Exploring principles for animating type
Video: Exploring principles for animating typeType is one of the most popular elements to use in motion graphics, and when it comes time to animate type, you should first consider whether the type will be used as a graphic element or a title. To clarify, type as a graphic element doesn't necessarily need to be legible or at least not legible continuously all the time. It's just there to be used as a graphic. We'll get to animating type as a graphic element a little later in the chapter. In this video we're going to focus specifically on how we're going to animate this title.
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In Motion: Principles of Motion Graphics, Ian Robinson shares the core concepts and techniques used to create real-world motion graphic elements in Apple Motion. The course starts with finding the initial inspiration for a project and then covers how to bring those ideas to life using the tools in Motion, including type treatments, filters, textures, and lighting. Two projects demonstrating how to animate a title sequence and how to assemble a graphics package are also included. Exercise files accompany the course.
- Shortcuts for previewing and setting type
- Using type as a design element
- Creating dynamic transitions
- Creating and using color palettes
- Working with particles to create depth
- Adding details with lighting
- Integrating audio in a project
- Editing techniques
- Animating a lower 3rd
- Animating and styling a map
- Building a storyboard
Exploring principles for animating type
Type is one of the most popular elements to use in motion graphics, and when it comes time to animate type, you should first consider whether the type will be used as a graphic element or a title. To clarify, type as a graphic element doesn't necessarily need to be legible or at least not legible continuously all the time. It's just there to be used as a graphic. We'll get to animating type as a graphic element a little later in the chapter. In this video we're going to focus specifically on how we're going to animate this title.
So to get started, let's watch our project so we can see exactly where we are. If you're joining me from the previous chapter, you'll probably recognize this. Now looking at this, I want the type to actually float from the right side of the screen to the left side of the screen and kind of emulate the exact effect that's happening here with these circles in the background. Now in order to do that, we're going have to use some specific tools within the Motion toolkit and let's get to that right now by selecting the type in the middle of the screen.
Now in order to apply some complex animation to this type, let's use a behavior. Go to the Library tab in your Utility Window on the left side of the interface and let's go to the Behavior section. Under Behaviors, instead of going to Text Animation, let's go to the Simulations. Now simulations simulate real-world motion and it's really kind of cool. The one we're going to use for this is Random Motion. To apply this to the type all we have to do is click the Apply button since the type is already selected in the canvas.
If you go ahead and press Play, you'll notice the type is randomly moving around the screen. The only problem I'm seeing is the fact that the type is moving as one individual chunk. Now, to fix that we need to go to the Inspector. In the Inspector, under the Behaviors tab, there is our Random Motion behavior. But we want to make sure Affect Sub-objects is selected. Now with that selected, you can see when we play this is definitely affecting each individual character. But obviously these settings are a little bit too high.
So let's bring this way down and reset the amount to 1. Now with 1 selected, I can still kind of read it, but that is a little high and if you notice, when you click the buttons you can't actually choose anything less than one. But you can type it in. So go ahead and highlight the drop well and let's choose a setting of .6. Now with that amount set, you'll notice the type still isn't moving from the left to the right.
Since we're trying to create this real- world type motion, let's go back to the Library tab and use another simulation, but this time I want to scroll down to the bottom and choose Wind. Now instead of using the Apply button, let's go ahead and click and drag on the cog and place it directly on top of the type. Now with our Wind applied, if we go ahead and begin playback, nothing is going to happen, because we have to press F7 to open the HUD. In the HUD, you can specify the direction you want the wind to blow.
So click in the center and drag over towards the left. Notice as I'm dragging, I'm getting this red line that's coming out. That's letting me know exactly how far Motion is going to push the type in the actual animation. Now, if we go ahead and press Play, we can see the type is moving from left to right and we do have some random motion of each individual character. Let's start playback here for a second and jump back into our Inspector. Within the Inspector you can adjust the Wind to affect the subobjects as well.
Let's just scrub down here to the end, and I don't like that so let's leave that deselected. And we still need to add that flicker effect. So in order to apply flicker, I want each individual character to flicker, but better yet, rather than each individual character, I want to specify exactly which characters are going to flicker. So to do that, go and press Tab on your keyboard. When you press Tab, look in the upper left side of your toolbar. Notice that it's scrolled through until we actually got down here to the Glyph tool.
The Glyph tool will allow you to select individual letters you'd like to flicker. So let's select the letter V. In order to add the flicker just to the letter V, we need to go to Text tab in the Inspector. Under the Text tab I want to go to the Style section, because in Style is where we can add some effects to the individual faces that we have selected with the Glyph tool. So go to the Opacity section and to apply a behavior to a specific parameter, all you have to do is Ctrl or right-click directly on the word and you'll get a contextual menu that will allow you to apply behaviors.
So let's choose Randomize. The Behaviors tab automatically jumps to the front and we need to crank up the amount and also change the Apply mode from Add to Add and Subtract. That way we'll get a decent amount of flicker on the letter. Now if we go ahead and preview our animation here, you should be able to see, yeah, V is flickering just fine. I want to add flicker to one more letter. Let's go ahead and select the letter T.
Now with T selected, let's go back to the Text tab under the Style section, and this time, again, Ctrl or right- click on Opacity and choose Randomize. When you have the same behavior applied to two different objects in the scene, one thing you want to look at is this Random Seed number. I know these numbers aren't exactly the same, but I want it to be drastically different when we go ahead and crank-up the amount of flicker. So go ahead and crank-up the amount of flicker and change the Apply mode to Add and Subtract.
Now go down to the Random Seed section and generate a new number that's drastically different. When we go ahead and grab our Selection tool and just deselect all the type, we can preview our animation and you'll notice we have two letters flickering quite nicely and our animation is very organic because we used simulation behaviors instead of straight text behaviors.
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