Text can be added to your compositions using text layers. It can be directly added and edited in Composition panel, then formatted using several tools available in the Tools, Character, and Paragraph panels.
Before we start to discuss how to create and edit point text, let's switch from the Standard to the Text workspace.
Note that the panels we mentioned earlier in this article are featured on the right side of the window. You will use these panels in this article to format text.
Now click anywhere in the Composition panel and start typing. We are going to type "Outer Space."
You will find the formatting tools you need for text in the Character panel.
You can format all the text in a text layer by using this panel. However, if you only want to format certain parts of characters of text in a text layer, you must select the text or characters first. If you do not select text or characters, the formatting changes will be applied to all text in the current text layer, as well as the Source Text keyframes.
Practice formatting text using Character panel. Start out by clicking on the text layer in the Timeline panel to select it.
In the picture below, we changed the font size and type. We then changed the layer's properties in the Timeline panel to move the text layer.
Creating Paragraph Text
To create paragraph text, click on the Horizontal Text tool again.
Next, go to the Composition panel. Drag your mouse in the panel to create a text box, as pictured below.
Click inside the text box, then enter your paragraph or paragraphs.
You can now use the Character panel to format the text. We are going to change the font type and size.
If you want, you can also drag on the handles of the text box to resize it. The handles are located on all four corners, as well as all four sides. Mouseover a handle until you see a two way arrow, then drag in to decrease or drag out to increase.
Use the Paragraph panel (show below) to format your paragraph. As you can see, we aligned our paragraph to the center.
If you want to move the text layer, remember to go to the Timeline panel, select the layer, then click the triangle. However, you can also use rulers, guides, and grids to place your text layer.
To do this, select the layer in the Timeline panel. Go to Layer>Transform>Fit to Comp Width. This will scale the layer so it is the same width as the composition.
Next, go to View>Show Grid. Then, go to View>Snap to Grid.
Click on the Selection tool in the Tool panel. It looks like this: .
Drag the text to position it where you want it.
To hide the grid, go to View>Show Grid.
Animating Text Using Text Animation Presets
Using an animation preset is the easiest way to add animation to text. An animation preset simply has to be applied to the text. It is easy to do.
To learn how to animate text using a text animation preset, we are going to go to the Timeline panel and select the first text layer we created. This layer says "Outer Space."
Once you have selected your text layer, click the Home button your keyboard to move the playhead in the Timeline panel back to 0:00.
Next, go to Animation>Browse Presets.
Adobe Bridge will open. You must have Adobe Bridge installed for this to work.
Double click on the Text folder, as circled below.
You will then see folders that represent different text animation presets.
We are going to choose Blurs.
Click on a blur to preview it. We chose Foggy.
If you look at the Preview panel on the right, you can see the animation.
When you find the blur you want to apply, right click on the thumbnail of the blur, then choose Place if After Effects CC from the context menu.
The blur is then applied to the layer.
Remember that you can hit the spacebar to preview the effect.
Now it is time to customize the preset so it looks exactly the way you want. To start, make sure the layer is selected, then press U on the keyboard. This will show you all the layer's animated properties.
Take a look at the Offset property. This specifies how much to offset the start and end of the selection.
Click the word Offset. This selects both of the animation's keyframes. A keyframe marks the beginning or end of an animation. We have circled the keyframes in our Timeline below.
Now go to Animation>Keyframe Assistant and choose what changes you would like to make. If you choose Time-Reverse Keyframes, for example, it will switch the order of the keyframes.
Earlier in this article, we used Fit to Comp Width to scale a text layer to the width of the composition. When we did that, the size of our text was scaled and it appeared a lot larger on our composition. We can now animate that layer's scale so the text goes back to normal size.
Here is how our text looked after using Fit to Comp Width.
With the layer selected, press S. This will reveal the Scale property.
Move the playhead in the Timeline panel to the place where you want to place the keyframe.
Now click on the stopwatch icon to the left of Scale to add the keyframe.
Next, move the playhead forward to another location where you want to add the second keyframe.
Drag the yellow values to the right of Scale to reduce them to 100%.
