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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®.
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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