Join Eran Stern for an in-depth discussion in this video Parent to motion and improve the look, part of After Effects Guru: Integrating Type into Video.
- To complete the animation, we're going to animate the text layers together into the frame. I'm going to do it using parenting once again, but this time control the whole group using a null object, which is a great tool inside After Effects, especially for these kind of tasks. Then, I plan to add a sense of depth to the main logo, as well as to the spinning target, so they will both stand out from the rest of the elements. In order to integrate the typography to the motion graphic design elements that we have over here, which are already spinning in place, we want to parent everything to the same null object and then animate the null, which will help us to match the behavior.
And also, I want to add some treatments to the logo and the target elements and add some depth to it to make them look a little bit more 3D and less flat. Let's begin with the parenting, so what I'm going to do is create a new Null Object, which is an object that doesn't render inside After Effects. And then, I'm going to make sure that I see it. And this is because in the last movie, I've turned off the preview for the boundaries of the layers.
And then, I'm going to take it and place it just in the middle of this target. Now, we need to select all the elements that we've created and parent them to the null, and this will control the animation for all of them. So, I'm going to select this layer, which is the Small Array and then the three lines of text, including the logo input element. And we don't need to actually worry about the Small Array because this guy has its own animation, which we've created in the previous movie.
So, all of those layers are selected. Now, make sure that the Parent column is active. If you can't see it, just right click anywhere over here in the top bar and choose it from the Columns list. In this case, I can see it, so I'm going drag the Pick Whip of one of those layers to the Controller. And now, we can actually animate the Controller layer. So, I'm going to move to five seconds, and I'm going to press "r" in order to show the Rotation properties.
Now, if I'm going to move it, you can see that this is actually the new anchor point for the whole group over here. So, we are almost using it like a crane. So, let's start with something like this. Just make sure that the titles will be outside of the frame. And then, create a Key Frame for the Rotation. And then, let's move forward to six seconds, so I'm going to press three times on the page down while holding down shift, and this will take us 30 frames forward, exactly to six seconds.
And then, I'm going to reset it back to zero. Now, we need to check the timing, and in order to do so, lets' just place our cursor over here, and I'm going to press spacebar in order to quickly generate a RAM preview. What I'm looking for is that those guys will be more or less in the same rhythm as the previous animation. And it looks like they are. I think it's working quite nicely, but we do need to convert the last Key Frame to an Easy Ease, so I'm going to go to the Animation menu this time and choose it from the command over here or you can, of course, press "f9." Once again, let's just verify that it's working by creating a short RAM preview only to this area.
And I think (chuckles) we've made it work. Now, I want to add some extra definition for both the input logo and the target. So, I've selected the desired layer here in the timeline, and I'm going to use the CC Glass effect. Double-click in order to apply it. And let's open up the Surface, which will help us to define the glass look. And the glass effect is created using a Displacement map, so we are using the values of the same layer, the Logo Input, in order to create this Softness, Height, and Displacement appearance.
I'm going to reduce it to maybe a Height of 15 and a Displacement of 15 as well in order to create this look. And just so you'll see how much this contributes, I'm going to turn it off and on. And I also want to animate the light, so open up the Light under the same effect and replace it from Distance to Point Light. And this will allow you to move the light position across the screen. So, I'm going to just scrub the X value, and let's also add Shift in order for it to move quicker.
And let's start from here, create a Key Frame, I'm guessing around six seconds when the logo is in its final position. And then, go to the end of the timeline and just move it all the way until it will touch the right boundary of this comp. Since this effect is so nice, let's just select it and copy it and paste it on the Target layer as well, but do remember to paste it in the same location.
So, in terms of timing, I'm going to go to five seconds and then press paste. Now, it will copy everything, including the Bump Map, so we need to tell it this time, it should use the Target in order to create the bumpiness. Just verify that the properties are still in place. And you can also press "u" in order to just make sure that the Key Frames are still there because we want them to affect both layers at the same time. And I think this really contributes to the whole appearance of this short teaser.
So, just to make sure that everything is going to work, we need to also accompany it with some sounds. So, I've already prepared an Interface Mix, which should work nicely if you did exactly what I showed you and you followed my steps, then it will work for you. Otherwise, you can just add some sound effects of your own. So, I'm just going to drag and drop it over here, just in order to show you how much the sound will uplift this composition. Okay, we are ready for our final RAM preview, so let's just make sure that we are seeing it full screen.
And then, let's render it using zero on the Num Lock. (mysterious electronic music) (footsteps) (high and low zapping sounds) (chirping sound) (mysterious electronic music) (footsteps) (high and low zapping sounds) (chirping sound) So, hopefully, this was a fruitful experience to you as it was for me. I think that we've managed to create what looks like a complex, detailed animation quite easily thanks to good typography design, combined with clever usage of parenting inside After Effects.
Now, remember that this is just one option. And you are more than welcome to practice the same techniques by using the source files and maybe come up with an alternative, even a better trailer.
- Analyzing your shot and making mood, story, and type decisions
- Working with lights, shadows, and 3D animation
- Rotoscoping, distorting, and displacing text
- Creating a motion graphics teaser using parenting and shoot-out animations
- Integrating 3D text into live video
- Working with ray-traced type
- Create advanced per-character 3D text animations