To preview the animation, press Home to go back to the beginning. Then, hit the spacebar.
The end of the animation will seem abrupt when you preview it. To fix this problem, you can use Easy Ease.
Right click on the first Scale keyframe, and select Keyframe Assistant>Easy Ease Out.
Next, click on the second Scale keyframe, and select Keyframe Assistant>Easy Ease In.
Using Parent Child Layers to Create Animation
Let's say we want to apply the same scale animation to another layer in our composition. We could create the scale animation for this other layer, or we can save time by creating parent and child layers.
Using our example from the last article, our "Lorem" layer is the one with the scale animation applied.
We now want to apply the same animation to the "Untitled Layer." This will give us the feeling that the camera is zooming out.
Before we get started, click the Home key to move the playhead back to 0:00.
Next, select the layer named Untitled. In the Parent column, select the layer named Lorem from the dropdown menu, as shown below.
This makes the layer named Lorem the parent layer, and the layer named Untitled the child layer. The child layer inherits all of the parent layer's keyframes, meaning both now share the scale animation.
Using Path Animation Presets
We used presets earlier in this article to create a blur animation effect. Now let's animate text along a motion path using a preset.
When you use a path animation preset in After Effects, the preset comes complete with placeholder text. This means that when you use a path animation preset, you do not have to enter or format the text until after you apply the animation.
To apply a path animation preset, first deselect all layers in the Timeline. Move the playhead to the point where you want the text to first appear.
Go to Animation>Browse Presets.
This opens Adobe Bridge.
Open the Text folder as we did earlier in this article, then open the Paths folder.
The path animation presets are pictured below.
We are going to right click on the Paper Clip preset, then select Place in After Effects CC from the context menu.
The path animation now appears in our composition.
To change the text, click on the Horizontal Type tool in the Tools panel, then click in the placeholder text in the Composition panel. Enter the text that you want to appear.
You can edit the motion path by dragging on any of the handles. These handles look like dots are squares that appear on the yellow line above.
Click in the Composition panel to hide the motion path – or the yellow line shown above.
Adding a Motion Path to a Non-Text Layer
We can also add a motion path to a non-text layer.
To do this, click on the text layer with the motion path. Ours is called Welcome.
Click M to display the Mask Path property.
Click on the Mask Path property, then go to Edit>Copy.
Now we are going to select the layer with our spaceship. This layer is called Untitled. If you are following along in After Effects as we progress through the article, select a layer for which you want to add the motion path.
Press P on your keyboard to display its properties.
Click on Position (as shown above), then go to Edit>Paste.
The Position keyframes from the source layer are then added to the destination layer.
Now let's set its orientation by going to Layer>Transform>Auto Orient.
You will then see the Auto Orient dialogue box.
Select Orient Along Path, then click OK.
Creating a Motion Blur
A motion blur is animation that blurs an object as it moves. To create a motion blur, go to the Timeline panel.
Click the Motion Blur switch for the layer that you want to blur as it moves.
Click the Enable Motion Blur button (circled below) so you can see the motion blur as it occurs in the Composition panel.
Using Text Animation Tracking Presets
When you animate tracking, you make words seem like they expand as they appear on the screen.
To do this, select the text layer for which you want to animate tracking. Move the Timeline playhead to the location where you want the animation to begin.
Next, go to Animation>Browse Presets.
This opens Adobe Bridge.
Open the Text presets folder, then open the Tracking Folder.
Choose an animation, then right click on it and select Place in After Effects CC from the context menu.
Animating Text Opacity
You can use keyframes to make text fade in or out on the screen.
To do this, select a text layer. Click T on your keyboard to view the layer's opacity properties.
Move the playhead to the point where you want to add your first keyframe. Adjust the opacity value (in yellow) for the frame, then click the stopwatch to add the first keyframe. The stopwatch appears to the left of Opacity, as shown below.
We are going to have our opacity value at 100%.
Next, move the playhead to the point where you want to place the second keyframe. Set your opacity value. We are going to set ours to 50%.
You can add other keyframes if you want so that the text fades in and out.
In this article, we have learned to apply presets to create animation by going to Animation>Browse Presets, then opening the Text folder.
