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45 - Swinging text in After Effects


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Hi there, in this video we're going to look at Swinging Text. It's kind of just a cool Motion Graphic thing. Can you see this thing, text slowing down? I did it for a few of my tutorials a while ago. So we're going to do that.

First thing we need to do is create a 'New Composition'. I'm going to have a 'white' background. I know it doesn't export well, but just going to make it white anyway. I'm going to make sure mine's 5 seconds long, and click 'OK'. Great, so we got a 'Comp'. I'm going to make this a little smaller. Click and drag, here we go. I'm going to grab my 'Type' tool. I'm going to click once, and type in 'Daniel'. It's better in this one to use upper case, lower case ends up with bits dangling out, doesn't really look great.

So I'm going to use this-- there's couple of things I need to. I don't want you to do that, put a return in, and start working on this. I'm going to use the top name, not allowing-- I'll use three. I'm going to use my first, middle, and last names. I want them to all be on their own three layers. So there's the first one. I'm going to maybe make that one a big weighty, '900', and then I'm going to click this, copy, and paste; 'Control C', 'Control V'. And I drag it down. I'm going to double click it, put in middle name, make sure it's in upper case. Upper case on. Select the text. Open this one as a real white one. Put it at the right size. Then I'm going to duplicate it again, click 'Walter', copy, paste. I drag it down, holding 'Shift' while I drag gets it into a straight line. And then I'm going to select this, and make this '500'. Then I'm going to grab the 'Font' size, just to make it kind of match up for no good reason. Bring it down a little bit.

The next thing we need to do is change the point of origin, or the anchor point. At the moment it's down here at the bottom, it just means, if I grab 'Scott', and I twirl it down, and I grab 'Transform', and grab 'Rotation', it rotates round there, I want it to swing from the top down. So we're going to have to play around with that. I'm going to twirl that all back up, and also, just to make more sense, I'll put 'Daniel' at the top, and 'Walter' in the middle, and 'Scott' at the bottom, just so it matches there, and there, so I don't get confused.

I'm going to click on 'Daniel' layer. I'm going to grab my 'Anchor Point' tool, or the 'Pan Behind' tool. I'm going to drag this center. If you hold down 'Command' on a Mac, you can snap to the top, or 'Control' on a PC. Drag it to the top of these guys. Try not to get him to snap into something else, try and get them to snap to themselves. So that's the anchor points done.

Next thing I want to do, I need to make them 3D, because at the moment, if I click on 'Daniel, twirl it down, 'Transform', at the moment, it can rotate, but only kind of that way. I want it to rotate backwards. So all we need to do, is I'm going to twirl it up. I'm going to make this a bit taller, and these three need to come on. I'm clicking and dragging across them all. So it's a good way to turn it all on, all off, or you can just click all three of them on. Now it's going to be 3D. You don't have to have a camera to make them 3D. Just means you can't animate the camera, and move it around, but we are going to get all the good stuff we need in terms of all this extra data, watch, on, off. A lot more.

What we want to deal with is 'X' rotation. If you find yours is doing some weird stuff, it's probably because you used orientation. It does work, but if you try and spin it around, it tries to take the shortest distance, so even though you want it to swing back and forth, it will go over the top. So, just make sure you're using 'X rotation'. And to start here, I'm going to click on 'X rotation'. Awesome, I get my first key frame. And I'm going to not use the first '0', I'm going to use the '0.0'. And I'm going to swing it back. Drag it back and forth, just get a feel of what it does. Hey, it's already looking pretty cool.

Let's just animate that, so I'm going to swing it back, kind of back, past there. That's my first key frame. Move it along, how far? Maybe upto half a second. And I'm going to swing it, oops, not that way, that way. So kind of swings past where I want it to go. How far past? It's up to you. Looks good to me. And, a bit further along now, it's going to depend on the size of your 'Comp', and the size of your 'Font', and all sorts of other things to know how far these key frames should be apart to get it swinging, and going.

So don't copy me exactly, I'm at 20 frames, you might have to play with something else Maybe just, a bit further along. How many degrees? Just going to be a little playing around. I've done it a few times so I get really simply good. That always I have done, changing it anyway. It's swinging forth now, here we go. Just slowly getting less and less of the swing, and, beginning of the title as well. So the timing between these ones, and maybe my last one is at '0'. How good does it look? Let's go and check. 'Space bar'. If it looks a bit not great, make sure you add some 'Easing' first. So I select all these key frames, right click them, go to 'Velocity'. And let's go to '70'. It always looks good with a bit of 'Easing', remember. Awesome. It drags on a fix, that looks pretty cool. I hit 'Save'. 'Control S' to save.

