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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®.
In this sidebar movie, I am going to cover how to import Photoshop layered files and convert Photoshop text layers to After Effects text layers. That way you can add a text animator or any of the animation presets. So I will bring Photoshop forward, and I'll show you where this animation got started. So let's just say your company has a graphic designer and they know Photoshop, but they don't know After Effects. So it's their job to design the basic look of the animation in a layered Photoshop file.
If I select the Text tool and I'm able to edit any of these words, then that's great. It means when I import this file into After Effects I will be able to change any of these words inside After Effects as well. But if any of these text layers had been converted to pixels, there would be no way for After Effects to get access to the underlying text. So let's return to After Effects and see how we might work with this. Now here, I am showing you the final animation that I did. If you have the exercise files, you will find this in a folder called PSD Text_finished, and the RightWrongPoll_ finished comp is the one I've been previewing.
But I am going to import this Photoshop file again, and I'll show you the steps to make this text editable. So I will select the next folder, PSD Text*starter, Command+I to import, and if you have the exercise files, you can open up the Sources folder, and it's called RightWrongPoll.psd. I am going to import it as a composition with Retain layer Sizes selected. In After Effects CS4 and earlier, this will say Composition - Cropped layers.
Click Open, and in the next dialog, I can confirm the Retain layer Sizes is selected. If there were any layer styles applied, I'd want to be able to edit them, but I also have the option to merge layer styles if I want to. Since I don't have any 3D models in Photoshop, I don't need to be concerned with how the live Photoshop 3D switch is set. I will click OK, and now I have a composition and a folder with all of the individual layers inside. So let's open our composition, and this looks very much like the Photoshop file we were viewing earlier.
It's looking a little bit soft, and that's because my magnification is at 99.6. So let's just increase that till it pops to 100. Now everything look a little bit sharper. Now the first thing I will do is replace this ugly blue background with a nice movie. Let's see what we've got. Holding the Option key down on Mac, or Alt key on Windows, I will drag that in. Now I have a nice background, and I can add additional movies and layer them using blending modes and so on. I am going to lock the background layer, so I don't accidentally select it.
So let's say we would like to add a little animation to this type. If I select the question that's being asked--that's layer number 3--I notice that this is not yet an After Effects text layer, and I can tell that because it doesn't have a T beside it, and when I twirl it down, it does not have the options for text, just regular transformations. To convert this to an After Effects text layer, I need to select it, go to the Layer menu and select Convert to Editable Text. Once I do that, the layer will have a little T beside it, and when I twirl it down, it will look just like any other text layer, and I can then click on the Animate button and add a text animator.
So that's really all there is to it. You don't need to change all of the layers, just the layers you want to change or animate. For instance, this is obviously a template. I need to change that using the final data from the poll. So I would select Layer > Convert to Editable Text and now when I double-click, I can type in let's say it's December 31. Now, there are other layers here you can explore. Some of them are text layers, such as Right and Wrong. Since you don't need to edit these layers, you don't need to convert them to editable text.
However, at the right percentage and the wrong percentage will need to be changed based on the actual data. We can change those values, make them a little different, just making sure they add up to 100%. By all means, play around with this animation and see what you can come up with. In the finished animation, I just added a simple typing-on animation and I used the Linear Wipe Transition effect to wipe on the bars. So I hope that gives you some idea how you might start an animation in Photoshop and then animate the text in After Effects.
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