Take time to explore and experiment with the different text animation presets. Learn the types of animation each preset can add to your composition so that when you begin work on your first project, you are familiar with the types of animation presets you can add.
You can use the drawing tools in After Effects to draw different shapes. Whenever you use a drawing tool to create a shape, a new layer is created. This layer is called a shape layer. Once you create a shape layer, you can specify the fill and stroke color, the transparency, and the gradient. You can also animate the shapes.
In this section, we will discuss how to:
Use Pucker & Bloat to distort shapes
Create wiggly shapes to create things such as waveforms
Drawing a Basic Shape
There are five shape tools available in After Effects. These tools are the Rectangle, Rounded Rectangle, Star, Ellipse, and Polygon. Once you draw a shape, you can format the shape by adding stroke and fill colors, as well as linear and radial gradients. In addition, you can also apply animation presets to shapes much in the same way we did with text in the last section.
To draw a rectangle shape, click on the Rectangle tool in the Tools panel. It is circled below.
Next, click in your composition in the Composition panel.
Drag to draw a rectangle.
Our rectangle is red and pictured below.
If you look at the Timeline panel, you will see a shape layer has been added.
NOTE: Make sure all layers are deselected before you use the Rectangle tool. Otherwise, After Effects will draw a mask for the selected layer instead of a shape in a new shape layer.
To apply a gradient fill to your rectangle, go to the Tools panel again. Click the word FILL.
You will then see the Fill Options dialogue box.
Select a gradient option, then click OK. You can also choose a solid color if you want.
We chose a radial gradient.
Next, click the colored box beside the word FILL in the Tools panel.
If you chose radial gradient, you will then see the Gradient Editor.
Depending on the gradient you chose, you might also see the Shape Fill Color dialogue box.
Since the Shape Fill Color dialogue box is self-explanatory and just like the Color Picker in other Adobe programs, let's talk about the Gradient Editor dialogue box.
First, set your color stops.
Start with the white color stop on the left. You can drag on it to move it.
Then, pick a color in the Color Picker box.
Now do the same thing for the black color stop on the right.
Click OK when you are finished.
Now you can set the opacity of the new shape layer, as well as adjust its other properties.
Drawing a Custom Shape
You can modify the path of any shape to change the shape. For example, let's use the Polygon tool. It is located with the Rectangle tool. Just click and hold your mouse button over the triangle in the bottom corner of the Rectangle tool.
Next, drag a polygon shape onto your composition.
Please note that the Polygon tool uses the settings from the last shape drawn.
Next, go to the Timeline panel. Click the triangle next to Shape Layer 1, then do the same for Contents under Shape Layer 1, Polystar 1 under Contents, then Polystar Path 1, as highlighted below.
Change the values for Points, Rotation, and Radius.
Then change the value for Outer Roundness.
Watch how your shape changes in the Composition panel.
Now you can add a fill color, as well as a stroke color.
To add a stroke color, click the word STROKE in the Tools panel.
In the Stroke Options dialogue box, choose if you want your stroke to be a solid color or gradient.
Go back to the Tools panel. Specify the width for your stroke in pixels.
We are going to set ours to 5px.
Next, click the box next to STROKE in the Tools panel to select the stroke color.
Click OK when you are finished.
Just as with other layers, you can now transform the shape by altering its properties.
Pucker and Bloat Shapes
You can use After Effect's Pucker & Bloat to change the appearance of shapes by puckering and bloating them.
In the snapshot below, we have drawn a star shape on our composition.
The shape layer is Shape Layer 1, as shown in the Timeline.
Under Shape Layer 1, we are going to click the button beside Add. We have circled it below.
Choose Pucker & Bloat from the menu.
Click the triangle beside Pucker & Bloat to expand it.
To pucker, reduce the value. To bloat the shape, increase the value.
To duplicate a shape, select Shape Layer 1 in the Timeline.
Click Add to see the menu, then choose Repeater.
Expand Repeater 1 in the Timeline by clicking the triangle next do it.
Enter the number of copies (or the number of duplicate shapes) you want to add. We have highlighted it for you in the picture below.
