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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.

Animating with scale keyframes

The text layer was scaled to nearly 200% when you applied the Fit To Comp command to it earlier in this lesson. Now, you’ll animate the layer’s scale so that the type gradually shrinks down to its original size.

  1. In the Timeline panel, move the current-time indicator to 3:00.
  2. Select the Road Trip text layer, and press the S key to reveal its Scale property.
  3. Click the stopwatch icon (stopwatch.jpg) to add a Scale keyframe at the current time (3:00).

  4. Move the current-time indicator to 5:00.
  5. Reduce the layer’s Scale values to 100, 100%. After Effects adds a new Scale keyframe at the current time.

Previewing the scale animation

Now you’ll preview the change.

  1. Move the current-time indicator to 5:10, and press N to set the end of the work area. The scale animation ends shortly before 5:10.
  2. Watch a RAM preview of the animation from 0:00 to 5:10. The movie title fades in and then scales to a smaller size.

  3. Press the spacebar to stop playback after you’ve viewed the animation.

Adding Easy Ease

The beginning and end of the scale animation are rather abrupt. In nature, nothing comes to an absolute stop. Instead, objects ease into and out of starting and stopping points.

  1. Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) the Scale keyframe at 3:00, and choose Keyframe Assistant > Easy Ease Out. The keyframe becomes a left-pointing icon.
  2. Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) the Scale keyframe at 5:00, and choose Keyframe Assistant > Easy Ease In. The keyframe becomes a right-pointing icon.

  3. Watch another RAM preview. Press the spacebar to stop it when you’re done.
  4. Choose File > Save.
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