Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Understanding shortcuts for setting type in AE

From: After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics

Video: Understanding shortcuts for setting type in AE

One of the great things about setting type in After Effects is just how similar it is to setting type in just about any of the other applications found in the Creative Suite. So, if you first cut your teeth setting type in Photoshop, no need to worry; you will find a lot of similarities when you set type in After Effects. As a matter of fact, we will touch on working with type from other applications in later movies in this chapter, but for now let's set some type for our first project. So as you can see, I've got an After Effects project open right now, and we've got some background footage.

Understanding shortcuts for setting type in AE

One of the great things about setting type in After Effects is just how similar it is to setting type in just about any of the other applications found in the Creative Suite. So, if you first cut your teeth setting type in Photoshop, no need to worry; you will find a lot of similarities when you set type in After Effects. As a matter of fact, we will touch on working with type from other applications in later movies in this chapter, but for now let's set some type for our first project. So as you can see, I've got an After Effects project open right now, and we've got some background footage.

Let's go ahead and just watch our RAM preview by pressing 0 on our keyboard. After it loads up a few seconds, go ahead and press the Spacebar so you can watch it back. (video playing) Okay, so as you can see, I've got footage that I shot one morning of Great Falls National Park. It doesn't look very exciting right now, but once we actually add our color correction and some type animation in here, this'll take on a new life of its own.

So before we get going any further, let's go ahead and select the Timeline and press Home on our keyboard so we can return our playhead back to the start of our Timeline. Now to set some type, press Command+T or Ctrl+T on the PC to grab your Type tool. You can also just grab it up here at the top from your Tool palette. Now, when we roll our mouse over our canvas, you'll notice we can see the I bar. Now, if we click anywhere in the canvas, we can start typing. So the name of the company we are going to be using is called King Wave Kayaks, and really all we want to do is add "King Wave" in the scene right now.

So go ahead and type "King" and press Return on your keyboard and type "Wave". Now if you are seeing a different font on your screen, don't worry; After Effects just loads up whichever font you had used in your previous project. So mine, I'd used Palatino most recently. So I am just going to press Enter on my keyboard. Now, just so we can actually make sure we have the same interface, go up to the Workspace pulldown in the upper right- hand corner and make sure Text is selected.

With Text selected, now you notice the Character panel and the Paragraph panel are first and foremost in the scene. So let's get to some keyboard shortcuts. Make sure King Wave is selected in your Timeline. Now in the Character panel, if you want to preview different fonts, just go ahead and select the name of a font by clicking in it. Now, with the name highlighted, go ahead and use our up or down arrows and as you scroll through the different fonts, you'll notice it will actually update in the scene. Now again, don't panic if you're not seeing the same fonts because we have some extra fonts probably loaded on the system.

So to choose a font that everybody has, I am just going to click on the pulldown and scroll up here to Arial Black. Now we have King Wave selected. Let's go ahead and actually tweak this a little bit. First thing we want to do is actually look at this with all caps. So in the Character panel, if you click on the flyout button, you can actually turn on All Caps just by selecting it from the set of options. Now, with All Caps selected, let's go ahead and tweak things a little bit more.

In your Paragraph panel, go ahead and select center text. Now with the center text selected, we have a general starting point for our type. Now, what I want to do is tighten up some of these areas in between each individual letter. And before I do that, what I want to do is make sure that the kerning is set to optical. So go to the Kerning section in the Character panel and you notice by default it's set to Metrics. If you click on that, you can choose Optical. Now what Optical will do is actually analyze the lines of each individual letter and space out the letters accordingly.

So visually it will appear as though there is the proper amount of space between each letter. Now I happened to be very particular with my type, so what I'm going to do is zoom in the magnification to around 100%. And now with my Type tool, I will just make sure to click in between two of the letters. I will click in between K and I. Now, you should see your cursor nice and bold here in between the letters. Now a quick, fast way of adjusting the kerning between individual letters is to hold down the Alt or Option key and then use your Arrow key.

So right arrow will add more space; left arrow will take space away. Notice as I'm clicking, the numbers are actually updating in the Kerning field. So what I will do is just get the K and the I set pretty close and then take my finger off the Alt or Option button and move to the next area, and again hold down Option as we make adjustments. I am going to have a very tight kern on this example. To go to the next line, just use your down arrow.

Now typically I recommend kerning from left to right when you are kerning letters within an individual word. Sometimes as you kern individual letters, depending upon the typeface, you'll get some strange shifting. So it's always a good idea to go from left to right. Okay, and then when you are done tweaking, to go ahead and set this word, all you have to do is press Enter on your keypad. Now, I've got a basic setting here, but let's say my client looked at this and said, "You know what, I just want the spacing overall for all the letters to change." Well, we could go through and select each individual spacing between the letter and kern it out, or we could adjust the tracking.

