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After Effects Apprentice 06: Type and Music
Illustration by John Hersey

Working with selections based on words


From:

After Effects Apprentice 06: Type and Music

with Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer

Video: Working with selections based on words

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.
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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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After Effects Apprentice 06: Type and Music
3h 48m Beginner Apr 28, 2011 Updated Nov 20, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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®.

Topics include:
  • 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
Subjects:
Video Motion Graphics Visual Effects
Software:
After Effects
Authors:
Chris Meyer Trish Meyer

Working with selections based on words

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.

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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