Narrative Motion Graphics Lesson D: Adobe After Effects
Narrative Motion Graphics Lesson D: Adobe After Effects Kinetic Text and Animated Lines Review: Basic AE Text Animation 1 [Cmd/Ctrl]+[t] or hit the Text tool button for text. Hold it down to choose horizontal or vertical text. Click I the viewport to start text or click-drag to create range box for text. There are 4 main ways to animate text (other than adding Effects): 1. Keyframe basic Character properties choices by keyframing the Source Text option in the Timeline layer. This offers no tweening (just on and off) but can be effective in limited cases. 2. Animate along a Path: Select an existing text layer, use the pen tool to draw a wavy line mask across the viewport. Under Path Options > Path click [none] and choose the Mask. Animate movement with First or Last Margin, and try other settings, like Anchor Point Grouping under More Options. We can also animate the path under Mask options! 3. Of course, there are always the basic Layer Transforms to animate the entire text block, and using Parenting to create interactions.
Review: Basic AE Text Animation 2 4. Text Layer Animate options: Click the little Animate button (to the right of the Text layer name) to choose an options for Animating Parts of Text. The basic process for animating these functions are: a) Hit [Animate > ] to Apply a function (try starting with Scale). b) Set the value of that function (scale much bigger) c) Keyframe Range Selector > Start and End percentages to decide when and where that function applies, or Range Selector > Offset (with start=0 and end=100) to simply move the effect through the timeline. d) Once the start and end are animated, we can hit [Add >] for additional functions that will affect that animated range (Try adding Rotation, Opacity, Position, Blur).
Review: Basic AE Text Animation 3 Type-On effect: 1. Create a Text sentence, click the [Animate >] button to choose Opacity. 2. Set the Animate Opacity value = 0. Scrub Range Selector > Offset to see the letters type on. 3. Under Advanced, set Units = Index and Smoothness = 0, which makes the Offset reveal roughly one character per scrub unit. So, a 29 character sentence like I once new a cat from the city will be fully revealed when offset =30. 4. Set keyframes for index 0 and 30 (or the length of the characters in your sentence), and move them to when you want the typing to start and end. EDITING NOTE: Stay on this sentence for at least a second AFTER the final letter is revealed before cutting to the next shot, if you want the audience to be able to read it. For a Kinetic Text assignment like the one this week, where words will appear when spoken, the typing should usually be a bit
faster than the speech, so the words can linger after appearing in time to be read. Kinetic Typography 1 Kinetic text combines animate functions with design to move us quickly through many words and ideas. We can illustrate the idea behind the word by how we make it move: Timing and motion quality. 1. Start with an Appealing Design: Each word gets its own layer (long words can get multiple layers). Hit [Cmd/Ctrl]+[r] to make rulers visible, and enable snapping. Vary word sizes: priority can be due to text meaning importance, or length or of time they are spoken, or just what looks good. 2. Animate Words Appearing: Set the start of each layer to match the timing in the audio file. Use Waveform to see peaks, hit
numpad [.] to hear. Remember: select a layer, [Alt]+ [ to cut to that frame. Kinetic Typography 2 3. Kinetic Typography gets more exciting when we make New Text Shove Old Text Away: The next word pushes the previous word up, down, left, right, or rotated, the old text often getting smaller as it gets shoved of the way. Here is a basic move: a) Create a Null, parent (whip) all layers to it. b) With only the 1st word visible (frame 1), Move/Scale Null to center the 1st word. c) 3-5 frames before the 2nd word appears, keyframe the Null on all transforms (initial keyframe for the transform). End the move at the frame the 2nd word appears (keyframe Position). If there is not enough room for both words, do a Scale as well. d) Repeat for all following words. Consider a
rotation to reveal a word, as well. Notes source: https://vimeo.com/26079113 Kinetic Typography 3 DISCUSS: How would you accomplish these moves? Have text get typed onto screen, then untyped much more quickly, then replaced with new text. Have an entire word/row of text flip down from above or flip up from below, as if on a 3d card. Juggle letters of a word (bounce, circle, appear to move individually). Have a word grow from a corner Try the many effects available when you type Text into the search window of the Effects and Presets panel. For example, there is a typewriter preset which is a few steps easier than the animate opacity technique. Consider these tutorials for more advanced effects: https://bit.ly/1pZ6AI9 Draw text and lines with a line mask, 3D Kinetic Text, Add Textures to Text, Jittery
