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In this course, Chris Meyer demonstrates the most common techniques for adding selective transparency to layers in After Effects through the use of masks, track mattes, and stencils. In addition to explaining the tools and basic theory behind transparency, the course covers several practical applications for these techniques, including isolating objects, creating vignettes, and filling text with visual texture. Tutorials on crafting custom transitions and other treatments are also included. Exercise files accompany the course.
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®.
Your first Quizzler challenge was trying to figure out how to bring on this title one word at a time. Well, there is a couple of different solutions. I'll show them both to you and you can decide which one you'd prefer to do for your own project. I'm going to open up Pop on*starter. This is our already built scene and there is our title. Well one way to bring on this title one word at a time would be to animate a mask path that revealed each word independently. Rather than wiping across, you'd want to hold on one word, then jump to next word, etcetera.
To do that I'll select the Rectangle tool, draw a path around one word, so I can see it there, press M to reveal the Mask Path, enable Keyframing for it, and then very importantly convert this to a Hold keyframe so that it will hold this shape for as long as I want. So I'm going to right-click on the keyframe and say Toggle Hold Keyframe. I'll then move 10 frames later, press V to return to my Selection tool, double-click the mask outline, and then drag it to where it reveals my second word.
Since I've already set a Hold keyframe, the next keyframe I create will automatically be a Hold. I'll go to 20 frames, double-click, this gives me the Free Transform Box, reveal one more word, then go a little bit later on time, double-click and reveal my final word, a little further down, and then N to end the work area. Zero to RAM Preview. So there is one word at a time. If I wanted to start off screen, I can either drag the keyframes later in time or drag the whole layer later in time.
There are the words popping on one at a time. That's one way of doing it. Another way which is valid but more labor intensive is to go ahead and draw a mask for each word and then use mask opacity to fade each one up individually. I'll select the Rectangle tool. Select one word. I'm going to double-click this to open up in the Layer panel, turn off Render, turn on my checkerboard pattern so I can see things better and draw my second mask path, then my third, and finally my fourth.
Now select, type M once to reveal mask path or M twice to reveal all the parameters, and then if I like I can go ahead and start animating Mask Opacity. Maybe I want to fade-up each word individually. I'll go to 10 frames, set you initially to 0, Enter. I'll press Page Down 5 times, go 5 frames later, and go to 100%. I'll select those two keyframes and copy, go a little bit later on, go to my next Opacity and paste.
A little bit later on time, next Mask Opacity, paste, a little bit later, last mask, paste. Return to my Comp panel so I can see these in context and RAM Preview. There is one word fade, two, three, and four. So that's an alternate approach, individual masks for each word. I can use Hold keyframes to pop them or I should do a fade-up of each word individually. Now in a future lesson we're going to teach you how to animate text in a far more sophisticated way than just animating mask shapes.
But if you have something that you cannot type out using a Text tool or maybe an Illustrator file that a client hands you, masks are another way to animate on titles.
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