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Animating Text in Adobe After Effects CC (2014 release)

Chapter Description

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 from Adobe After Effects CC Classroom in a Book (2014 release), you’ll employ several different animation techniques, including some that are unique to text, while you design the opening title credits for an animated documentary called Road Trip. You’ll also take advantage of Adobe Typekit to install a font for use in your project.

Cleaning up the path animation

Currently, the words directed by fade in and out as they wind along the Pipes path preset. You’ll modify the text properties so that the words are opaque for the entire animation and come to rest just above your name.

  1. With the directed by layer selected in the Timeline panel, press U to display the animated properties for the layer.
  2. Click the stopwatch icon (stopwatch.jpg) for the Range Selector 1 Offset property to delete all of its keyframes.
  3. Depending on where the current-time indicator is located in the time ruler, the resulting value for Range Selector 1 Offset may or may not be set to 0%. Set it to 0% if it is not.

    03fig46.jpg

    Now, directed by will be visible throughout the composition. Next, you’ll modify the First Margin property to make the text stop animating above your name.

  4. Select the last keyframe for the First Margin property in the Timeline panel, and press the Delete key to delete it. Because the middle keyframe (now the last keyframe) is set to Easy Ease, the words directed by come gently to rest above your name.

  5. Go to 6:14, and change the First Margin value to 685.

    You also need to adjust the path shape so that it starts and ends off the screen.

  6. Using the Selection tool (selection.jpg) in the Composition panel, select the control point at the top of the S-shaped curve, and then press Shift as you drag it to the right and well off the screen so the car won’t be visible.
  7. Click the control point at the end of the S-shaped curve, and Shift-drag the control point off the left side of the screen, so that the car won’t be visible.

  8. Preview the animation from about 5:00 to 9:00 to see the corrected path.

  9. If the text doesn’t stop directly above your name, adjust the First Margin value of the final keyframe.
  10. Hide the properties for the directed by layer in the Timeline panel, and then choose File > Save.
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