Join Angie Taylor for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the Stroke effect, part of After Effects: Kinetic Typography Techniques (2011).
In this movie, I'm going to use the Stroke ffect to create handwriting from these masks that I've copied and pasted from an Illustrator file. Now, I'm in Creative Effects.AEP, and I have 06a, when I went out to buy it start. And you'll notice that I have masks pasted into this layer. Now if you haven't done that already, you need to get the masks from Illustrator and copy and paste them from the handwritten simple purse AI into the After Effects there. So once you have these in there, you can then apply an effect which will animate handwriting across these words.
And that's what we're going to do now. So I'm going to go over here to Effects and Presets, and I'm going to type in, stroke. And if I scroll down, I should find the Stroke effect, which I can then drag and drop onto this layer. Now I've got two versions of the Stroke effect on here, cuz I've already applied one, and I'm going to show you that later, but we want to look at stroke two, the settings for stroke two, so just close up the first instance of stroke effect that I've already applied.
And I'm just going to show you how to set this up. The first thing you want to do is apply it to the masks. Now all of the masks that are available in here, so you could choose one of the many masks that you've copied and pasted from Illustrator. Now, notice when you copy and paste the Illustrator masks, it doesn't paste them as individual groups. But as individual masks, so we have quite a lot of masks in there. So instead of having to select them individually, you can click on All Masks and then it will stroke all of the masks.
And if we switch off our mask display you should see that we now have white lines on the text. If I switch stroke off and on again, you can see that happening. So it's basically a brush size of two on all of the lines, which is quite small. So I'm going to put that up to about five or six, okay. And the, there I have my text on the screen. Now, to animate it is very easy. All you do is animate the start point or the end point to make it animate on screen.
So, I'm going to scrub the end value to 0. Set a Keyframe and then move where I want it to end and we'll just adjust that to 100%. Now, if we Preview that, I'm just going to pull in my Duration, so that we just Preview a smaller section. Now, the timing's pretty good. But if you wanted to adjust it.
What you can do is you can say, okay, I want I to have been, drawn by then, so I'm going to scrub this end value a little bit further forward, so I can see the letter I being drawn. And then I'm going to go to the next marker, and I've set these markers just by listening to the audio and laying down markers where the voice says the specific words. And I want thought to be written by then. And then maybe I was, so I was.
And then I can use the J and K keys to jump between theUNKNOWN and that's exactly right. So we want first to be completely written. First one to be completely written. Okay, and so on and so forth until you get the timing right. Okay, now I've already created this so if you switch off stroke two and switch on stroke one, you'll see that I've already created it. So if you preview that.
Now I think the I is drawn on a little bit too slowly, so I can open up the Key Frames by hitting U and I could just drag those first Key Frames in a little bit closer to the second. Now you can also adjust the masks to control the animation as well if I hit M to bring up my masks and Select Mask one, and again, we can switch on our masks so we can see that.
You can see that when I select Mask one, I have one square bigger than the other. This one here at the bottom is bigger than this one here. And that's because this is the first vertex. And you'll notice that when the path is being drawn, it's drawing from the bottom up. Normally, when you draw a letter I, you draw from the top down. So what you can do is you can select points on a mask or path. So I could select them one by one. Holding down Shift will allow me to click and deselect. And then releasing Shift allows me to select.
So I've selected the top one and I can change it so that that is the first vertex. So we go to Layer > Mask, and, I always forget, it's in here, actually. So there's two. There's Mask and Mask and Shape Path. And in here if you Choose Set First Vertex, it will swap it round so that now the line draws from the top to the bottom. So by choosing the first vertex in the after facts, you can determine which way around the path is drawn. So that's a little bit about how you can use the Stroke effect to animate handwriting on screen.
Now if you want to see that more clearly of course you can switch off your masks again. So that we can just see the text moving across the screen as it's written on.
- Working with audio
- Preparing source files
- Structuring your After Effects project
- Working with shapes and effects
- Optimizing performance
- Animating text
- Creating 3D animation
- Using expressions to create motion
- Rendering your final movie