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26 - Add text to live action video

Questions & Comments

Francesca Benelli - 1 year ago

Hello, thank you very much I love your videos. I am a very old age female beginner (...!) with too a big project in my mind. I am trying to put down the pieces. A video of the universe, pictures of shiny numbers (the ones that you inflate for birthday) other pictures of things resembling numbers (ex. a penguin for the number 1) ... a rotating shiny sphere... .. Now as I can imagine to transform the number into the other shape with morphing... there is one thing that scares me having no idea. My number should approach the sphere as launched by a hand (and here I can make it follow a path) but when the number reaches the sphere it should hit the sphere leaving its shape (and disappearing inside) This is something that is driving me crazy.... Cheers

Administrator Daniel Scott - 1 year ago

Hey Francesa, sounds like a really big project! It's hard to picture it exactly. But I would start with basic version and build it up with more and more complex parts as you learn more. Also, instead of creating letters and the universe you should go to and search for 'balloon letters' & 'Universe'. You'll find static balloons too use and video universe to use. They cost but I'm not sure your budge. Then you use your After Effects skills on animating the balloons. Get some really basic together and share it with me. I can help you with the bits that aren't working.

Jimmy Mills - 1 year ago

Hello Mr. Scott,

I'm currently on your video for Adding Text To Live Action. I'm using the latest version of AE. For some reason, the 'spheres' its producing after initializing the Track Camera feature are not the same as yours. They are upside down perspective wise, so to speak.

So when I add text it doesn't look right and doesn't match the camera movements of the footage.

I understand that there's probably no magical answer you can give offhand, but if you need me to provide a screenshot or even a youtube link to a video displaying the issue I can do that no problem.



Jimmy Mills - 1 year ago

Actually here's a link to what I was describing:

Administrator Daniel Scott - 1 year ago

Weird dude, taught this class (with the that video footage for years. i've never seen it do that before. My version is still doing it fine. Can you try using this file. Then I'll know if it's your AFX settings or the footage isn't interpret correctly.

BTW: Just spent the last 15 minutes watching your YouTube videos. So good dude.

Jimmy Mills - 1 year ago

Thank You for your response. That footage worked. The problem turned out to be that I was applying the Motion Tracking effect to the footage that already had Warp Stabilization applied. Apparently, the two don't play well together. Or maybe its simply a matter of exporting the footage once the stabilization is applied, then importing that footage before applying the tracking feature.

And I appreciate you checking out my work. That's my personal channel, but my main channel has over 330k subs and 230 million views. I was making great money posting regular animations there, but Youtube just recently changed their policies and 95% of my income dried up. So I have to switch gears. I've decided to apply my energies to finding freelance animation/motion graphics work. I'm absorbing everything I can find on Youtube as well as your great course. I'm loving AE and picking it up quickly. The tough part, as always, will be finding work. If you have any recommendations of where to start I'm all ears.

If not, there's always Walmart :)

Baraka Ngaponda - 1 year ago

Thank you so much Scott. You have really changed my view on how i see after effects. Before, i saw it as a very intimidating program with a lot of moving parts that will eventually get me confused. But since i started watching the course, you have broken it down part by part in such a way i don't see after effects scary anymore and now i am even excited to open it up and engage in limitless creativity

Baraka Ngaponda - 1 year ago

Hello Mr. Scott. This tracking feature seem to have a lot of applications other than just showing text. Can you give examples of other things that can be achieved with tracking to open up my mind

Matti Lindqvist - 5 months ago

Hi Dan,

New subscriber here. I really like what I have seen so far. Every video is short, concise to the point. Just great!

You mention in this video that you have tutorials on Cinema 4D. Unfortunately I can’t seem to find any. I have fiddled around with C4D a little bit in my work rendering just stills ( , ) but I think it would really come in handy working with AE and C4D together. It would kind of elevate both programs to another level, as I understand it.

So, my question is: Any C4D tuts coming?

Thanks for your reply!

