Week 05

Week 05 – Topics

Animating text and working with music
Text Animators
Range Selectors
Offset by Parameters
How to import files from Photoshop or Illustrator
Typography Resources
Due: Project 1 (storyboard)
Critique: Project 1: Storyboard “Sketching” assignment

If you haven’t already done so, please complete the following survey. Please complete the survey one time only.
Design Technology Student Show Survey: Spring 2011


  • creating basic text
  • creating Text Animators, Range Selectors
  • animating text transform properties
  • randomizing the order of characters
  • creating cascading text
  • working with selection Shapes
  • setting the text Anchor Point
  • animating by words
  • title safe areas
  • animating text Blur and Tracking
  • text on a path
  • Per-character 3D animators
  • separating fields
  • adding the Wiggly Selector
  • rendering with an alpha channel
  • field rendering
  • adding sound to a comp
  • add comp and layer markers
  • applying Text Animation Presets
  • customizing presets
  • saving text animations as presets
  • editing Photoshop Text layers
Week 5 – Assignments

1) Complete exercises outlined in Lesson 5 – Type and Music. Use the Lesson 5 files included on the DVD of your AEA textbook. You may also use the class notes below to supplement the information in the AEA textbook.

Additional resources for the Lesson 5 – Type and Music  can be found in our other AE textbook:
“After Effects CS4: Visual QuickPro Guide.”
Chapter 12: Creating and Animating Text

2) Create your own comps. Using After Effects and the techniques we learned from our text book, create the following comps to hand in for next week. Experiment with different type faces and different colors and sizing. Use this as practice for your Typography in Motion assignment. Please save each of these 4 comps out as a QuickTime .mov file and label the .mov files so I know what they are. I’ve made suggestions for the type but you may change it to whatever you prefer.

  • Type your name  and create Cascading Text as demonstrated in textbook. (See 03-Cascade starter comp)
  • Type “Graphic Design 71 Motion Graphics” and create an animation by word.
  • Type “Motion Graphics” and experiment with 3D Text as demonstrated in textbook. (See 06-3D Position starter and 07-3D Rotation starter comps)
  • Type “After Effects Apprentice CS5″ and use a blur, tracking and text on a path as demonstrated in textbook. Add a sound clip to this project.

3) Typography Assignment: referring to the Typography Resource listed below “Learn the Basics: 25+ Sites And Resources To Learn Typography,”  find a resource from this article and post an entry on your Tumblr blog detailing what you learned about Typography from this resource. Also, find an example online of Typography that you think is well-done and post this to you blog also.

4) Reading for next week from AEA book – Chapter 6 “Lesson 6 – Parenting and Nesting”

5) Continue working on your project. Make any necessary modifications to your storyboard before creating your design files. You should start creating your design files in either Photoshop or Illustrator. (If you haven’t done so already, post an image of your storyboard to your Tumblr blog and write a paragraph about the concept for your animation.)

Typography in Motion (Animation project due week 9).

Your “Typography in Motion” project must exhibit type demonstrating two pairs from the following emotions/states:

Slow – Fast
Happy – Sad
Harmony – Chaos
Birth – Death

Project specification:
Dimensions: 640 pixels x 480 pixels or you can use 720 pixels x 480 pixels
Length: 30 seconds or less.

Think about the following:

  • How should the concept of this emotion/state animate?
  • How can your composition — with the addition of time — reinforce the concept?

Be sure to check out the Inspiration page for examples of projects using Typography in Motion.

Kinetic typography

Kinetic typography—the technical name for “moving text”—is an animation technique mixing motion and text. This text is presented over time in a manner intended to convey or evoke a particular idea or emotion. It is often studied in Communication Design and Interaction Design courses. Some commonly seen examples of this technique include movie title sequences and credits, web page animation and other entertainment media.

