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Selecting by character vs. percent

From: After Effects Apprentice 06: Type and Music

Video: Selecting by character vs. percent

Now, I mentioned earlier how important it was to select the layer but not to pre-select all of the characters before you make the text animator. So let me show you why that's important. When I made this text animator, notice that the values for Start, End, and Offset were in percentage. If you twirl down the Advanced section, the first option is Units, and it's set to Percentage. The other option under Units is Index mode. When you select Index mode, Start, End, and Offset are counting characters.

Selecting by character vs. percent

Now, I mentioned earlier how important it was to select the layer but not to pre-select all of the characters before you make the text animator. So let me show you why that's important. When I made this text animator, notice that the values for Start, End, and Offset were in percentage. If you twirl down the Advanced section, the first option is Units, and it's set to Percentage. The other option under Units is Index mode. When you select Index mode, Start, End, and Offset are counting characters.

So I'm going to delete this animator, but this time I'll pre-select all of the characters. Now when I click on Animate, select Position, twirl down Range Selector, it will start at 0 and end at 16. So it's counting how many characters are in my title. The difference is whether or not characters are selected. If this happens to you, it's no big deal; simply twirl down Advanced and set Units to percent. When this comes in handy is when you want the range selector to pre-select a certain word.

Let's say I only want to animate the word 'dropping'. I can click Animate > Position, twirl down Range Selector and it's automatically set to count from character 5 to character 13. This also, by the way, makes it easy to see when you've selected a whole character. For instance, if I see 6 as the Start value, I know that it's selecting a whole character. As I scrub--and remember, you can press the Command key to scrub slowly--as I scrub the Start value, it appears to be moving the selector in the Comp panel in whole-character increments.

But underneath the hood, if you look at the timeline, you can see it's still partially selecting characters. So animating in Index mode does have its uses, but generally speaking, we'll be using percentage. I also advise you to use percentage whenever you're going to save a text animation preset. That way you can apply your preset to any title in the future and not be concerned about how many characters the title has. For that reason, you'll find that if you use any of the text animation presets that come bundled with the program, they'll always be in Percentage mode.

But remember, it's very easy to switch back and forth from Percentage to Index using the Units pop-up in the Advanced section. And, by the way, if you're new to animating text, please don't be put off by the word 'advanced'. There are some very useful options in here, and they're not just for advanced users. In the next movie, we'll animate the start parameter to create the animation I've previewed earlier.

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Image for After Effects Apprentice 06: Type and Music
After Effects Apprentice 06: Type and Music

49 video lessons · 17899 viewers

Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer
Author

 
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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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