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After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics with Ian Robinson covers some of the core principles used to create motion graphics, breaking them down into smaller groups of applied techniques in After Effects. The course explores everything from gathering inspiration to integrating traditional typography, transitional elements, animated textures, color, and more into motion graphics. Instructions for building a toolkit with templates and a style guide for future projects are also included. Exercise files accompany the course.
Some people call it cheating, but I just call it being smart, especially when you're on that deadline job and the client is breathing down the back of your neck for that animation. Using animated type presets in After Effects literally saves me countless hours re-creating some of the more commonly used animation effects for type. Since they can all be browsed in Bridge before they're applied, it's kind of silly not to use them. So if you're joining from the last video, you'll probably recognize where we are. But let me go ahead and play a RAM preview so you can see the project as it exists right now.
Okay, so I've got my moves, and it's quite obvious the last two pieces of type need a little something to polish up their animation. Let's start with layer number 2. Now, it's really important to pay attention to where you playhead is positioned before you jump in and browse presets, because if you like a specific preset, when you go to apply it, the first keyframe will automatically be set wherever your playhead is sitting.
So let's move our playhead back to the beginning of layer 2 by pressing I on our keyboards. Now go up under Animation, and choose Browse Presets. So, don't panic if you see another application open; that's exactly what's supposed to happen. Bridge will go ahead and open, and what I want you to do is look in the Text folder. So if you double-click Text, you can see there are subfolders. So first off, let's look for an animation in on our type.
So open the Animate In folder, and notice if we go ahead and click on any one of these presets, a preview will automatically load in the window over here on the right. So, feel free to click through and browse some of the different presets. But honestly, the one that I'm going to choose is Fade Up Character. It's very straightforward, but it's something that I use all the time. If you want to apply this to your layer, just go ahead and double-click right here in Bridge.
Notice After Effects will automatically launch, and if we press the U key, since we have layer 2 selected, notice the range selector automatically opened, and as you can see, we have keyframes. Now I already had some keyframes on the Opacity for this layer. So let's go ahead and delete all those keyframes just by clicking the stopwatch button here for Opacity, and let's reset the parameter back up to 100. Now we're still not seeing the layer because the range selector has all the text selected.
If we scrub down the Timeline here, we'll get a preview, and you can see that the type is actually fading in character by character. Now this fade is happening over two seconds. So let's make this happen a little faster by clicking on the second keyframe and dragging it up to about 3 seconds. I can't tell exactly what frame this keyframe is being moved to without the Info window. So I'll just stop for a second, go up to my Workspace, and reset it to Standard. Now, I have my Info window.
So, as I drag my keyframe around here, you can see it's going to be exactly at 3 seconds. Now, we have our animation in, but what I want to do is actually have a little bit of an animation out, so it doesn't just pop off like that. So let's move our playhead back to around 5 seconds, and again, with layer 2 selected, just go right back up under Animation and say Browse Presets. Again, we'll go back into Text, and we can go to the Animate Out section.
So just double-click in Animate Out. Now Fade Out Slow appears to be going word by word. Let's choose Fade Out by Character, so it sort of matches what we did to bring it in. So just double-click to apply, and again, with layer 2 selected, just press U twice--that'll hide all your keyframes --and then open it back up to reveal all of your keyframes. Now let's move our second keyframe back to the last edit point of layer 2.
So now if we will hold Shift, the keyframe will automatically snap two layers out point. So again, if we scrub, you'll see it's actually fading out letter by letter. Now we need to add just another preset to this last animation here, our type that's animating along the path. If you've been following along through the previous videos, you know that I'm not a particularly big fan of this script type rolling through the scene like this. I just think it looks a little wonky. So what we'll do first is change the font, and then we'll go in and add another preset.
So to change a font, just select the Text layer and click to change the font. Now I'm going to choose Cochin, just because I know its serif, and it has kind of an antique sort of look to it, so I think it matches the style beautifully. Feel free to choose whatever font is your personal preference. But now with the different font, even if we scrub, you can see the animation is still there, and what we need to do is create an animation in. With layer 1 selected, I'm going to press I to move my playhead back to the beginning of the layer, go to Animation, and Browse Presets.
Again, under Text, we can go to Animate In, and sure enough, we have all of our different presets in here. Now the way these words are sliding along the path, what I want to do is sort of accentuate that. So I'll actually look at some of the more interesting animations, like spiral effects. That would look absolutely ridiculous on something with a path, so let's just turn that off. Let's browse out of the Animate In folder. Let's go back up to Text, and let's look at Mechanical.
Under Mechanical, we have a bunch of different options, as far as how everything is appearing. I sort of like this Algorithm one. It's funny how Roadtrip sort of slides in, but let's choose Algorithm. That's just going to give it a completely different look. But let's go and try it. Double-click to apply, and now if we scrub through, you'll notice we can't even see the type. It's creating this kind of strange juxtaposition as we scroll.
So I think we can fix this just by pressing U and adjusting the length of these keyframes. So in order to do that, let's select these animated keyframes here, and all we have to do is hold down Alt or Option, and as we click and drag, we can compress this animation to happen in a much faster manner. So now if you move our playhead before the layer, we can load up a RAM preview, and as you can see, we've applied a pretty drastic animation.
But as it's happening, you can see it's not interfering with the preset animation that we had created earlier using our margin offset. Remember, you can always go back in and tweak the keyframes once you've applied the presets. That way, you'll never really be at a loss when it comes time to quickly animate your text.
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