Join Ian Robinson for an in-depth discussion in this video Building tension, part of After Effects Guru: Animating Typography.
Now one of the easy ways you can make your graphics more dynamic through animation, is by creating a sense of tension. Now we're going to do that by animating, in Z space, these different words. But since we've actually built these words using multiple layers, we're going to have to use some parenting and some other little tips and tricks to actually make things work properly. Now since our word, surf, and its glowing highlights, are made up of multiple layers, we need to create a null object, to control the animation of all of these layers.
So let's start by going up under Layer, and choosing New > Null Object. With the null selected, press Return, and rename it surf control. Now, if you don't have the parent column open, go ahead and Ctrl+Click or right-click anywhere in this gray bar next to layer name, and make sure parent is enabled. Now we can select layers two through four, and just point their pic whip up at the surf control layer. Now, go down to the toggle switches and modes button, and lets jump back over here to our switches. You want to make sure that layer three and layer one have 3D enabled.
Now when I select layer one, I can press P to open up its position parameter, and I have a Z parameter. We are going to animate the word surf, to kind of zoom at us from way in the background. So if you click and drag to the right, you can see, even if I drag far, it's really not moving that far in the scene. So let's go ahead and just click on the Z parameter and add a value of 6,000. Now the word is pretty far back there, so I want to add a key frame. Go ahead and just click the stop watch for the position key frame.
And let's move to one second in the timeline. And change our Z value back to zero. Now just to kind of keep the tension building, we want the word to slowly continually move towards the camera. So, let's move down to about five seconds and then between five and six, that's where we're going to have it zoom past the camera. So at five seconds, let's go ahead and just move back to the left to a value of about minus 300. And then, move down to about six seconds, and let's just go ahead and drag this over to the left.
I think we'll probably have to use a setting of around minus 2,000. But there we go, minus 1,836. If we go ahead and preview our animation, you can see I've got this kind of interesting shift bounce thing that's happening. So let's press the Space Bar to stop playback after you've checked that out. As you can see, that's not what we want. So once you've stopped playback, go and select the position key frames by clicking on the word position. With all four key frames selected, you can right-click or Ctrl+Click on any of the key frames to open up the contextual menu, and then choose Keyframe Interpolation.
In here, we want to change the spacial interpolation from Auto Bézier, to linear. Now when we click OK, you won't get that strange bounce. Now this move is going to be a little bit too robotic, so we need to kind of tweak things a little bit. Make sure you have all of the keyframes selected, which they currently are. See how they're gold? We can go ahead and just click on the Graph Editor. Now in here, I just want to change the Z parameters. So, I'll go ahead and separate the position key frames by just right clicking or control clicking on the word position, and choose separate dimensions.
This way, when we click off of the three dimensions, we can reselect Z position only, and really kind of adjust how things are working. So let's start by selecting our second key frame. Just click and drag, and you want to add an ease in, so go ahead and click the Easy Ease In button. This is going to give us a control handle so we can control how the text moves through this value. Now, we'll do the same thing for our first key frame. With that key frame selected, we want to choose Easy Ease Out.
I'm going to click and drag on the handle, and hold down Shift as I start to drag. That'll keep that parameter set at a high number, and then it'll quickly dip down to our second setting. So if we preview this, I can go ahead and load up a RAM preview. You can see I've got this really dynamic sort of move going. It zooms in and then slowly grows. And then zooms back out. But I want that same pop for the zoom out. So let's select the third key frame. We'll add an easy ease out.
And the fourth key frame, we'll add an easy ease in. Let's click on that fourth key frame handle. And just click and drag to the left, and hold down Shift after you start to drag. This way that move will happen much more quickly. If we just load up a RAM preview for this other section here, you'll see, zoom, it zooms right past where we are currently. So this is the exact move I wanted to actually create with the word surf. So I'm going to go ahead and collapse my surf control. I encourage you to build the same kind of move using a null object, using the seasons text.
Just so you can see what we've created, let's go back to the first frame, and just load up a RAM preview. As you can see, we've created a much more dynamic move, that does a great job of sort of building tension in the scene, as you see your text zoom into the camera. And then just slowly grow and then zoom out of the scene.
This course was created by RHED Pixel. We're honored to host this content in our library.
- Exploring the emotions of animation
- Choosing type for legibility
- Creating a visual hierarchy
- Working with text animation presets
- Animating cameras
- Creating high-energy animations vs. subtle, smooth animations
- Animating multiple lines of type