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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®.
If you have the exercise files, go ahead and open comp 07-3D Rotation*starter. If you don't have the exercise files, just create a cascading animation with Opacity set to 0%. With the cascading animation, more than one character at a time is typing on, so when you add rotation, you'll have a more interesting effect than if you were using a simple typing-on animation. So the first thing I'm going to do is click on either Add or Animate and select Property > Enable Per-character 3D.
And, by the way, this will enable Per-character 3D for all of your animators, if you have more than one. Next, I'll select Add > Property > Rotation, and instead of just one parameter called Rotation, I'll see X, Y, and Z Rotation. If you don't see all three parameters, make sure that you have indeed Enabled Per-character 3D, that it's checked, and that you haven't simply turned on the 3D switch, say, for your layer. Now, before I change any of the values for Rotation, I will change my View pop-up to Custom View 1.
Now you can see the layer at an angle, and you can also see the 3D axis arrows more easily--particularly the Z axis arrow, which you can't see when you're looking straight on. When you're playing with Rotation, think of each axis arrow as a pole around which the characters will animate. So I'll go ahead and change my X Rotation value, and you can see these characters that are selected, twirling around. And I'll set it to a pretty high amount. So as the animation progresses, the characters are animating around the X axis, and I'll RAM preview, so you can see the full effect.
When you first start exploring Rotation, I advise you to undo and try each one separately. That way you can get a good handle on how the rotation is actually working. I think I'll tone down the Y axis a little. And that's actually a really nice effect. It's very simple and easy to do. I'll undo again, and I'll go back to 0. Now the Z Rotation will look exactly like what we're used to when we're animating in 2D.
And of course, you can adjust the X, Y, and Z Rotation all at the same time. I could try a little X, add some Y Rotation, and even a little Z, and RAM preview. Now, all of the other techniques you've learned, such as enabling motion blur, typing on in a random order, adjusting the anchor point, and even easing in, can all be applied to a Per-character 3D animation. So let's try a couple of those.
I can Add > Property > Anchor Point, and when I do, you'll see it has an X, Y, and Z value. The Z value allows you to adjust the anchor point in front of and behind the postcard in space. Of course as the characters fly down into position, the Offset value for Anchor Point fades down to 0, just as the Rotation value also fades away. Now, we saw earlier how we can adjust the anchor point in another way. If you remember, under More Options, the Grouping Alignment parameter allows you to adjust the anchor point.
Although I have Per-character 3D enabled, the Grouping Alignment parameter only works on the X axis and Y axis; however, it's a very nice way of setting the anchor point to the center of the characters. Now as they come into land, they don't appear to be rotating around the baseline. And if I return to the Anchor Point and zero out the values, now the characters swivel around the vertical center, instead of the baseline. If you remember earlier, we discussed the Ease Low parameter. That's like an ease-in value for characters.
So I'll set my Anchor Point Z value back a little bit. With Ease Low set to 100%, they spend a little bit more time landing softly. Now remember, you could also enable motion blur. A motion blur can look really great when characters are moving quickly. So have a little fun exploring the 3D options, but remember that most of the properties look no different when Per-character 3D is enabled-- and that includes Opacity, Fill Color, Tracking, Character Offset, and Value, and Blur.
And once you come up with an animation you really like, you'll be able to save that as an animation preset, and we'll be covering that a little later on. In the next chapter, I'll show you how to add the Wiggly selector, and that's a lot of fun.
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