Working with paragraph text
Video: Working with paragraph textTo show you paragraph type, I'll start with a blank document. I'll also reset the Character panel, create white type with no stroke, and I'll also set the Paragraph panel to align left. Instead of just clicking with the mouse, I'm going to click and drag out a box. This is called a paragraph box. The text will automatically wrap inside of this paragraph box. There is a line connecting the handles, and the handles are hollow. This tells you you're in Editing mode, and as you resize the box, the text will reflow automatically.
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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®.
- The core text animation recipes
- Animating text along a path
- Working with text animation presets
- Timing animation to audio
- Per-character 3D type
- Rendering with an alpha channel
- Making Photoshop type editable in After Effects
- Professional typesetting tips
Working with paragraph text
To show you paragraph type, I'll start with a blank document. I'll also reset the Character panel, create white type with no stroke, and I'll also set the Paragraph panel to align left. Instead of just clicking with the mouse, I'm going to click and drag out a box. This is called a paragraph box. The text will automatically wrap inside of this paragraph box. There is a line connecting the handles, and the handles are hollow. This tells you you're in Editing mode, and as you resize the box, the text will reflow automatically.
When I press the Enter key, I'll be in Layer mode. If I now resize the handles, I'd be scaling the text just like I was in Point Text mode. I'll undo. To edit I simply double-click and I'll be back in Editing mode. Now there is one new feature in CS5 and that allows you to control how words break across lines. If I didn't want After Effects to split across two lines, I could select them-- including the space--and under the character menu select the No Break option.
And no matter how the text reflows, those two words will always remain on the same line. I'm going to delete all this text, and I'm going to paste text that I had on the clipboard. I'll resize the box, and you can see I have multiple paragraphs. When you have multiple paragraphs, you can use some of these options in the Paragraph panel. For instance, I'll select the two bulleted paragraphs. Now I can add space before the paragraph, and notice it's not adding space between the lines, just between the paragraphs.
I can also indent the first line or for a bullet, I can give it a negative value. Let's get those lined up there. Now all I have to do is increase the value for the left indent. The advantage of using indents to format bulleted type is that if I resize the box, the text will continue to flow correctly. Of course, if I select all my type and change the point size, I'll have to revisit the Paragraph panel and tweak the indents. Now the last I'm going to show you is how to convert text from paragraph type to point type.
There are two things you need to do: First, make sure you have the Type tool selected. Second, press Enter so that you're in Layer mode. Now when you right-click you'll have the option to convert to point text, and it will add a hard return at the end of every line. So now when I double-click, it won't add the paragraph box. You can also change point text back to paragraph text. Again, make sure you're in Layer mode with the Type tool selected.
Now when you right-click you'll have the option to convert any point text you created to paragraph text. However, you will still have hard returns where you added them manually. So when I go into Paragraph mode, I may have to delete some hard returns by hand. At this point, you should be fairly comfortable with creating text with the Type tool, as well as navigating around the Character and Paragraph panels. In the next movie, we'll animate our titles using text animators.
Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about After Effects Apprentice 06: Type and Music .
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- Q: This course was updated on 11/20/2012. What changed?
- A: We have added four new movies to the end of Chapter 8, "Working With Audio." All four of these movies (Spotting dialog, Timing dialog to music, Mixing audio, and Refinements) apply to all versions covered by the course. In addition, there are new sets of exercise files designed for After Effects CS5.5 and After Effects CS6 and a companion movie that shows our premium subscribers how to use the exercise files.
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