type, Reflections, Shadows, and Staggered Animation. EXERCISE: Kinetic Typography to Speech Choose an audio clip from the course website. Choose a 10-word section. Create an After Effects Comp with just those ten words: 1. Import audio clip, dag into film-icon at Project bottom to make Comp. In the Timeline, select the audio layer, open the Waveform, use numpad [.] to listen: find start of the 10 words, hit [Alt]+ [(Layer must be selected to crop). Find the end and hit [Alt]+ ]. 2. Move Scrubber to start of Timeline and with layer selected hit just [ to snap it there. Move Scrubber to end of cropped clip, note time, in Composition Settings set that length. Create Kinetic Typography: 3. Type each word as its own layer, transform each to make an appealing design with a hierarchy of words. Open audio waveform and crop each Text layer to start when audio plays the word. 4. Create a Null layer and parent-whip all text layers to it. At frame 1, Move and Scale so first word is prominently centered. 5. 3-5 frames before next word appears, keyframe Null transforms. When
next frame appears, move/scale/rotate Null to center it. Repeat for all. 6. Apply additional animation to some words as desired with Transforms, Animate options, Masks or Effects. 7. Turn on Blur to enhance motion. Use Value Graph to enhance pop. After Effects Line Animation (Trim Paths) How to animate lines in AE: 1. Draw a Line: Activate the Pen tool (top toolbar), click the word Fill and choose the top left none option (white rectangle with red slash). Clickdrag-release around the screen to draw a path, then hit the Move arrow, click the path start, and adjust the Bezier handles for a smoother path. Set Stroke (3-4) and Color as desired. 2. Make the Line Dotted: In Timeline select shape layer, open for Contents > Shape > Stoke > Dashes. Click the [+] button twice to get both Dash and Gap options, and play with values. Set Line Cap above for straight or rounded dashes 3. Animate Dashes: above at Contents, click the
Animate button, and choose Trim Paths. Animate the End percentage to make the Dashes grow along the line, and Start to limit overall length. 4. We can also animate the Path line itself to enhance the motion (Move tool, select the start of the line, then animate the Path > Path). Add Texture To Text: Luma Mask 1. Import a texture file: Take a photo of a dirty surface, like a peeling/ scratched/ stained wall. 2. Create a Comp: drag the Texture file into the film icon, set Comp Settings to 5-10 seconds. Add a solid below the texture, and set the Texture blending mode to Multiply. Select both of these layers, and Precompose to make a nested Comp. 3. Type your Text: make it white (255x255x255) and position over the Texture layer
4. Set the Texture layer Track Matte Mode: choose Luma to take the layer above it, interpret white as visible and crop out the rest. Note that the Text layer gets hidden. 5. Parent whip the Text layer to the Texture layer. Animate the transforms of the Texture layer, and the Animate functions of the Text layer. We could alternatively create a Null object to parent both layer to, and then animate transforms on the Null. NOTE: Try duplicating and animating the texture layer inside the nested Comp! Add a world inside Text: 3D and Particles By the way, instead of the nested Comp being a flat 2D space, we could Luma mask a precomp of an entire 3D scene with floating particles to create a window into another word: 1. Create a Comp. Turn on the Enable-3D box. 2. Create Background (and leave 2D): Add a couple of
Dark color Solids, add a round mask to the top one with lots of feather. OR: a single Solid, Effect > Generate > Ramp, set to radial and set colors. 3. Create a Solid, hit [Return] to name it Particles. Apply Effect > Simulation > CC Particle World. Try these settings: Scrubbers > Grid = Off. Longevity = 3 seconds Producer > Radius X/Y/Z = 1.5 Physics > Velocity and Gravity = 0 Particle > Particle Type = Faded Sphere and set Birth and Death Colors. 4. Layer > New > Camera. Frame 1 Keyframe Position. At end hit [c] to animate moving through particles: [Alt]+ m-mouse to pan, [Alt]+r-mouse to zoom, [Alt] + l-mouse to orbit. 5. Drag this entire 3D Comp for the Project into the text file, under the Text layer. Set to Luma Mask. 3D Text Volumes using Shatter Effect
Here is a way to add depth to text (2D space, but 3D camera still moves around the text) 1. Create a Solid and a Text layer. Use the Align panel to center the Text and put the Text layer way down at the bottom of the stack, hidden below the background. Add a Layer > New > Camera and Light (choose point or spot) 2. Select the Solid layer and apply the Effects > Simulation > Shatter. Try these settings: View = Rendered. Shape > Pattern = Custom, Custom Shatter Map = you text layer, Extrusion Depth=2. Force 1 > Strength =0. Physics > Gravity = 0 Camera System = Comp Camera Lighting > Light Type = First Comp Light 3. Keyframe Camera [c] and light position! NOTE: Color is the changed by Layer > Solid Settings
Remember These Useful Motion Tips POP: Scale, move, rotate with overshoot to create emphasis: go a bit further than intended at the nearly-end of your motion, and then a few frames later return to final scale/position, orientation. Also note: MOTION BLUR: Create a simple motion, like a quick pan across the screen. Enable motion blur for the entire project by clicking the ghosted circles icon in the Timeline toolbar, and then turn it on for the individual layer. EASY-EASY: Select around keyframes, RightClick one to choose Keyframe Assistant > Easy Ease or hit [F9] to add ease-in/out to your motion (slower at start and end). THE WIGGLER: Adds random noise to an animation, and can be applied to any selected sequence of keyframes, like scale, position, rotation, or opacity. Open Wiggler in Window menu, choose smooth or jagged, and hit apply. SURFACE ENHANCEMENTS: Source your colors with Color Lovers or other sites that offer hexcodes, so you can create more diverse palettes. Also, add textures (at low opacity or with interesting blending modes in a precomp of the solid) from photos you take of distressed surfaces like peeling walls, rusty metal, veiny stone, etc. Lets Talk About Editing 1/5 This is by no means a comprehensive list. This is a