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Video Transcription

Hey, welcome to this video. What we're going to do in this one is we're going to try and put some text into live action. What I mean by that is that we're going to try and take some real live footage, the one we've used in the Dublin office, and we're going to put some fixed stuff in it. It could be type, logos, it could be anything. It will make more sense once I get the video up here. So let's import a video.

This one here is going to be called, not Dublin Office, the one we rendered from the last tutorial, it's going to be this one called 'Camera Tracking'. Great, I'm going to make a 'Comp' from it. Lovely! What I want to do is put the type on the floor to make it look like sitting within this 3D space whilst it's moving through. So, we're going to go in to this one called 'Tracker', so 'Window', 'Tracker', if you can't find it. And we're going to click on this one that says 'Track Camera'. Now it's going to take a while, like before, when we did the warp stabilization. Keep an eye up here, and track it. What I'm going to do is speed it up. Actually, I'm going to go make a coffee, and hopefully speed it up afterwards. Back in a sec.

So it's finished, and now we get these lovely colorful dots here. Now, the more dots, the merrier. You got loads of them, awesome, if you've only got a couple, it's probably not going to work. It will work in this tutorial because you're working with my file. Often it works, but if you've only got 1 or 2 points with your footage it's not going to work very well.

So, what we're going to do is, scrub along, you see, little dots move along. They kind of appear, and move. That's great. So what we want to do is, we're going to-- where do we want to pick one from? Let's pick one from, maybe, scrubbing along here because this is where I want it to sit. What you can do is, just move it along. I'm getting mine up to about '8 seconds'. And I'm going to try and find one on the floor here that matches. You might have to work your way around and try to find one that fits. You see, like that one there, that one does not match the floor. So just try to figure out one that feels like it's matching the floor. That one feels good. Can I click on him? Just clicked on him. Kind of eyesights him, you right click him and go to 'Create Text and Camera'. What you'll see is, if I zoom now, hit space bar, it's text glued to the ground. How cool is that? And is it matching? It looks pretty good.

Now, if that goes horribly wrong, and looks like it's wobbling around, the best bit now is to go to go back to here, go 'Edit'; 'Edit', 'Undo' a couple of times until that little track pads are here but the text is gone. And you'll notice that these two things will be gone. In saying that, this is what it's created. It's created a camera, and this is what helps us match this 3D space. We've got the text here, and that's the text that's on the ground. And we're going to select this text layer. So what I want to do is change the size. Mine's down at '2' points, yours will be different depending on what you're playing around with. I think mine's down at 2 because my font was at 2 when I started. Yours is probably a little higher. So unfortunately I have to work between 0 and 2. Yours mine be between this and 70, or 20.

So you're going to have to-- Mine's get a bit small pretty quickly. So I'm going to type in '1.5'. That's about the size I need. Double click the type. Type in your name. I'm going to put in Dan. Try use caps. Why would you use caps? Because if you use a letter here, if I put in 'Dan' with a 'J'-- actually, let's start with a 'J', can you see, 'Dan' sits on the baseline here, if I put 'J' in, or a lower case 'j', can you see, 'Dan' goes underneath the baseline so it's going to look like it's below the floor, and not look as good. So capital letters are better in this case unless you have a word, or a name that doesn't have descenders which drops below the line.

I've got them selected, make this a bit smaller, maybe, '1.2' Now, I need to move him across, don't try and drag him. Don't go to the black arrow and try to drag him across. And this, you've worked in 3D before. The easiest way to do it is, on the 'Dan' layer - I spelt Dan a bit wrong - let's drop that down, let's go to 'Transform'. And let's go to this one that says 'Position'. It's this first one here, watch this, if I drag, click, hold, and drag. Hey, where did it all go? Remember this from an earlier video? If you've figured it out, it's 'caps lock'. If you leave caps lock on, it all goes as a blank, with a red dot down the bottom.

