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Animating Text

Chapter Description

In this sample chapter from Adobe After Effects Classroom in a Book (2020 release), authors Fridsma and Gyncild teach you to create and animate text layers. You will learn to stylize text using the Character and Paragraph panels, apply and customize text animation presets, and more.

Getting started

Adobe After Effects offers many ways to animate text. You can animate text layers by manually creating keyframes in the Timeline panel, using animation presets, or using expressions. You can even animate individual characters or words in a text layer. In this lesson, you’ll employ several different animation techniques, including some that are unique to text, while you design a promotion for snorkeling tours from the fictional Blue Crab Charters company. You’ll also take advantage of Adobe Fonts to install a font for use in your project.

As in other projects, you’ll begin by previewing the movie you’re creating, and then you’ll open After Effects.

  1. Make sure the following files are in the Lessons/Lesson03 folder on your hard disk, or download them from www.adobepress.com now:

    • In the Assets folder: BlueCrabLogo.psd, FishSwim.mov, LOCATION.psd

    • In the Sample_Movies folder: Lesson03.mov, Lesson03.avi

  2. Open and play the Lesson03.avi sample movie in Windows Movies & TV or the Lesson03.mov sample movie in QuickTime Player to see what you will create in this lesson. When you are done, close Windows Movies & TV or QuickTime Player. You may delete the sample movies from your hard disk if you have limited storage space.

As you start the application, restore the default settings for After Effects. See “Restoring default preferences” on page 3.

  1. Start After Effects, and then immediately hold down Ctrl+Alt+Shift (Windows) or Command+Option+Shift (macOS) to restore default preferences settings. When prompted, click OK to delete your preferences.

  2. Click New Project in the Home window.

After Effects opens to display a blank, untitled project.

  1. Choose File > Save As > Save As, and navigate to the Lessons/Lesson03/Finished_Project folder.

  2. Name the project Lesson03_Finished.aep, and then click Save.

Creating the composition

First, you’ll import footage and create the composition.

  1. Click the New Composition From Footage button in the Composition panel to create a new composition.

  2. Navigate to the Lessons/Lesson03/Assets folder on your hard disk, select FishSwim.mov, and then click Import or Open.

After Effects can import several file formats, including Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator files as well as QuickTime and AVI movies. This makes After Effects an incredibly powerful application for compositing and motion graphics work.

  1. Choose File > Save.

You’re ready to add the title text to the composition.

2. About text layers | Next Section

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