Join Ian Robinson for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating animation without the font, part of After Effects Guru: Animating Logos.
If you're at all like me, sometimes you realize that you use text animators just a little bit too much. And so in this video, we're going to function on how to actually create animation when you don't have the font itself. So, we'll actually just start inside of Illustrator. Let's jump in. If you navigate in your Exercise Files into the Graphical Elements folder, in there you'll find the type logo outlined .ai file. Once you open that inside of Illustrator, you'll see our pretty straight forward text logo.
Now if you click and drag with your mouse, making sure to select the text, notice the text is outlined. Now this outline is letting me know that it's not editable text anymore. Now, I just happened to have done that with all of the text in this specific instance. Now, once you have text outlined, it's important to know what elements reside on what layers, so let's jump over into the Layers panel. And sure enough I have my line broken out from the word technologies, as well as our SYSCHARGE text here.
Now this is pretty much ready to import into After Effects. The reason I say pretty much, is because we might be jumping back here into Illustrator in just one quick second. And I'll show you why. Inside of After Effects, just have a new, blank project open. And then double click in the Project panel. Navigate to your Graphic's Elements folder, and select the Type_Logo_Outline.ai file, and under Import As, change that to Composition Retain Layer sizes. Now when you click Open, it will go and create a composition inside of After Effects.
If you double click the comp, notice we have all of our separate layers, just like we would have in any other project. Now, the first thing I want to do is just select my black Background layer, and press Delete on my keyboard to delete it. Since my composition color is already black, this way I can just make sure that I've got transparency where the black is within my composition. Now I'm going to change my magnification to fit up to 100%, and I want to show you one other thing. If you select any Vector Based Layer, of course you can press S and increase the scale.
And, I'm sure you all know, if you collapse transformations, that'll keep that layer nice and sharp. Well, let me me just Cmd+Z to Undo those last two things. Another way to manipulate this layer is to actually change it into a Shape Layer. So let's select Layer three, and go up under Layer and choose Create Shapes from Vector Layer. Now, if your text disappeared like mine did, don't panic. Just press Cmd+Z or Ctrl+Z on Windows to Undo, and we are going to jump back into Illustrator here for a quick second.
In the essentials preset for the layout, down here at the bottom we have our art boards. And notice there are two art boards, and really we only need one for importing the After Effects. As a part of the video template, it actually is two art boards. So, let's just Delete this second art board, and go up under File and choose Save. Once we're back inside of After Effects, everything should be good to go. I should be able to just select Layer three, go up under Layer and choose Create Shapes from Vector Layer.
Now notice Layer four's visibility has been turned off, and Layer one has changed into a Shape Layer. I'm going go ahead and crank up my magnification to 100%, so we can see our text nice and bold here in the center. When you have text as Shape Layers, you can actually animate those Shape Layers with their own set of properties. So let's go ahead and open up the Shape Layer Properties on Layer one. Under Contents, notice we have each individual letter as its own group.
This is great, because I could open each individual group and make adjustments say to the fill of just this one layer. Now of course I want to make an adjustment to all of the groups within my contents here. So I am going to select the word Contents and click on the Add button, now I want to add the Wiggle Paths option. When we do that, notice it automatically creates this wiggle path distortion for our text.
So I can go ahead and open that, and adjust things like the size of this distortion. So, here I can make it a little bit less, and I could increase the detail if I wanted more waviness. And if we go ahead and load up a RAM preview here, you'll notice it's kind of subtle, but it's actually already animated. I'll go ahead and press the spacebar there, and you can see my text is kind of moving around. So, when you convert Vector Based Layers into Shape layers, you have all the animation capabilities available to you for Shape Layers themselves.
Now another way to create animation without having the font, is to actually just Copy and Paste the outlines themselves. So in order to do that, what I'm going to do is jump back to my Illustrator file one more time, and inside of Illustrator in the Layers panel, I'm going to go ahead and click on the target next to my word, SYSCHARGE. Then I'll go up under Edit and choose Copy. Now if I jump back into After Effects, I can go up under Layer and create a new layer solid.
I want to make sure that it is the Comp Size and click OK. Now all I have to do is go up under Edit and choose Paste, and sure enough the text has been pasted as a path. If you press M, it'll show we have a mask path that's been applied for each individual letter. This gives you the ability to create animation using the different Path Animation Tools. So just to show you one, I'm going to select Layer one and go up under Effect, and go down to Generate, under Generate I want to choose the Vegas effect.
Vegas will allow me to actually merge my blend over top of my graphic, or just Over Transparency. So I'm going to say Over Transparency. And, if I scrub through, notice there isn't any animation set, pre-set to Vegas. But, I can quickly and easily animate these little dots, just by adjusting the rotation. Now, I think this is a little busy. So, I'm just going to decrease the number of segments, down to around three.
And, then I'll go ahead and click and drag on the rotation, and here you can see I've got a much more interesting animation that I could create just by keyframing the rotation. Now if course if I wanted to blend these two, I could select Layer one, and hold down Shift as I move up, and just kind of offset that glow over top of my white text. So of course, I could go back here under my Shape Layer and change the fill as well. Let's say I want to change that to kind of a darker yellow, I could do that.
So, as you can see, when it comes to actually animating text without having access to the fonts, as long as you have access to the shapes themselves or the Vector Layers themselves. You have a host of different things that you can do with animation inside of After Effects.
This course was created and produced by RHED Pixel. We're honored to host this content in our library.
- Optimizing bitmap and vector logos
- Repeating animation with the Keyframe Assistant
- Animating with colors
- Animating type logos
- Building and saving transitional elements
- Rendering your animation