So again, with my Text tool selected, I am just going to go ahead and click anywhere between any of the letters, and I will actually move my cursor back here to the beginning of the word King. And if you hold down Shift and then use your right arrow, you can select across the word. Now with that selected, if I hold down Option and I adjust, I'm adjusting the tracking. Notice the tracking data is now updating, as opposed to the kerning. The other nice thing about doing this is the fact that it's keeping the general spacing that I had from the original kern that I did. Now it's just spacing things out accordingly by adjusting the tracking separately.

So if I want the word King to kind of match the word Wave a little bit better, I can go ahead and just space that out, adjusting the tracking setting. Now, if I use my right arrow, I can bring my cursor to the right side of the word King, and again, if I hit my right arrow again, I can do the same thing for Wave. So I'll just tighten up the space between the W and the A, and the A and the V. There we go. It's getting pretty close. Now, if you want to move the entire word, once you move your cursor all the way to the left, if you hold down Option, it is actually adjusting the kerning between the space before and the first letter.

But now, as you can see, I have actually got things set up kind of nicely the exact way that I want it. So this looks pretty good for now, and now that we've covered some of the basics with our keyboard shortcuts and different ways of previewing fonts right here in the canvas, I think all of our lives might be just that much easier when it comes to setting type in After Effects.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics
After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics

60 video lessons · 22763 viewers

Ian Robinson
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 3m 37s
    1. Welcome
      1m 1s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 4s
    3. Defining motion graphics
      1m 32s
  2. 11m 11s
    1. Workflow for creating motion graphics
      5m 7s
    2. Organizing projects for motion graphics
      4m 25s
    3. Defining a motion graphics "package"
      1m 39s
  3. 12m 58s
    1. Collecting visual inspiration
      2m 14s
    2. Listening to imagine
      3m 20s
    3. Creating elements for inspiration
      7m 24s
  4. 33m 4s
    1. Essential theories of typography
      6m 34s
    2. Understanding shortcuts for setting type in AE
      7m 27s
    3. Converting type from Photoshop
      5m 51s
    4. Importing type from illustrator
      9m 44s
    5. Creating shapes from text
      3m 28s
  5. 36m 30s
    1. Understanding the role of timing in motion graphics
      8m 1s
    2. Creating and using markers
      7m 58s
    3. Creating animation with markers
      5m 16s
    4. Using audio to create animated graphics
      5m 47s
    5. Editing techniques for graphics and video
      9m 28s
  6. 49m 27s
    1. Understanding different kinds of type in After Effects
      15m 53s
    2. Using animators with type
      7m 59s
    3. Using type presets
      7m 35s
    4. Creating custom type presets
      4m 35s
    5. Animating paragraph type
      13m 25s
  7. 45m 51s
    1. Exploring the use of color in motion graphics
      10m 40s
    2. Creating and using color palettes
      13m 45s
    3. Exploring color correction tools in AE
      6m 46s
    4. Advanced correction with Color Finesse
      8m 30s
    5. Creating custom color presets
      6m 10s
  8. 59m 6s
    1. Exploring textures in motion graphics
      8m 30s
    2. Building an animated background texture
      16m 48s
    3. Creating textures for type
      10m 19s
    4. Animating seamless textures
      15m 1s
    5. Creating custom vignettes
      8m 28s
  9. 38m 25s
    1. Understanding lighting in After Effects
      12m 57s
    2. Intro to lighting techniques
      5m 17s
    3. Using material settings to enhance lighting
      7m 36s
    4. Adding polish to a light setup
      12m 35s
  10. 50m 32s
    1. Animating swoops and swooshes
      12m 37s
    2. Creating repeating light trails with the Vegas effect
      6m 28s
    3. Repeating patterns with shape layers
      8m 11s
    4. Exploring graphic transitions
      10m 37s
    5. Exploring video transitions
      5m 16s
    6. Adding dynamic elements to a video transition
      7m 23s
  11. 22m 23s
    1. Working in 3D
      8m 36s
    2. Rigging cameras for animation
      8m 45s
    3. Working with depth of field
      5m 2s
  12. 50m 54s
    1. Creating storyboards in After Effects
      10m 20s
    2. Creating an animatic
      18m 14s
    3. Polishing the animation and timing
      8m 45s
    4. Applying the final effects
      13m 35s
  13. 47m 53s
    1. Preparing a map for animation
      7m 59s
    2. Animating and styling a map
      8m 24s
    3. Designing a lower-third graphic
      8m 22s
    4. Adding animation to the lower-third graphic
      9m 10s
    5. Creating bumper animations
      13m 58s
  14. 14m 17s
    1. Defining the toolkit
      2m 2s
    2. Preparing templates
      7m 12s
    3. Creating a style guide
      5m 3s
  15. 1m 3s
    1. Next Steps
      1m 3s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.