Example of kinetic type

Mythbusters Kinetic Type from Bryan Woods on Vimeo.
Won 1st place in the 2010 Academy Art University Spring Show Award Ceremony for best in motion graphics. (5/21/10)

A few Typography Resources

20 Minute Intro to Typography Basics
Learn the Basics: 25+ Sites And Resources To Learn Typography
Periodic Table of Typefaces
I love typography

Lesson 5 – Type and Music

115   creating basic text
117   creating Text Animators, Range Selectors
119   animating text transform properties
121   randomizing the order of characters
121   creating cascading text
121   working with selection Shapes
123   setting the text Anchor Point
124   animating by words
125   title safe areas
126   animating text Blur and Tracking
127   text on a path
128   Per-character 3D animators
132   separating fields
133   adding the Wiggly Selector
134   rendering with an alpha channel
135   field rendering
136   adding sound to a comp
137   add comp and layer markers
138   applying Text Animation Presets
139   customizing presets
140   saving text animations as presets
141   editing Photoshop Text layers

Page 115    creating basic text

Open > Lesson 05.aep
Comp >  01-Basic Text*starter

Several different ways to open up your Type tools:

1. Click on the Type tool
2. Change the workspace to “Text”
3. Open the Character and Paragraph panel from the Window menu

To start:
Click anywhere in the Comp panel with the Type tool or,
Layer > New > Text Layer

Two different modes:

  1. Editing mode: this is when the cursor is visible
  2. Layer mode: this is when the cursor disappears and you see handles around the text block.
Page 117    creating Text Animators, Range Selectors

There are no stopwatches to enable keyframing from the Character and Paragraph panels.
All animation is created by applying Text Animators.

Guideline: start by creating the text the way it should look normally and add a text animator to transition the text.

Comp > 02-Dropping In*starter

Reset Paragraph option by clicking on the arrow in the upper right corner of the Paragraph panel. Reset Paragraph.
Do the same thing for the Character panel. Reset Character

Choose Layer > New > Text. And type in Just Dropping In. Change the type face and size if you’d like.

To animate the text you need to apply a Text animator

  • Twirl open the text layer revealing the Text and Transform properties.
  • Click on the arrow located to the right of the word “Animate.”
  • And select Position.

  • Animator 1 with Range Selector with Position nested inside will be created.
  • Twirl open the Range Selector and change the Start to 25% and End to 75%. Note that a “range” of the text is now selected.
  • Scrub the X and Y values in the Position property to see the effect. Change the Y value for position to 100.
Page 119    animating text transform properties
  • Start with a clean slate, select Animator 1 and hit the delete key.
  • Then select Animate > Position again.
  • Start at the beginning of timeline 00:00
  • Twirl down Range Selector
  • Enable the keyframing for the Start parameter. This will create the first keyframe.
  • Scrub the Y positioning to -200
  • Go to 1:00 and set the start value to 100%. This will set the second keyframe
  • Preview

Add more properties

  • Return to 00:00
  • Find the word “Add” on the same line as “Animator 1″ and select Property > Rotation.

  • Rotation will be added to the Animator 1.
  • Scrub the rotation to 45 degrees and the text will affected
  • Preview

How do you make the text invisible on top before it “drops in?”

  • Return to 00:00
  • Click the Add button again and select Property > Opacity.
  • Change the opacity to 0.
  • Preview

Change other propeties: Try scaling the text and changing the fill color.

Page 121    randomizing the order of characters

To randomize the text, twirl down Advanced section of the Range Selector 1 and turn the Randomize Order on

Page 121    creating cascading text

Spreading the movement across several adjacent character.

