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Adobe After Effects CS5 : Animating Text - Animating text opacity, Using a text animator group

5/11/2013 2:37:14 AM
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1. Animating text opacity

You’ll take the animation of the director’s name a little further by having it fade onscreen as the letters expand. To do this, you’ll animate the layer’s Opacity property.

1.
Select the Your Name Here layer in the Credits timeline.

2.
Press T to reveal only the layer’s Opacity property.

3.
Go to 7:10, and set the Opacity to 0%. Then click the stopwatch icon () to set an Opacity keyframe.

4.
Go to 7:20, and set the Opacity to 100%. After Effects adds a second keyframe. Now, the letters of the director’s name should fade in as they expand onscreen.

5.
Drag the current-time indicator across the time ruler between 7:10 and 8:10 to see the letters of the director’s name fade in as they spread out.

6.
Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) the ending Opacity keyframe, and choose Keyframe Assistant > Easy Ease In.

7.
Choose File > Save.

2. Using a text animator group

Text animator groups let you animate individual letters within a block of text in a layer. You’ll use a text animator group to animate only the characters in your middle name without affecting the tracking and opacity animation of the other names in the layer.

1.
In the Timeline panel, go to 8:10.

2.
Hide the Opacity property for the Your Name Here layer. Then expand the layer to see its Text property group name.



About text animator groups

A text animator group includes one or more selectors and one or more animator properties. A selector is like a mask—it specifies which characters or section of a text layer you want an animator property to affect. Using a selector, you can define a percentage of the text, specific characters in the text, or a specific range of text.

Using a combination of animator properties and selectors, you can create complex text animations that would otherwise require painstaking keyframing. Most text animations require you to animate only the selector values—not the property values. Consequently, text animators use a small number of keyframes even for complex animations.

For more about text animator groups, see After Effects Help.


3.
Next to the Text property name, click the Animate pop-up menu, and choose Skew. A property group named Animator 2 appears in the layer’s Text properties.

4.
Select Animator 2, press Enter or Return, and rename it Skew Animator. Then press Enter or Return again to accept the new name.

Now you’re ready to define the range of letters that you want to skew.

5.
Expand the Skew Animator’s Range Selector 1 properties. Each animator group includes a default range selector. Range selectors constrain the animation to particular letters in the text layer. You can add additional selectors to an animator group, or apply multiple animator properties to the same range selector.

6.
While watching the Composition panel, drag the Skew Animator’s Range Selector 1 Start value up (to the right) until the left selector indicator () is just before the first letter of your middle name (the B in Bender, in this example).

7.
Drag the Skew Animator’s Range Selector 1 End value down (to the left) until its indicator () is just after the last letter of your middle name (the r in Bender, in this example) in the Composition panel.

Now, any properties that you animate with the Skew Animator will affect only the middle name that you selected.

Skewing the range of text

Now, make that middle name shake and shimmy by setting Skew keyframes.

1.
Drag the Skew Animator’s Skew value left and right, and notice that only the middle name sways. The other names in the line of text remain steady.

2.
Set the Skew Animator’s Skew value to 0.

3.
Go to 8:05, and click the stopwatch icon () for Skew to add a keyframe to the property.

4.
Go to 8:08, and set the Skew value to 50. After Effects adds a keyframe.

5.
Go to 8:15, and change the Skew value to -50. After Effects adds another keyframe.
6.
Go to 8:20, and change the Skew value to 0 to set the final keyframe.

7.
Click the Skew property name to select all of the Skew keyframes. Then choose Animation > Keyframe Assistant > Easy Ease. This adds an Easy Ease to all keyframes.

8.
Drag the current-time indicator across the time ruler from 7:10 to 8:20 to see how the director’s name fades in and expands onscreen, and the middle name rocks side to side while the other names are unaffected.

9.
Hide the properties for the Your Name Here layer in the Timeline panel.

10.
Select the Road_Trip_Title_Sequence tab to open its timeline.

11.
Press End, or move the current-time indicator to 9:29. Then press N to set the end bracket for the work area at the end of the composition.

Tip

To quickly remove all text animators from a text layer, select the layer in the Timeline panel and choose Animation > Remove All Text Animators. To remove only one animator, select its name in the Timeline panel and press Delete.

12.
Press Home or go to 0:00, and then play a RAM preview of the entire composition.

13.
Press the spacebar to stop playback, and then choose File > Save to save your work.

 
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