create a composition in After Effects | My Assignment Tutor

Lesson 6When you create a composition in After Effects it is empty so when you createtext your text is placed over whatever is underneath it. This could be a still, avideo or anything. If you want a solid colour, select Layer>New>Solid or�(ctrl) Y. Then select the colour you want your solid to be.Text itself, is created on its own text layer.You can also create a text layer in Photoshop and import the file as acomposition, place it in a composition and with it selected choose the optionConvert To Editable Text in the Layer menu.Text, in After Effects, is initially accessed by clicking on the Text tool in the toolpanel.Like many other tools in this palette there is more than one flavour to this tool.Click and hold down on the text tool and the other option (vertical text tool showsitself).If you just click once in the viewer window, a flashing cursor appears and you cantype in your text from that point.By clicking and dragging across an area in the viewer window, you create a textbox into which your text will be fitted. Text created in this box will automatically fititself to the window. ie: a soft return will be added automatically to stop a wordat the end of a line being broken by the edge of the box.If the Auto Open Panels option is ticked in the tool palette then when you selectthe text tool, the two palettes that apply to text open automatically. If they don’tappear select them from the Window menu.Though there is (as you might expect) a preset Text workspace.When you select the Text workspace make sure youcan see the whole of the two panels used forcontrolling text. You should be able to see panels likethese: Character and ParagraphAfter Effects draws its fonts from the fonts directories of your computer.Therefore, if you can’t find the font you want, it’s possible to find fonts online oreven design your own with font designing software. However, if your footage isdestined for viewing on a television, it is wise not to use fonts with fine features.Almost any font named serif or that is refined or old fashioned looking might notshow up well on a video screen and is likely to flicker. Fonts like this aredesigned for printing.The section at the top right of the Character panel selects the colours for thestroke (outline) of the text and the fill (interior) colours of your text. There is aneye dropper tool for you to choose any colour from any of your media. Doubl�clicking on the fill and stroke boxes will bring up the colour picker dialogue.The curved double arrow switched the colours selected between fill and stroke.The box with the red line through it selects transparent, and the black and whiteboxes select black and white.2— ———The options in the middle (currently set to Stroke Over Fill in the imageabove) control whether the stroke is placed above or below the fill. The box toits left (shown as 1 px) designated how thick the stroke (outline) of the text is.The boxes at the bottom of this palette contain the text type buttons:The two on the left toggle faux bold and faux italic. If the font you have selecteddoesn’t have bold or italic options, you can apply these ‘pseudo’ versions ofthese text types.The two boxes in the middle toggle all characters as caps or large and smallcaps.The two options on the right make your text superscript and subscript.The Paragraph panel gives you similar controls to your paragraph layout as youwould have in Word or Illustrator.The boxes on the left at the top apply to paragraph alignment (left, centre andright).The middle boxes at the top justify your text so that the last line in the paragraphhangs to the left right or centre. The last box at the top, justifies all your text to fitit’s layer.The options below add margins around your text with the numbers of pixels sizesthat you specify.Write some text and try changing any of the properties above mentioned.3It is a good idea (if you are aming for your work to be shown on a television) toswitch on the Title/Action Safe guides. Footage that gets shown on televisionscreens can be cropped off, so your titles and action should fall within theseboxes.Click on the icon at the bottom of the viewer window and select Title/ActionSafe from the dropdown menu.When you create your text layer, it will automatically be named whatever your text is.The Transform properties are identical to any other layers properties – thoughremember that these properties apply to the text layer as a whole.4Options that relate more specifically to text are available in the Text properties.If you want to change the text part way through the composition click thestopwatch next to Source Text. Then at points along the timeline use the text toolto change the text in the window to your new text. When you run the animationthe text will snap to the new text at each of your keyframes.To animate your text along a path: Select the pen tool [G] and draw a nice curvyshape but don’t close it like when you are making masks.Make sure to have your text layer selected otherwise you will create a new shapelayer instead!Click on the path dropdown in the text properties and select the name of themask shape that you have created. I’ve called my shape “pathline” by selectingthe mask in the timeline, pressing return and entering a new name.5 The Grouping Alignment property acts a little like an anchor point doesfor layers. It moves the point where the text is connected to the path‘v’” More OptionsAnchor Point GroupingGrouping AlignmentFill & StrokeInter-Character Blending[All( Per Charact … I•](iilorma.f I •)Here I have changed the anchor point grouping to ALL and shifted grouping’salignment point by 93 percent.7You can animate your text at yet a deeper level still through the use of Animateand Range Selection properties. Click on the Animate arrow and select aproperty that you want to animate. Scale is a good one to start with.When you add an animator, you get aselection of tools to add animation tosequences of characters or words.First off is the Range Selector. This is theproperty that dictates which parts of yourtext are to be affected.Here I’ve decreased Scale to 55%Only the first 10% of the text is affectedThe Offset is keyed at 8% in frame 1 to100% at 3 secs, creating scale reductionanimated through each characterNotice when you drag the start and stop values inthe range selector little red handles appear in yourtext to show you where the start and end of yourselection are (eg Scale)Once you have selected a range try sliding the scale values to see how they affectyour range. I’ve increased the scale here by 186%.8Try adjusting the Offset (how much of the text is affected stays the same) and set keyframes. If you start with 8% offset and end with 100% (as example above) then 10% of thetext line will be scaled and this will move along the text from 8 to 100% of the wholeanimation.Twirl down the advanced properties and try playing with the Shape valuesThese create nice variations in scale over the range of your text.Like with the anchor point grouping (discussed above) the animator can bebased on characters (including or not spaces), words or the complete text byselecting the appropriate option from the Based On option.Randomize does what it says on the packet and randomises the animationvalues over the selection. The amount of randomness is limited by the RandomSeed setting when you choose to randomise your animator.Obviously you can spend a lot of time fiddling with and animating theseanimators, and yet more options can be added to the above mentioned by usingthe Add command (see below).=aBAdd:ScaleSl Opacity.4. Set Opacity to 0%.5. Expand the Range Selector 1 and click the stopwatch iconfor Start.6. In the Composition panel, drag the start selector to the leftedge of the text (the value will be at 0).7. Move the current-time indicator to 3 seconds and drag thestart selector in the Composition panel to the right edge ofthe text.8. Preview the composition.More examples to try from Adobe’s After Effects User GuideHowever, if you want to see how the pros animate stuff and adjust their work to fityour own means, there are a huge number of preset animations for text in AfterEffects.After Effects opens Adobe Bridge by selecting Browse Presets from theAnimation menu, so you need to have Bridge installed for this.Go to Animation>Browse PresetsOnce Bridge has opened you will see a folder for Text with a vast array ofdifferent types of text animation folders inside.Pick one of the folders and click on a Preset. You will see an animated previewof the preset in the top right-hand corner of the screen


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