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Animating Text in Adobe After Effects 7.0

Chapter Description

After Effects offers many ways to animate text. You can animate text layers by manually creating keyframes in the Timeline panel, by using animation presets, or by using expressions. You can even animate individual characters or words in a text layer. This lesson takes you through several different animation techniques, including some that are unique to text, while you design the opening title credits for an animated documentary called The Pond.

Animating using parenting

The next task is to make it to appear as if the virtual camera is zooming away from the composition. The text scale animation you just applied gets you halfway there; you have to animate the lily pad’s scale, as well. You could manually animate the Lilypad layer, but an easier way would be to take advantage of parenting relationships in After Effects so that you don’t have to animate the lily pad independently.

  1. Press the Home key to go to the beginning of the time ruler.
  2. In the Timeline panel, choose 1. The Pond from the Parent pop-up menu for the Lilypad layer. This sets the The Pond text layer as the parent of the Lilypad layer, which in turn becomes the child layer.

    As the child layer, the Lilypad layer inherits the Scale keyframes of the The Pond (parent) layer. Not only is this a quick way to animate the lily pad, but it also ensures that the lily pad scales at the same rate and by the same amount as the text layer.

    Now, preview again.

  3. Press 0 on the numeric keypad to watch a RAM preview of the animation. Between 3:00 and 5:00, both the text and the lily pad scale down in size, making it seem like the camera is zooming away from the scene.
  4. Press the spacebar to stop playback when you’re ready.
  5. Press the Home key to return to 0:00, and extend the work area end bar to the end of the time ruler.
  6. Choose File > Save.
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