Join Ian Robinson for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating custom type with text from Illustrator, part of After Effects Guru: Working with Vectors.
Now I'm sure many of you already use Illustrator to create your own custom titles for your motion graphics. In this video, we're going to do just that. But I'm going to show you a neat little tip you can use to actually create some added animation around that stylized type. So, let's get started. So in looking at the project, you can see it needs a little bit of tidying up. So, let's start by going to the project panel and selecting our top composition. And the folder below it, and just drag them both in to the graphic elements folder.
That way we can see we're just dealing with the custom shapes comp. Okay, now I want you to notice that we've been working in black and white up until this point. I like to do this, because it allows me to more clearly see the visual hierarchy of what it is I'm designing. Now as you can see, the text on the right side of my page, both groupings are roughly the same size. And so, I'm having a hard time figuring out which group of text should be dominant and which ones shouldn't. So, in this video, we're going to stylize the power grid type to actually be the dominant type.
But before we do that, I'm going to go ahead and make sure the background color is going to be something we can composite everything on top of. So, let's go ahead and change the background first. I'm going to select layer seven, a rectangle layer, and let's change it from white to black. So go up under the effect panel and under color correction you can go down to tint. Since I know this element is already white I can just click on this little eye dropper and remap white from white to black. Now for the line, the dotted line let's go ahead and do the opposite, select the dotted line go up on your effect since we just applied tint let's choose tint and we'll map that black to white and then I want to choose a 90% white so let's go ahead and click in that white value there and change the brightness to 90%.
I won't worry about the vector map arrow just yet. Now the text layer, we don't need to stylize the color here in After Effects. Let's just edit the original file. Go up to Edit, and choose Edit Original. Once inside of Illustrator, let's just copy this into a new Illustrator file. So, just select the text, copy, create a new 1280 by 720 file, and paste. Press command plus or control plus, to change your magnification up to 100%.
Now we can go ahead and save this, I'm going to go up under file and save, I'll save it in the graphic elements folder, then we'll just call this power, in all caps then click save. So in order to stylize this first let's go ahead and outline this text. So with the text selected go up under type and choose create outlines. This changes the text so it's no longer editable using traditional text methods. But if I have the direct selection tool selected.
I could select individual anchor points and then move those points to stylize the text. So let's add a little bit more power to this w. We can do the same thing with the p here. Just bring those points up. Now, obviously, you can stylize your letters however you like. I'm just kind of having fun with this and doing something that's something that I like. Now once you have the styles set up a way that you like, we can go ahead and continue stylizing this by adding some more outlines. Now, we're going to create two outlines inside Illustrator, and then easily animate them with only two key frames in After Effects.
So to do that, let's go and click on the circle on layer one. And with that selected, go ahead and expand the arrow there, and you can see that it's actually a group. So, what we want to do is click on the word group, and then go up under Objects and chose Ungroup. This is just going to make working with this a little bit easier. I'll go ahead and collapse that layer, we can rename layer one Power Type. And now let's go to the Appearance panel. Under Appearance, if you double-click on the word contents, you can see I have no stroke and I have a fill.
So let's go ahead and add a stroke. I'm going to click on the Stroke option here. And let's add a stroke that's yellow. And increase the point weight to about two. Now to stylize this further I want to offset this stroke. So make sure you have the stroke selected in the appearance panel and then come down here and add a new effect. If you go to path you can choose offset path and then enable the preview here and let's just increase this offset value to a value of 20 and can see that's huge so let's go ahead and change that down to about five and that's exactly what I was looking for.
Now I want to add one more offset path. So let's go back down here to the lower left corner and add a new stroke. With the new stroke selected, let's go ahead and change that color to orange. And I'd like to offset this as well. So, let's click on Add New Effect, Path, offset path. You can preview this. You've got it. We'll jump up to 20 there and then, we'll decrease this down to around eight. Now, when we click OK. You can see if we deselect all of our text.
I've got much more powerful type in the scene. This is exactly what I was looking for. There's only one last thing we need to do before we bring this into After Effects. Let's jump back into our layers panel here. I want to isolate the fill from the stroked elements. So let's go ahead and click and drag to duplicate our power type layer. Let's rename this top one, Power Type F for fill and what we'll do, with that layer selected, is go to the Appearance panel, double-click on Contents and we can just deselect the stroke for both.
We could actually just delete the strokes just by clicking and dragging down. And that way, that's just the fill. Let's go down here. These will be the stroke layers. So, make sure you have that layer selected. Go to the appearance here. Open the contents. And this one we don't need to fill, so let's go and just drag that to the trash. And if we go back to the Layers Panel, now you'll see, I have my strokes separate from my fill. So now, I'm actually ready to go ahead and import this back into After Effects. So let's go up under File, then choose Save, and then jump back to our After Effects project.
Once we're in After Effects, all we have to do is just double-click in the Project Panel, choose our power text. I want to import it as a composition to retain layer sizes. We'll click Open and that way when I double-click you can see, here's my two text layers. I'm just going to select both of them and copy and paste them right into our custom shapes project. Can deselect the text layer and just reposition these accordingly. Now, we'll definitely get to animating this type a little bit later when we continue on with the project but I hope you can see, when you jump into Illustrator, you have a whole host of other options especially when it comes to creating powerful stylized type.
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- Analyzing how vectors behave across the Adobe Creative Cloud
- Animating titles from Photoshop
- Creating custom type from Illustrator
- Importing and copying vectors from Illustrator into After Effects
- Animating with shape layers
- Timing animation vectors