To separate these shapes so that you can see them all, expand Transform below Repeater 1 in the Timeline, as highlighted below.
Go to Position. To move the shapes closer to together, use a small number for the first value that appears. This is the X axis. To move them further apart, use a larger number.
Next, you can click the triangle beside Transform under Shape Layer 1 to move the layer's position to display all shapes.
By clicking Add again, then Repeater, we have added another row of shapes to create a background.
Now let's learn to animate those shapes so they rotate in the background. When you apply the rotation for the original shape, the rotation will also apply to the duplicates.
Go to the Timeline panel.
Go to Shape Layer 1>Contents>Polystar 1>Transform: Polystar 1. We have highlighted it below.
Press the Home key so that your playhead is moved to 0:00.
Next, click on the stopwatch to the left of Rotation.
This adds a keyframe.
Now press the End key on your keyboard. This will move the playhead to the end of the Timeline.
Change the value for Rotation. We are going to change ours to 5x, which means the shape will rotate five times in 10 seconds.
Click P to hide the properties for the layer.
You can now drag the playhead across the timeline to view the rotation.
If you want your shapes to blend in more with the background, you can change the opacity for Shape Layer 1.
The shapes will still rotate, but fade into the background a bit more.
Applying a Cartoon Effect
After Effects gives you the ability to take images or video and add a cartoon effect to them.
In the snapshot below, you can see our composition with an image of a girl. The name of the layer that contains that image is New.
Select the layer for which you want to apply a cartoon effect. Remember that it can be an image or video.
Go to Effect>Stylize>Cartoon.
The snapshot below shows you what happens when you add the cartoon effect.
Now we can customize the effect to make it look better. To do this, go to the Effects Control panel. Make sure you are in the Standard workspace so you can see it.
Go to Render, then choose Fill from the menu.
Adjust the Detail Radius and Detail Threshold values. These values determine how much detail is removed and how it is smoothed.
Next, go to the Fill area. Adjust the values for Shading Steps and Shading Smoothness to achieve the fill look you want. These values will determine how the color is reduced, as well as how the gradients are displayed.
We highlighted these areas in the Effects Control panel below.
Now go back to the Render menu and choose Edges.
Go to the Edge area in the panel and adjust the Threshold and Width to reduce the black lines that you see. You can also adjust the opacity.
Go back to the Render menu yet again and choose Fills and Edges. Go to Advanced and click the triangle to expand it. You can adjust the values to sharpen or soften the edges.
Take a look at the cartoon effect we have created below.
Wiggly shapes are fun to create. They are shapes that you draw, then turn into something that has curves or jagged peaks that wiggle in your composition. Think of an audio waveform because you can easily turn a rectangle into an audio waveform by using Wiggly Paths.
To start, draw a rectangle on your composition, then select the rectangle's shape layer in the Timeline.
Click the downward arrow to expand the layer's properties, then click the Add button.
Choose Wiggly Paths from the menu.
Next, click the triangle next to Wiggle Paths 1. Adjust the values for Size and Detail to achieve the look you want.
Select Smooth from the Points dropdown menu to smoothen out the path, then determine how many "wiggles" you want per second, as highlighted below.
Your rectangle shape starts to look like this:
By experimenting with Size and Detail, we easily managed to create an audio waveform:
Shape Layers in After Effects
Introduction to Shape Layers in After Effects
Adobe After Effect is a software of versatility used for Video Editing, Image Editing, Masking, Animating any object, etc. Adobe After Effect has many different types of command and tools for making it’s working easy. The shape layer is one of them. Generally, in Adobe After Effects, we work in layers like other adobe software, so when we draw any basic shape, it becomes a layer. We use these shapes layer in different manners. Here you will see some of them for making your project effective and attractive.
Adding Shape Layers in Adobe After Effects
The shape layer is a very basic and important term of adobe software, and it makes our working easy. Let’s start our tutorial for the shape layer in an interesting way.
Step 1: This is the user interface of Adobe After effect software, and works in this software are quite simple as other adobe software.
