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Working with ramp selection shapes

From: After Effects Apprentice 06: Type and Music

Video: Working with ramp selection shapes

I think you'll find you have rarely used Triangle, Round, or Smooth. After the Square shape, the most useful shape is Ramp Up. When I select Ramp Up, notice something completely different happens. Instead of the characters after End being normal, all of the characters after End are fully selected. And now the Start and End selectors create the transition between normal and fully selected. And just as before, all of the characters before Start are normal.

Working with ramp selection shapes

I think you'll find you have rarely used Triangle, Round, or Smooth. After the Square shape, the most useful shape is Ramp Up. When I select Ramp Up, notice something completely different happens. Instead of the characters after End being normal, all of the characters after End are fully selected. And now the Start and End selectors create the transition between normal and fully selected. And just as before, all of the characters before Start are normal.

The opposite happens with the Ramp Down shape. Now all of the characters before Start are fully selected and then the characters transition to being normal. You can use this shape for animating off a title. So let's change the shape back to Ramp Up. Notice when I scrub the Offset, you can see the beginning of the cascading animation. Remember that the number of characters between Start and End is what's defining how many characters are cascading at the same time.

If I change the End parameter to say 25%, now only 25% of the characters are animating at once. I'll undo back to 50%. Now remember, there's one more ingredient we need to add. We need to make the characters after End disappear. And remember that adding Opacity is the easiest way to do that. So I'll add Opacity, change it to 0%, and now the characters will transition between the Start and End selectors from 100% Opacity to 0% Opacity.

So now that we have all the ingredients in place, the last thing we need to do is animate Offset. So at time 0, I'll turn on the stopwatch for Offset, and I have to decide what value to make it. As I scrub it to the left, I can see the characters disappear, but I really don't need to go all the way to -100%. All I need to do is place it just to the left of the Start and End selectors. So if I enter a value that's negative, the End value--which in this case is -50%--that will place the Start and End selectors immediately to the left of the title.

For my second keyframe, I'll go to 2 seconds and I'll scrub Offset all the way to 100%, its maximum value. Remember, at this point Start and End are now to the right of the title, so no characters are selected. Now when I RAM Preview, I now have the basis of a cascading animation. Now remember, you can add as many other properties as you like to this animation. For instance, I could add Property > Blur, increase the Blur value, and the characters will be progressively more blurred between the Start and the End selectors, and so on, with other properties like Rotation and Scale.

Now I mentioned earlier that Ramp Down can be used to transition off type. When I select it and RAM preview, the title now moves off the screen. Now if you want to transition off a title, you'll want to move the keyframes to the end of the comp. I'll RAM preview, and I think it might look more natural if the Position offset was lower in the comp, let's say 150 positive. Now, the title folds down the screen.

And obviously, there are lots of variations on this cascading recipe. So long as you understand that you animate Offset, set the Shape pop-up to Ramp Up, and add the Opacity parameter, you can do almost anything with this basic recipe. Now if you apply any of the text animation presets that come bundled with After Effects and you notice that the only keyframes are for the Offset parameter, there's a pretty good chance it's a cascading animation, and you can confirm that by twirling down the Advanced section and checking that the Shape pop-up is set to Ramp Up.

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Image for After Effects Apprentice 06: Type and Music
After Effects Apprentice 06: Type and Music

49 video lessons · 18017 viewers

Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer
Author

 
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  1. 3m 35s
    1. Overview
      1m 35s
    2. Using the exercise files
      2m 0s
  2. 14m 51s
    1. Setting up
      2m 20s
    2. Entering, editing, and styling type
      5m 49s
    3. Using strokes
      3m 6s
    4. Working with paragraph text
      3m 36s
  3. 23m 21s
    1. Setting a title
      2m 31s
    2. Creating a text animator
      6m 54s
    3. Selecting by character vs. percent
      3m 0s
    4. Animating position
      2m 4s
    5. Animating more properties
      3m 31s
    6. Exploring text transitions
      2m 47s
    7. Randomizing order
      2m 34s
  4. 22m 49s
    1. The Cascade recipe
      2m 15s
    2. Exploring offset plus selection shapes
      4m 16s
    3. Working with ramp selection shapes
      4m 26s
    4. Using character anchor points
      4m 40s
    5. Further refinements
      7m 12s
  5. 9m 0s
    1. Working with selections based on words
      4m 16s
    2. Anchor point grouping
      4m 44s
  6. 15m 46s
    1. Using a vertical blur treatment
      3m 58s
    2. Animated tracking
      5m 46s
    3. Working with text on a path
      6m 2s
  7. 14m 56s
    1. Per-character 3D overview
      5m 45s
    2. Enabling per-character 3D
      4m 4s
    3. Exploring per-character 3D rotation
      5m 7s
  8. 18m 37s
    1. Separating fields
      3m 48s
    2. Exploring wiggly options
      4m 28s
    3. Animating wiggles
      3m 18s
    4. Rendering with alpha channels
      7m 3s
  9. 45m 29s
    1. Adding audio
      4m 8s
    2. Audio levels
      4m 27s
    3. Spotting hit points
      5m 33s
    4. Timing to audio
      5m 25s
    5. Spotting dialogue
      7m 32s
    6. Timing dialogue to music
      6m 45s
    7. Mixing audio
      7m 53s
    8. Exploring audio refinements
      3m 46s
  10. 23m 9s
    1. Applying text presets
      5m 50s
    2. Browsing presets in Bridge
      4m 35s
    3. Editing presets
      6m 49s
    4. Saving presets
      5m 55s
  11. 16m 27s
    1. Working with Photoshop text
      4m 58s
    2. Keyframing source text
      4m 21s
    3. The Buzz Words preset
      7m 8s
  12. 20m 43s
    1. Exploring faux styling options
      7m 42s
    2. Tracking and kerning
      4m 56s
    3. Using smart quotes
      4m 8s
    4. Using hyphens and dashes
      3m 57s

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