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After Effects Apprentice 06: Type and Music
Illustration by John Hersey

Saving presets


From:

After Effects Apprentice 06: Type and Music

with Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer

Video: Saving presets

Once you have a text animation that you like, saving it as a preset is very easy. But there are a few things you have to keep in mind, so I will show you a couple of examples. In this case, I started with a preset and I made a few changes. If I was to make a preset now, only a few keyframes are selected. I am not sure if I would be saving everything I need to save. So let's twirl up our layer, and we will twirl up the waveform as well, and we will press UU so we can see all of the changes that have been made to the text.
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  1. 3m 35s
    1. Overview
      1m 35s
    2. Using the exercise files
      2m 0s
  2. 14m 51s
    1. Setting up
      2m 20s
    2. Entering, editing, and styling type
      5m 49s
    3. Using strokes
      3m 6s
    4. Working with paragraph text
      3m 36s
  3. 23m 21s
    1. Setting a title
      2m 31s
    2. Creating a text animator
      6m 54s
    3. Selecting by character vs. percent
      3m 0s
    4. Animating position
      2m 4s
    5. Animating more properties
      3m 31s
    6. Exploring text transitions
      2m 47s
    7. Randomizing order
      2m 34s
  4. 22m 49s
    1. The Cascade recipe
      2m 15s
    2. Exploring offset plus selection shapes
      4m 16s
    3. Working with ramp selection shapes
      4m 26s
    4. Using character anchor points
      4m 40s
    5. Further refinements
      7m 12s
  5. 9m 0s
    1. Working with selections based on words
      4m 16s
    2. Anchor point grouping
      4m 44s
  6. 15m 46s
    1. Using a vertical blur treatment
      3m 58s
    2. Animated tracking
      5m 46s
    3. Working with text on a path
      6m 2s
  7. 14m 56s
    1. Per-character 3D overview
      5m 45s
    2. Enabling per-character 3D
      4m 4s
    3. Exploring per-character 3D rotation
      5m 7s
  8. 18m 37s
    1. Separating fields
      3m 48s
    2. Exploring wiggly options
      4m 28s
    3. Animating wiggles
      3m 18s
    4. Rendering with alpha channels
      7m 3s
  9. 45m 29s
    1. Adding audio
      4m 8s
    2. Audio levels
      4m 27s
    3. Spotting hit points
      5m 33s
    4. Timing to audio
      5m 25s
    5. Spotting dialogue
      7m 32s
    6. Timing dialogue to music
      6m 45s
    7. Mixing audio
      7m 53s
    8. Exploring audio refinements
      3m 46s
  10. 23m 9s
    1. Applying text presets
      5m 50s
    2. Browsing presets in Bridge
      4m 35s
    3. Editing presets
      6m 49s
    4. Saving presets
      5m 55s
  11. 16m 27s
    1. Working with Photoshop text
      4m 58s
    2. Keyframing source text
      4m 21s
    3. The Buzz Words preset
      7m 8s
  12. 20m 43s
    1. Exploring faux styling options
      7m 42s
    2. Tracking and kerning
      4m 56s
    3. Using smart quotes
      4m 8s
    4. Using hyphens and dashes
      3m 57s

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After Effects Apprentice 06: Type and Music
3h 48m Beginner Apr 28, 2011 Updated Nov 20, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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®.

Topics include:
  • The core text animation recipes
  • Animating text along a path
  • Working with text animation presets
  • Timing animation to audio
  • Per-character 3D type
  • Rendering with an alpha channel
  • Making Photoshop type editable in After Effects
  • Professional typesetting tips
Subjects:
Video Motion Graphics Visual Effects
Software:
After Effects
Authors:
Chris Meyer Trish Meyer

Saving presets

Once you have a text animation that you like, saving it as a preset is very easy. But there are a few things you have to keep in mind, so I will show you a couple of examples. In this case, I started with a preset and I made a few changes. If I was to make a preset now, only a few keyframes are selected. I am not sure if I would be saving everything I need to save. So let's twirl up our layer, and we will twirl up the waveform as well, and we will press UU so we can see all of the changes that have been made to the text.