We have different types of sections here in this working space. We have some tools in the tool panel at the top of the work area, Project Window for opening composition at the left corner of the work area, Layer section with Timeline section at the bottom of the work area and Composition window at the middle of the work area.
Step 2: First of all, we will make a New Composition. For creating New Composition, click on the New Composition tab, which is present in the Composition window area.
Or click on the tab of Create a new Composition which is present on the project window of this software.
Step 3: The composition Setting dialog box will open; choose your desired setting for your composition. I will choose the default setting for my composition; click on OK of this dialog box to apply the setting for your composition.
Step 4: These are the basic shape of adobe after effect, and when we work with them without any background image, they form a shape layer, but if we work with them on any background image, the shape will work as a mask for that image.
Step 5: Now, I will teach you about the shape layer with the rectangle shape tool; you can make any shape for your learning from here; click on the rectangle tool to activate the rectangle command from these shape tools and draw a rectangle to draw a rectangle. Place your cursor on the work area and drag it at your desired size.
You can change the color of this shape layer from the Fill option, which is present on the tool panel at the top of the work area.
Step 6: Click on the color box, a dialog box of the color panel will open. Choose your desired color and press Ok from the OK tab of this box.
Click on the Fill option to off the fill form the shape.
Step 7: Fill dialog box will open; choose none from here.
Step 8: You can also apply Gradient from this dialog box; click on the linear-gradient option for your shape and press on the OK tab.
You can also apply the radial gradient to your shape. For that, click on the Radial Gradient option and press on the OK tab.
Step 9: You can choose the Stroke color from here.
Step 10: Click on this icon, a dialog box of the color panel will open; choose your desired stroke color from here and press on the OK tab to apply this color to the stroke of your shape.
Step 11: Here in the layer section, we have two properties of the shape layer: Contents and Transform.
Step 12: Click on the arrow icon of the Contents option and again click on the arrow icon of the Rectangle 1 option, basic properties of the rectangle will open; you can set Fill and Stroke from here also.
For changing the actual size of this shape, click on the arrow icon of Rectangle Path 1. Here we have the size option to change the size of shape by changing the data of the size option.
Step 13: If you want to change the height and width of the shape separately, click on this chain-link icon; now, you can change both parameters separately.
Step 14: You can On or Off Fill and Stroke of shape from here.
Also, click on the Stroke option and press the delete button from the keyboard for no stroke in your shape.
Step 15: If you again want to add a stroke or Fill to your shape, click on Add button here and choose Stroke to apply a stroke or Fill to fill your shape.
Step 16: Now, you can make any change in the Fill or stroke option.
Step 17: You can also take shape layer with this method, right-click on layer section, go to New in a drop-down list and again a drop-down list will open, click on the Shape layer option.
Here you can see by taking the shape layer by this method; we have nothing in the Content option of this shape layer because there is no arrow icon.
Step 18: For adding shape to this content, click on the Add button icon and take your desired shape from here.
I will take the Ellipse command from here as my shape layer.
Step 19: You can see the other property of shape is not shown here; you can add each and every property according to your requirement. I want to add fill in my shape, so I will click on Add button icon and choose Fill from here.
Like, Fill you can choose the number of properties from here for your shape. You can also animate the properties of a shape layer for making your project more attractive by simple animation methods.
Now you are very familiar with shape layers in adobe after effect after this tutorial. It becomes quite simple for you to use these shape layers in your project to make your project captivated for the viewers. Having knowledge about shape layers enhances your quality of work and gives it a realistic view.
This is a guide to Shape Layers in After Effects. Here we discuss the introduction along with steps for adding shape layers in adobe after effect software. You may also look at the following articles to learn more –
- Introduction to Top 6 After Effects Tools
- Where is the Track Matte located?
- Rain in After Effects | Methods
- Guide to After Effects Transitions
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Specifying Basic Composition Settings
In the Composition Settings dialog, you can select the settings that match video formats from a pop-up menu of presets. For a brief explanation of some common presets, see Table 4.1. Choosing a preset automatically enters the selected format’s intrinsic attributes, including frame size, PAR, and frame rate. You just have to enter the composition name, viewing resolution, start timecode, and duration.
