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One of the cornerstones of motion graphics is creating and animating type. In this course, Trish Meyer shows how to typeset titles professionally and create custom animations, as well as apply and modify the hundreds of text animation presets that After Effects ships with. Additionally, Chris Meyer shows how to add audio to projects, including spotting "hit points" to align keyframes and video action.
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 Online Training Library®.
So in this movie, I'll explain the Offset parameter, and we'll look at the various shape options. To get started, I can close my compositions and then open the 03-Cascade*starter comp. If you don't have the exercise files, that's fine; just create some simple white type in a blank composition. Just like I did earlier, I am going to hide the Text options that I am not going to be using. I do this by pressing Option+Shift on Mac, Alt+Shift on Windows, and clicking on them. Now we can concentrate on the parameters we're using.
As in the previous lesson, I'll click on Animate > select Position, and that will add Animator 1 with the Position parameter applied. I can twirl down the range selector just to confirm that I am counting in percent. The default is to select all of the characters. So when I add a Position Offset--let's just make this -150, and that will raise the characters higher in the comp-- all of the characters are selected. I think I'll also add a fill color and that will help you better see which characters are selected and which ones are not.
I'll just change the color to say a blue. So characters that are selected will be higher and will be blue, and when they're not selected, they'll return to being white. In the previous chapter, we explored Start and End, so I am going to focus this time on the Offset parameter. Offset simply adds a percentage to both Start and End at the same time. So if I set Offset to 50, it would be adding 50 to Start, so Start is now at 50, and it would be adding 50 to 100 for End, so End is technically at 150.
Now, since it can't go beyond 100, it just stops at the end of the title. So let's say I set the End parameter to 50. That would have the same effect; 50 and 50 is 100. What's interesting about Offset is when you scrub its value. Because it's adding its value to both Start and End at the same time, Start and End move left to right and maintain the same relationship. They move together in sync. I'll set Offset to 25%.
So at this point Start is at 25% and End is at 75%. Let's look at the Shape pop-ups. I'll twirl down the Advanced section, and the default for Shape is Square. With the Square shape, characters are usually selected and they're not selected; however, they have a small transition in between where characters are partially selected. Whenever the Square shape is being used, a parameter will appear directly below it called Smoothness.
I'll change Smoothness from 100% down to 0. Now as I scrub the Offset value, notice that characters are only fully selected or completely not selected; there's no characters that are partially selected. With the Smoothness parameter at 100%, characters do have a slight transition. So let's explore the other shapes. As soon as I pick any other shape, such as triangle, the Smoothness parameter will disappear.
The shape that characters make in the Comp panel almost look like a triangle. So with the triangular shape, characters in the center of the shape are fully selected, and then they transition fairly smoothly to being not selected. Compare triangle with the next two options. With the round shape, more of the characters in the center are fully selected, and fewer characters are closer to normal. With Smooth, it gets a slightly different shape, but more of the characters are closer to the normal look.
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