating the outer ring
      3m 9s
    3. Creating the text ring
      4m 21s

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Watch the Online Video Course After Effects Apprentice 15: Creating a Sports Opening Title
3h 26m Intermediate Apr 10, 2012 Updated Dec 19, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

This course pulls together the skills you've been learning in the previous After Effects Apprentice installments to create a real-world video promo. Trish leads you through building the artwork and components used in the final piece, and then Chris shows how to assemble these precompositions into a 3D world, timed to music. Along the way, Trish and Chris also share their thoughts as they design a video project, including unifying the overall look and handling change requests from clients.

The After Effects Apprentice videos on lynda.com were created by Trish and Chris Meyer and are designed to be used on their own and as a companion to their book After Effects Apprentice. We are honored to host these tutorials in the lynda.com library.

Topics include:
  • Building a 3D world
  • Working with layered Illustrator files
  • Synchronizing to music
  • Using text animation presets
  • Rendering strategies
  • Working with widescreen video, including 4:3 center cut and safe area considerations
Subject:
Video
Software:
After Effects
Authors:
Chris Meyer Trish Meyer

Customizing the preset

We have our text animation preset, but we have a couple of issues with it that give me a little bit of concern. I am going to turn the Camera move back off for now so I can see better what's going on. And I am also going to turn off the Title/Action Safe Grid. The shortcut for that is pressing the Apostrophe key. Now as my text tumbles in, I see some of it is going below the grid floor. That's not ideal. So let's dive into this preset, I'll twirl up transform, twirl down text and let's raise that position up. There are few different things you can do, underneath More Options you do have some control over the Anchor Point Grouping, but let's explore tapping down in the Animator.

A couple of ways of fixing this would be scrubbing the Y position for the text, so it does not go below the floor. If I want to make sure that I am doing this right, other than seeing any perspective let's see this straight on from the Front. That line is my floor and I can better idea of what's going on there, so that will keep me about where my text is. I see that the Anchor Point is part of this text animation. Now there is also another possibility, but how my text is being offset, and yes it is. So I can either set the Anchor Point back to 0, or just delete that parameter from my text animation.

Now when they fly in, my text will stay above the floor. While you are in here, you can feel free to change other parameters. For example, if you want to make this more dramatic, you might want to set the scale to be even larger. I'll scrub this to get a feeling for how I like this. Straight on this looks pretty huge, but I'll go back again to my Active Camera, and I'll turn my camera animation back on to see this in context. I think I can go even larger here. It might be fun to go even may be even as big as 800% just to create something really dramatic.

And you can play with other parameters as well, such as maybe increasing the blur. Speaking of blur, since this text is flying in at pretty good speed, it might be useful to enable Motion Blur. Motion Blur makes a lot of the text animation presets look better. To do that, I need to enable the Motion Blur switch for the text layer itself, and then to see it previewed in the Comp panel, I need to turn on the Motion Blur switch for composition, and now I have my blur. I'll go back to start again, press space. Yeah, I've got a little bit more movement here and a little bit more exaggerated blur as things settle into place.

So I think that's another improvement. Finally, let's work on the timing and get this timed with the music. But the first thing I noticed is that I am not seeing hardly any characters at all until I am a few frames into animation. So I am going to select my Text layer, press the Asterisk key on the numeric keypad to drop a marker to remind me that's about when the text appears. Then I am going to scroll down to where my soundtrack is along with its markers, start to seeing what might be a good marker to time this text animation to.

I am going to press Decimal Point key on numeric keypad. (music playing) That's interesting, we have a beat here in isolation, but that musical swell doesn't start 'til here. I'll preview that so you can hear it. (music playing) And really it's a crescendo right around here. (music playing) Somewhere between here it's hitting a good crescendo. So again. Yeah, I think I'll use the start of that musical swell to time the start of my animation appearing.

I have my Current Time Indicator set on that marker. I'll go to my Text layer, drag it until it first appears in time with that event in the music. I am going to pres U to reveal the keyframes in isolation. And I mentioned I wanted to end this somewhere around this ending swell in the music, right around here or here. (music playing) I think I like that harsh sound right there, Particularly since this already has an Ease In interpolation applied. Let's go ahead and RAM Preview and see how we like this.

(video playing) You'll notice that's previewing a lot faster, that's because when I previewed earlier all of the independent layers and pre-comps that made this up have already been cached and save to RAM. Therefore, all After Effects needs to calculate are the new layers, namely the text layer, to create this preview for me. Settling into position and then here is the ending.

(music playing) Frankly, I think that text is ending a little bit late. It's taking me away from watching what's happening with the video. Instead, I am watching what's happening with the text. So let's move this back up to the previous beat. After I start dragging, I'll add the Shift key to make it snap to that next marker and try that. (music playing) That's better because the text drama is ending about the time that the video drama is really hitting.

I could move this back even further in time. If you're free to experiment. On a real job we test and test and test and preview and preview and preview over and over again until we are happy with the timing. And I would encourage you to do the same. But I am not going to make you sit for 20 minutes with me trying out different previews, so we'll settle with this for now. Okay, now that we have our text animation in place, next let's add some more class to this scene by adding lights and shadows.

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