few key notes to begin thinking about editing choices. Please watch the Every Frame a Painting series for insights into the extraordinarily deep topic that is film editing. Enter Late, Exit Early: Cut the extra from your shots: start a shot as late as you can and end it as soon as you can. Get to the next shot! Or this week, try to time shots and motions to be sure we can read the content, but not so long that we are bored and ready for the next thing. Get feedback on drafts! Theme and Variation: We can repeat elements, but repetitions need to get progressively varied. The second instance could be a new location, the third could be a new location AND change size, the next with different colors and motion, etc. Typically, be aware of the rule of threes: we are bored the third time we see something. Lets Talk About Editing 2/5
Transitions: Go either big and obvious or subtle and invisible: Obvious: Full Cuts or Wipes: big background and content changes Invisible: Misdirection (look over here while we change over there) and Cloning (see this hand? Here is another hand in the same position, as we pull out to see a different person) Composition: Rule of Thirds (divide the screen into 3 columns with two lines) and Sidedness (place your characters/objects on one of those lines and keep them there with each shot, to support audience comprehension). Shot Connections: Composition and motion should lead our eyes towards a direction, next shot starts where previous shots ends/directs. Lets Talk About Editing 3/5
Pacing: The length of multiple shots cut together. Like the paragraphs in a novel and the sentences in a paragraph, they need to vary in length to maintain audience engagement. Check Your Work: Good editing needs a meticulous stage of checking all transitions to fix any errors, like animation that stops before the camera cuts away, orphan cuts or misaligned crossfades. It is good to check your work as you go, but we should always watch a full rendered version to check for big and small errors before sharing it. Lets Talk About Editing 4/5 Fast Cuts: pacing multiple quick cuts to convey a lot of info. Requires strong composition choices to not lose/numbify the audience. Action Match Cut: Two shots from different angles cutting just before or after an impact
Insert Shot: A shot that cuts away from the main action, to show a subject in a another place. Shot-Reverse-Shot: a sequence showing a relationship between subjects, maintaining sidedness. Uses left-right cuts, over the shoulder, and angled shots. Used in conversations. The progress of the conversation, and our engagement with it, can be managed with progressively closer framing. Establishing shot: a wide or extreme-wide shot to show us where the film is taking place, in order to orient the audience in time and space. Eyeline Match: Show a characters eyes and then show what they see. Connects us and our sympathies to their POV. Parallel or Meanwhile editing: two sequences happening at the same time, cutting between them. Lets Talk About Editing 5/5 A unifying perspective from the College Film Media Studies Ref Guide: Editing describes the relationship between shots and the process by which they are combined. It is essential to the creation of narrative space and to the
establishment of narrative time. The relationship between shots may be graphic, rhythmic, spatial and/or temporal. Graphic Match: edit together two disconnected scenes by creating related composition of the scene elements, like the drain in Psycho cutting to the womans eye, or the falling bone in 2001 A Space Odyssey cutting to the orbiting space station. Rhythmic: Music drives the beat of shots, where tempo controls shot length and action. Spatial: Shots concerned with place, and orienting subjects within that space. Example include Establishing shots, Shot-Reverse-Shot. Eyeline Match, and Cutin / Cut Away. Temporal: Edits that promote continuity. Examples include Action Match shots and Parallel editing. https://collegefilmandmediastudies.com/editing/ HOMEWORK 4 Due on Piazza hw4 an hour before class next week: Project 1B: TEXTACY #2: Create a text-animated film, timed to audio. Animate your 5 Text Design screens from last week in After
Effects, timed to your 30 seconds audio clip (song, story, speech). Use the techniques from class, and consider a variety of ways to make your text move, and how the motion can help emphasize the audio in that moment. Consider animating backgrounds as well. Render as an MOV and post to Youtube or Vimeo. Paste the link into your Piazza post (and hit [Return] to make the link active), hit [Return again], and click the [Add File] button to add a compressed .ZIP file of your .AE project older, including the audio file.
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