Comps > 03-Cascade*starter

  • In the timeline panel, twirl down the text layer and select Animate > Scale
  • Change Scale to 400%
  • Select Add > Property > Fill color > RGB. The default is Red. Change the color if you like.
  • Twirl down the Range Selector 1 and twirl down Advanced
  • Modify the “Shape” property and modify the Start and End properties for the Range Selector.
  • Choose Ramp Up and Change Start to 0% and the End parameter to 33%.
  • Scrub the Offset parameters. Note that the Offset parameter is a handy way to set the Start and End at the same time. (33% happens to be the value that will affect only the text “with the Stars.”
  • Move cursor to 00:00 and, enable keyframing for Offset and set to 33%
  • Move to 2:00 and change the offset to 100%
  • Finishing touch is to make the text fade up as they cascade on.
  • Animator 1 > Add > Property > Opacity
  • Set the Opacity to 0%

Notice that the text is scaling from the baseline, what if you want it to scale from it’s center?

Page 123    setting the text Anchor Point
  • Move to 1:00
  • Add > Property > Anchor Point
  • Scrub the X and Y
  • Add small negative value to Y like -10 or -20.
  • Preview.
124    animating by words

Comp > 04-RockinText*starter

  • Twirl down the text layer and select Animate > Opacity.
  • Reduce the Opacity to 0
  • Twirl down the Range Selector.
  • At 00:00 enable keyframing for Start
  • Move to 3:00 and change Start to 100%
  • Preview

Because the text is using the default Square shape, the text will come in one letter at a time.

What if we want one word to come in at a time?

  • Go to Advanced > Based on and choose Words from the pull down.
  • Below Shape is Smoothness. Change this to 0% so the letters pop up with no fade up

Let’s add rotation:

  • Animator 1 > Add > Rotation
  • Set Rotation to -1 x 0.0″
  • Preview


Change smoothness back to 100% to see rotation

Note that the words are rotating around their character’s own anchor point. To have them rotate around each word’s anchor point.

Twirl down Text > More options > set the Anchor Point to Word also

Again the text is rotating around it’s basepoint, to change this set Grouping Alignment . Change the Y parameter to -200%

Page 125    title safe areas
  • Keep any imagery you expect the viewer to see inside the action safe area. Margin is 5% on all sides.
  • To avoid distortion, you need to keep text inside the title safe area. Margin is 10% on all sides

Page 126    animating text Blur and Tracking

Comp > 05-Path*starter

  • In the timeline panel > Twirl down Text
  • Select Animate > Blur
  • Unclick the link icon next to Blur and change the Y parameter to 80.
  • Twirl down Range Selector 1, then twirl down Advanced
  • Change Shape pop up to Ramp Up
  • Then toggle “Randomize Order” to “on.”

Now create a Cascading type animation

  • At 00:00 enable keyframing for Offset
  • Set it’s initial value to -100%
  • At 2:00 set the Offset to 100%

Characters coming together requires tracking

  • Select Add > Tracking
  • Return to 00:00
  • Scrub the tracking amount.
  • Set it to about 6.
  • Preview
Page 127    text on a path

Select the Pen tool
Enable the RotoBezier option in the Tool panel

  • Create an open curved path by clinking a few points from left to right across the Comp panel
  • Press V to return to the Selection Tool
  • Return to 00:00 and scrub Text > Path Options > Mask 1 > First Margin until you’re happy with where it starts.
  • Enable keyframing for First Margin
  • Jump to the end of the timeline, and scrub First Margin to a different value
  • Preview.
Page 128    Per-character 3D animators

Comp > 06-3D Position*starter

  • Twirl down the Text layer, Animate > Position.
  • Click on either Animate or Add and select Property Enable Per-character 3D.

The layer will now have 2 small cubes to indicate this feature is on.
There is a red, green and blue axis now in the Comp panel to indicate X, Y and Z orientation repectively.

Scrub the Z Position value

From the comp panel, change the 3D View popup from Active Camera to Custom View.

  • Set position to 0, -75, -350 to move higher and forward
  • Twirl down Range Selector 1.
  • At 00:00 enable keyframing for Start with a value of 0%
  • Move to 2:00 and change start value to 100%
  • Preview

Click Add > Opacity
Set Opacity to 0%

Click Add > Property > Enable Per Character 3D
Set the 3D View popup from Active Camera to Custom View.

