Line breaks can be a nuisance when creating animated text in Adobe After Effects. Fortunately, Adobe Photoshop has tools you can use to control when line breaks occur in your text. In this movie, author Richard Harrington walks you through how to use Every-line Composer in Photoshop to prepare text for animation in After Effects.
- As you work with paragraph text, you'll often encounter line breaks where one text line wraps to the next. Sometimes with hyphenation, this is really obvious. Other times, it just doesn't feel balanced. And rather than you having to go through and add hard returns where you think the line breaks should be, Photoshop has a useful tool called the Line Composer. Now, earlier I had turned off hyphenation. Let me select this for a second, and enable it for just a moment under paragraph. And I'll tell it to hyphenate. And you see that it hyphenated nonconformists and brotherhood.
Well, as we adjust the size here of the text, you'll see that it flows differently, and it will wrap to the next line. However, under the Paragraph option, here, there's an important choice. By default, Photoshop looks at each line individually, and tries to balance out the characters. But if you choose Every Line Composer, it evaluates each line of text, and tries to create an optical flow for the entire paragraph. So you'll notice there, for example, that the word who wrapped.
In this case, with Every Line Composer, it's adjusted the spacing between words to try to get a nice, overall, balance. I like that. I'll turn off hyphenation, there. And it's pretty nicely balanced. As we adjust the point size, you'll see that the text re-flows. And when you release, the overall spacing may still adjust slightly because of that Every Line Composer choice. I think this should be the default option. It's quite useful. And what it does is, it balances out the text, making it as readable as possible.
Alright, that looks pretty good. Let's just put a slight edge on that. Under the effects panel, here, I'll choose to add a small drop shadow, just to increase the readability. There we go. And we'll apply a small stroke, as well, setting that to the outside at two pixels. And click OK. We've now got very readable text of this quotation. And I'm quite satisfied.
Now if I decided to add a quote mark, let's revisit something from earlier. We'll put the quote marks in. And you'll notice that it's indenting on the text. Well, that could be quite easy to change. Remember earlier, under the Paragraph panel, we had Spacing. So I can go to the Paragraph panel here, and instead, out-dent that first line. We'll tell this to be negative 50. And you see that it moves it.
Let's back that off a little bit to negative 40. And that looks good. So now, that quote was moved to the left of where I first clicked. And we have the text properly aligned, but the quote marks are falling in the right positions. Alright, that's lookin' pretty good. Let's explore a couple more choices.
Learn how to properly develop and then optimize raw files to increase performance in After Effects, and use Photoshop's advanced typographic controls. Find out how to use layer styles to add bevels, overlays, and glows, and correct lens distortion, chromatic aberration, and vignetting. Rich also introduces a unique use for Vanishing Point, which allows you to export 3D objects for parallax movements and virtual sets. Plus, discover how to save out depth mattes for backdrops and keying, and use the powerful Content-Aware tools for background plates, set extensions, or recomposing assets. There's a lot to learn! Start watching to incorporate Photoshop's advanced tools into your next After Effects project.
- Preparing Photoshop files for transfer
- Working with raw images
- Using Photoshop's advanced typographic controls
- Designing with layer styles
- Correcting lens issues and artifacts
- Creating perspective with Vanishing Point
- Creating LUTs with Photoshop
- Creating realistic focus effects for backdrops and keying
- Mastering the Content-Aware tools