Now, this preset started with two animators, so I will probably want to include those. But I don't want to include the regular position value. If I do include it in my preset, whenever I apply that preset to another piece of text, it will always be positioned at this value. Now I did make a couple of changes to More Options: the Grouping Alignment and Inter-Character Blending. So I definitely want to include More Options. If I was to include Source Text in the preset, when I apply that preset in the future, it would replace not just all of the values in the Character and Paragraph panels, but the actual text itself.

So unless you have a very good reason to save Source Text, I almost always leave that out. For now, More Options and the two animators are the only parameters I want to save. Remember, I can't save the value of Motion Blur because that's a switch. Once you are ready to save your preset, you will find the option under a number of different menus. Under the Animation menu, you can select Save Animation Preset. Also, if you select the Options menu for Effects and Presets, you will find Save Animation Preset here as well.

But I think the easiest way is to click on the Create New Animation Preset button at the bottom of the panel. When you select it, you'll probably be looking at either the User Presets folder or the last folder that you saved the preset in. Now, if you like the preset to appear in the Effects and Presets panel, it's very important that you save it in one of two places. The first place is the User Presets folder, and that's found inside the Documents folder, and it's one of the default places that After Effects creates.

I have an alias here, though. If I double-click that alias, I will jump to the Presets folder that's inside the After Effects folder, that's inside the Applications folder. I usually prefer to save it in the main Presets folder. But first, I will make a new folder, and I'll call it Trish presets, click Create, and now any preset I save in here will be in its own folder called Trish presets in the Effects and presets panel. I try to give my presets a useful name because whatever name I pick, those words can be used to search on.

So let's say I'm always going to remember this as the Jazz it up animation. I also add that it's using Rotation and Scale, as these might be words I could search on. Once I click Save, the Effects and Presets panel will refresh, and everything gets twirled up. So I will twirl down Animation Presets and at the bottom, I have Trish presets, and there's the preset I have just saved. So now that you have a sense of how you can take a preset, edit it, and save it as your own animation, let's go back and revisit an animation we did earlier.

I will show you a few other things to keep in mind. I will return to the Project panel and I will open the composition called 10-Save preset. You might remember this animation. We did this earlier where we had text on a path, we had an effect, we had some tracking and blur and so on. I tweaked it just the way I like it, and I'd like to save it as a preset. So I will do the same thing again. I will select my layer, press UU to reveal all the parameters that I've changed, and I can decide what I want to include in the preset.

If I save Path Options, notice it's using Mask 1, so I want to include the mask in the preset. The Animator 1 goes without saying. Here's my mask and here is my effect. Now, sometimes when you press UU, you won't see the effects because you may not have changed any of the parameters. If that's the case, you can press Shift+E to reveal any effects that are applied, so you can select them. Now that I have the big picture of everything I've done to this layer, I can just save Animator 1, in which case I would be saving the tracking animation and the blur, but I would not be saving this mask and the path options.

So as you can see, you can be quite selective in what you want to save. I might want to save this animation preset as Tracking+Blur. Then I might decide I want another version that includes the Path Options and the Mask and also the Radial Shadow effect. So you get the idea. You can be quite selective or all inclusive. Notice that I'm not saving the Source Text because I don't want the words 'The Mystery of Light' to be included. But let's say I really like this font, I like the color, and so on. In that case, I could include the Source Text.

But whenever I do that, I always make sure that I say in my animation preset that it includes the Source Text. I might even make two variations: one with and one without. If you're confused about what you can save in a preset, it's worth remembering that if you can copy and paste it, you can save it in a preset, and that's why things like switches and blending modes can't be saved in a preset because you can't copy and paste the values.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about After Effects Apprentice 06: Type and Music.


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Q: This course was updated on 11/20/2012. What changed?
A: We have added four new movies to the end of Chapter 8, "Working With Audio." All four of these movies (Spotting dialog, Timing dialog to music, Mixing audio, and Refinements) apply to all versions covered by the course. In addition, there are new sets of exercise files designed for After Effects CS5.5 and After Effects CS6 and a companion movie that shows our premium subscribers how to use the exercise files.
 
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