Add > Property > Rotation

Set X to 1 rotation
Set Y to 1 rotation
Set Z to 1 rotation

Note the differences between these

Comp > 07-3D Rotation*starter

From the comp panel, change the 3D View popup from Active Camera to Custom View.

Click Add > Property > Enable Per Character 3D
Set the 3D View popup from Active Camera to Custom View.

Add > Property > Rotation

Set X Rotation to 1

Move to middle of timeline
Add > Property > Anchor Point

Scrub the Z value

3D Text in 3D World

Check out Comps in Comps Finished > Adobe Animation Presets folder.
These are possible with the use of comp with Camera and Lights (we’ll cover 3d Space later in the semester)

Page 132    separating fields

Comp > 08-Wiggly*starter

Notice comb teeth artifact on penguins
Caused by interlacing. Lines were captured at different points and so we need to separate them.

Sources > Penguin.mov click on “Interpret Footage” (the icon in the lower left)

From the Separate Fields drop down, select Lower Field first

Page 133    adding the Wiggly Selector

We’re going to wiggle Color. (We need to choose a property to add wiggle to)

  • Text > Animate > Fill Color > Hue
  • Change Fill > Hue Value to 300 degrees
  • Select Animator 1 > Add > Selector > Wiggly
  • Preview

Select Add > Property > Position
Change Y position to 50

Add > Property > Rotation
Change to 15 degrees

Twirl down the Wiggly Selector and experiment

  • Change Increase the Correlation value to 80%
  • Set “Based on” to Words
  • Try Wiggles/Second to “0”
Page 134    rendering with an alpha channel

What if in the last exercise you wanted to save out the titles only and use the titles with another video?

Turn off the video layer “eyeball.”
Click Toggle Transparency Grid button

Composition > Make Move and be sure to put the word “alpha” in the title so you remember this is the version with the alpha channel.

Click on “Lossless” to change settings:

  • Post-Render Action: Import
  • Channels: RGB + Alpha
  • Depth: Millions of Colors +
  • Color: Straight (Unmatted)

Hit “Render” button to make the movie.
Double click on the movie and it will open in QuickTime within AE

Notice the black fringe? This verifies that you rendered a straight alpha channel and will look fine when it is composited.

Page 136    adding sound to a comp

Audio is just another form of footage and you import it the same way as a movie.

Many valid formats for audio: AIFF, WAV, MP3

Audio resolution is defined by its bit depth with higher being better.
Most common format is 16 bit (same as CDs)
24 bit is a high-end format

Audio is also defined by its sample rate:

  • Consumer DV has an audio rate of 32 kHz
  • Audio CDs have a rate of 44.1 kHz
  • Professional video uses 48 kHz

Comp > 08-Wiggly*starter
Sources > Playhouse.aiff

You add an audio clip to a Comp just like any other footage.

With the audio selected, Press L to open the levels.
You can also set the levels in the Window > Audio panel

Page 137    add comp and layer markers

You can add markers to your project making it easier to synchronize keyframes and other layers to time.

Control + 8 or Layer > Add Marker to add marker. Can create labels.

Page 138    applying Text Animation Presets

Comp > 09Apply Preset
Select the Text layer Jazz it Up

  • Click on the Options arrow in the upper right corner of the Effects & Presets panel
  • Select Browse Presets
  • Adobe Bridge will navigate to the Presets folder for you
  • Double-click Text > Animate In  to open the folder
  • Single click on a preset and it will start playing in Preview window
  • Double -click the preset to add it to the layer in your Comp.
Page 139    customizing presets
Page 140    saving text animations as presets
Page 141    editing Photoshop Text layers

Import PSD as a Compostion wirh Retain layers>  Select Editable layers
Select a layer with Text and from Layer > Convert ti Editable Text


No comments yet.

Add Yours

  • Author Avatar


Comment Arrow

About Author


Instructor for Graphic Design 71