So I've got my key frames, now I want to add them to all the different layers. Now, couple of things, just make sure your 'Play Head' is at the beginning, otherwise it can cause problems. And, instead of just dragging across, and copying all these key frames, because what you can do is just copy key frames on to another layer, but if I select all of this, can you see, I'm selecting 'Position', and 'Scale', and all these sorts of things, as well as this. What I want to do is actually just click these guys. I can be real sneaky, and try slip him in there, or just click the word 'X rotation'. It selects all the key frames, and I can go 'Edit', 'Copy', or 'Control C', I can twirl him up. Click on this layer. Make sure my 'Play Head' is at the beginning. And I go 'Paste', and then I go 'Paste'. And if I hit 'space bar', look at these guys go. So, they're all going at the same time. Awesome.

Now what I want to do is, I want to stitch them together so kind of fly along. Now the big trick with this is, if you have your 'Play Head' at the beginning it's not going to work, or anywhere along here, you need to wait for them all to be finished. So, remember to have your 'Play Head' somewhere along here. And what we're going to do is, it's also to do with parenting. So I want 'Walter' to follow 'Daniel'. Daniel's the lead, he's the first one to come down. And then I want my last name to follow, you go and follow the middle name here. So it's kind of like, he's the start, then 'Walter' follows him, and then 'Scott' follows him. So they follow each other, and watch this. Is it beautiful? Take a look.

It's okay, but what I'd like to do is-- they're all following along, and what I want to do, I would like to play with the timing. So they all kind of all follow. Actually let me show you what could go wrong if you don't have-- if you do your parenting at a different time, watch this. If you do your parenting half way, like at the beginning, and you get 'Walter' to follow 'Daniel', and you get 'Scott' to follow 'Walter', look what happens. Bit of it happens, that means that you didn't have your 'Play Head' further enough, so I'm going to 'undo' till they're all quite flat. So the parenting's gone. Parenting's gone there. Just make sure your 'Play Head' is out here, in the no man's land, with it all flat, then do your parenting, so 'Scott' follows 'Walter', and 'Walter' follows 'Daniel'. And you my friends, are cool and flowing.

Now, what I want to do is play with the timing. So just going to stretch these out, so they don't start all at the same time. Watch this. It's kind of cool. A little bit jumpy, a little bit jiggly. So what you could do, is I could select all of these, get you, maybe grab all of these, hold down my 'Alt' key, and just drag them out all a little bit. Actually I've to get it to do a pearl layer. That's not cool. Now I'm just playing around. I should just leave them as it is, and we're happy. Now I'm going to fiddle around, and mess with my key frames, and probably wreck it. Let's just see. Better. Oh, it's not better, it's different. And I'm going to probably mess around with this for ages. Yeah, that's kind of cool. I can't help myself, I'm sorry. These do look amazing. I need to impress you with my After Effects skills. I'm still not happy with it, but it's okay.

To add the last little bits to it is-- I've done the 'Easing', let's just check if that's the easing. Let's see if I've got the 'Easing'. Yes, the 'Easing' is kind of off, so that's it, so let's select this. Let's right click him, and go to 'Velocity'. Can we do it all in one big go? Maybe. Oops, what did I click there? I'm not too sure. This could have been-- Now look at it, let's go. It didn't help at all.

Last thing we can do, tidy this up to make it look a little nicer, is to turn 'Motion Blur' on, so I'm going to turn it on globally. And then I'm going to turn it on for these three layers. It will look a bit better, watch this. It's kind of stressing my machine out a little bit. Actually looks whole lot better longer. Okay, but anyway-- it does look better, so 'Easing' with a bit of 'Motion Blur'. The last thing we're going to do is, always the 'Vignette', always need a 'Vignette'. Go to 'Layer', 'New', 'Adjustment Layer'. We've done this in the earlier videos, so I'm going to skim through it.

'Lumetri Color', drag it on to your 'Adjustment Layers', go to 'Vignette', go to 'Amount', drag it to the left. And it's not working, I know why. Because, we've done through adjustment layer, it's affecting everything underneath, there's a vignette being applied to these text, but there's nothing actually behind it, there's a white, but it's actually coming from my 'Comp'. Remember, we made a 'Comp' here, and 'Composition Settings', we made it white. So that's what's giving us this white, but the adjustment layer's kind of affected. Essentially this white is no man's land, it actually renders our black, it's just kind of a place holder, so I'm going to put it back to 'black'. I should have done this in the beginning. And I'm going to add a background layer. I'm going to go to 'Layer', 'New', we're going to use 'Solid'. This one here is going to be a background color of 'white'. And even though it's going to look exactly the same, let's get the layer order right, 'Background', you at the back. It means that the 'Vignette' has got something to apply it to, rather than just leave kind of text. Awesome, that's my lovely vignette, that's my motion blur. And that is it for swinging text. All right, I'll see you in the next video.

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