So, 'Position', I'm going to drag that one across. You might even have to click, hold, and drag a couple of times to move it across. If you've spelt your name wrong, double click it to remove it. And go back to the black arrow when you've finished. Mine's too big, so I'll put mine down at '0.8', maybe. Looks good. And I'm going to drag it over a little bit further. Oops, wrong one. That's rotation, I want 'position' right across. Great! I hit 'space bar' to see if it looks like it's still on the ground. Looking pretty good. And what I want to do is stand it up so we're going to use 'X rotation'. And we're going to use this second one here. Click and drag it. And hey, look, it stands up in 3D space, cool, eh?

I want it to be up straight, so I'm going to type in '90°.' And I'm going to put my font size down again, so '0.5' Counter side, 'Position'. And when you're playing around with positions try not to play around with the second one along, which is 'Y'. Kind of makes it above the floor, and below the floor even though it doesn't really look like it goes below the floor it will mess up your look. You can play with 'Z'. That sends it further back, and that brings it further towards the camera. I'm going to leave mine as it was. Great! So that's the preview. Watch it all the way through and be amazed by your amazing type matching before thing. I'm amazed.

What you need to do now is, in terms of this program here, After Effects does 3D very badly, it's kind of 3D, some 3D space but you've noticed there’s no depth, you go close to it, and there's no thickness. There are tricks you can do it. There's something called 'Retrace', you can look into that if you want to do it. It stresses After Effects out, and doesn't look really good. If you want to get into serious 3D Cinema, 4D, there's a plug-in in After Effects. We're not going to have the scope to cover it in this tutorial series but there is definitely another full course on my website for cinema 4D for motion graphics. And you can tie it into After Effects quite well.

We're going to fake it now in After Effects by adding a bit of a shadow. So to add a shadow-- I'm going to twirl all of that to make it tidy, I'm going to click on this. Go 'Copy', 'Paste'. And when I say copy and paste, I had it selected, and then 'Control C', 'Control V'. If on a Mac, it's 'Command C', 'Command V'. Or you can go 'Edit', 'Copy', and 'Edit', 'Paste'. So, I've got to it, and this one here is called Dan too. I'm actually going to name it, so 'right click' it. 'Rename' it, and I'll call this one 'Shadow'. I'm not changing the text, it's still called 'Dan' but I'll go to 'Shadow' down here.

What I'd like to do is, I'd like to lower it back down to the ground. Watch this, if I go to 'Transform', we set it up to '90°' before, let's change that back to '0', can you see, it sits flat on the ground. Now what we're going to do-- this is cheat tricks, now there is official ways of doing drop shadows with things like 'Shadow Catcher' and 'Shadow Match', that is really hard and tricky, and depending on what you need, I guess in our case, we just want to reflect it and make it look pretty good. It doesn't have to be amazing because it's not real type. It's quite obviously fake and obviously a fake shadow is not going to be too bad.

What I'd also like to do is, with the type selected I'll change to 'Black'. Awesome, so he's in the background there, so it's getting along. It looks quite all right. This one's coming in through the window and it's come in the wrong direction. What we might do is, instead of setting it flat, we might flip it over this side. So this one's going to be '180', to be over the side. Do I like it a bit, no, that's not it. I don't know. This still doesn't work with the lights very well, but works enough for us.

Next thing I want to do is, I'm going to lower the opacity and blur it a little bit. So, under 'Transform' there's one in here called 'Opacity'. I want to just lower that down, so we can see through. And then we might add an effect, like 'Blur'. So, we're going to go into 'Effects & Presets'. There he is there. Let's pick a 'blur'. There are lots of blurs in here. We're just going to use 'Gaussian Blur'. Why? Because everybody uses Gaussian Blur. There's lots of different options. So we're going to use 'Gaussian Blur', 'Bluriness' just to lift it up a little bit. You see, if I crank it right up, you can see it's really blur. And it clearly doesn't matches, like nothing's really sharp in here, it's quite blurry. I'm happy with that up to about '20'. And, let's hit 'space'. Okay, blurry shadow. What I might do is, put it behind this. Why? I don't know, it's just, I think it looks better behind it. Here we go. It’s obviously wrong. All right, so that's how to put 3D type in. Fake, a bit of a shadow using the camera tracker in After Effects.

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