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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.

Animating type tracking

Next, you’ll add the company name and then animate its appearance using a text animation tracking preset. By animating tracking, you can make words seem to expand outward as they appear onscreen from a central point.

Applying a tracking preset

First you’ll create the text, and then you’ll add a tracking preset.

  1. Select the Horizontal Type tool (type.jpg), and then type BLUE CRAB CHARTERS.

  2. Select the BLUE CRAB CHARTERS layer. In the Character panel, choose Times New Roman Bold from the Font Family menu, choose 48 px from the Font Size menu, set the fill to white, and set the stroke to none. In the Paragraph panel, make sure Center Text is selected.

  3. Go to 7:10.

  4. Use the Selection tool (selection.jpg) to move the BLUE CRAB CHARTERS layer down to the lower third of the screen, aligned with Snorkel Tours, as in the image below.

  5. Type Increase Tracking in the search box of the Effects & Presets panel. Then double-click the preset to apply it to the BLUE CRAB CHARTERS layer.

  6. Drag the current-time indicator across the time ruler between 7:10 and 9:10 to manually preview the tracking animation.

Customizing the tracking animation preset

The text expands, but you want the letters to be so close initially that they’re nearly on top of each other, and then to expand to a reasonable, readable distance apart. The animation should also occur more quickly. You’ll adjust the Tracking Amount to achieve both goals.

  1. Select the BLUE CRAB CHARTERS layer in the Timeline panel, and press UU to reveal the properties that were modified.

  2. Go to 7:10.

  3. Under Animator 1, change the Tracking Amount to −5 so that the letters are squeezed together.

  4. Click the Go To Next Keyframe arrow (go_to_next_kf.jpg) for the Tracking Amount property, and then change the value to 0.

  5. Drag the current-time indicator across the time ruler between 7:10 and 8:10. The letters expand, and stop animating at the last keyframe.

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