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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®.
Up to now, all of our text animations have animated on one character at a time, and even with the cascading animation, text is still animating character by character. In this chapter, I'll show you how to animate word by word, and this involves two techniques. You have to animate the selector word by word, and if you are animating Rotation or Scale, you might also want to change the Anchor Point Grouping option. If you have the exercise files and you'd like to preview this comp, open the Comps_Finished folder and there's example 04.
To get started, I will open example 04 starter and since the background is a little distracting, either turn off the eyeball for the background movie, or you can Solo the text layer. If you don't have the exercise files, create a title with a number of words all on one line. The first thing we will do is add a text animator. Now, we are going to be animating Opacity, so I will select Animate > Opacity, twirl down the Range Selector, again check the counting in percent, and at time 0 I will turn on the stopwatch for Start.
This is a simple typing-on animation style, so I will be animating Start from 0 to 100%. So, the selector is going to move across the type. I will change the Opacity value to 0. And at the beginning when characters are selected, they will be invisible. And as they start selective moves across the type, the text will type on. Now, you will notice it's typing on, one character at a time. To change this, twirl down the Advanced section in the animator and look at the Based On pop-up.
The default is Characters. And when you are using the default, it also includes spaces. There is also an option to exclude spaces. So, if you are noticing that as you are typing on, it's spending time fading up a space by sending it the Characters Excluding Spaces, it won't spend time on the spaces. It will just go directly to the next character. The next option is Words. Now, as the Start selector moves across the type, it's fading on the title word by word.
Now, to see the next option, Lines, in action, you will need to have more than one line; otherwise, it will just fade on the line all in one go. But if we select our title and press Return, so now we have two lines, the first line will fade up and then the second line, and so on, the more lines you have, three lines or four lines, it will fade up line by line. Let me undo, and I will return to Words.
Now, notice as the animation is progressing, words are fading up. If you don't want that fade, you can change the Smoothness parameter to 0. Now, words will just pop on. There will be no transition whatsoever. Setting Smoothness to 0 can work for Opacity and also for other special cases, but as soon as you add other properties-- let's say we add Position--you will probably find you need to set the Smoothness back.
I can change the words either higher or lower-- in this case, it's going a little lower--and as I hit Play, they don't appear to move up. So, if you are not getting a transition, check that the Smoothness parameter is not set to 0. If I set it back to 100%, you can see the text is doing a full transition. Now, changing the selector to be based on words is fine when you are animating properties such as Position, Opacity, Color, and so on. But if you are animating based on words or lines and you also want to add Rotation or Scale to a text animator, you will want to know about the Group Alignment option, and that's what I will cover in the next movie.
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