Table 4.1. Common Composition Presets
720 × 480
DV standard for North America
720 × 486
Broadcast standard for North America
1920 × 1080
High-definition standard using 16:9 image aspect ratio
2048 × 1536
3656 × 2664
Film transferred using the Cineon file format
However, you don’t always set a composition’s settings to match an export format. To create an intermediate composition, for example, you might specify custom values for the following settings:
- Width and Height—Enter values to set the comp’s frame size (the viewing area of the Composition panel) in pixels. You may position layers outside the viewing area, but only layers within this frame are rendered for previews and export.
- Lock Aspect Ratio to—Select this option to maintain the ratio of the Width and Height so that entering one value calculates the other value automatically.
- Pixel Aspect Ratio—In the pop-up, choose the format you want the comp’s pixel aspect ratio (or PAR) to match. An image’s pixel aspect ratio is the ratio of each of its pixel’s width to height and appears next to the format’s name in parentheses. Square pixels have a PAR of 1:1, or simply 1. Other formats use nonsquare pixels, with various PARs. The DVCPro HD 720 format, for example, has a PAR of 1.33.
- Frame Rate—Enter the number of frames per second (fps) displayed by the comp during playback. Usually, the frame rate you choose matches the frame rate of your output format.
- Resolution—In the pop-up menu, choose the fraction of the comp’s total number of pixels to be rendered in the Composition panel’s viewer. The Full setting renders all the comp’s pixels, ½ renders every other pixel, and so on. Smaller fractions reduce image quality and the time it takes to render the image. While you work, you can change a comp’s resolution easily by using the Comp panel’s Resolution pop-up menu. (Footage and Layer panels also include a Resolution pop-up menu.)
- Start Timecode—Enter the number from which the time of the comp is counted. By default, a comp’s time starts at 0, but you can set it to start at any number.
- Duration—Enter the length of the composition. You can change a comp’s duration at any time, lengthening it to accommodate more layers or cutting it to the total duration of its layers.
To select a composition preset:
In the Composition Settings dialog, choose an option from the Preset menu (Figure 4.5).
Figure 4.5 Choose an option from the Preset pop-up menu.
Choose the preset that matches your needs. Presets include common settings for film, video broadcast, and multimedia projects.
Click OK to close the Composition Settings dialog.
The composition appears in the Project panel.
To change a comp’s settings:
- Select a composition by clicking its icon in the Project panel or selecting its tab in the Timeline panel or its name in the Comp panel’s viewer pop-up menu.
Do either of the following:
Choose Composition > Composition Settings (Figure 4.6).
Figure 4.6 To change a comp’s settings, select the comp and choose Composition > Composition Settings (or use the keyboard shortcut, Command-K [Ctrl-K]).
- Press Command-K (Ctrl-K).
The Composition Settings dialog appears.
- In the Composition Settings dialog, enter new values in the Basic and Advanced tabs and then click OK to close the dialog.
After Effects Composition Settings
Each composition has its own settings for resolution, duration, etc. These are independent of the main project and other compositions. You define these settings when you create a new composition, and you can also change them at any time by selecting Composition > Composition Settings from the main menu (shortcut Crtl/Cmd+K).
For most compositions one of the presets will be suitable but you can customize settings as you like.
Note: See composition duration for a couple of tips on setting the duration.
The Advanced tab includes a few advanced options as pictured below. In most cases you can ignore these.
It is usually best to make the composition settings the same as the footage, e.g. Don't change the frame rate unless you really need to. Fortunately, After Effects provides an easy way to create new compositions from footage using the correct settings. Simply drag the footage from the project panel to the Create New Composition icon as pictured below. Bingo — a new composition with exactly the same settings as the footage.
Note: If you click the Create New Composition icon instead of dragging a file onto it, a new empty composition is created.
Composition ae rectangle
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Like, there is nothing special to do here, just know and go around the wards at the specified time - the patients are still asleep. A beautiful, slender, young girl, dressed. Or rather undressed in a short red skirt, barely covering her tight ass, and a tight black corset, frightenedly entered the room.
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