Trish Meyer presented a great session on Sunday afternoon about working with text in Adobe After Effects. Since I consider myself an After Effects hack who wants to know more I sat in. Among a number of things here’s 5 tips that I picked up:
1. There is an Auto-open check box up in the After Effects tool bar that when checked, will automatically open the character and text panels when you add text to a composition.
2. When you want to add new text to a comp you can have the cursor always begin in the middle of the screen by using the Layer menu > New > Text. No more fumbling with clicking in or around the center of the screen with this technique.
3. Do your initial creation and stylizing of your text in its final, readable state before you being animating or working on transitions.
4. A square keyframe icon in an After Effects timeline means it it is a HOLD type of keyframe that will hold the parameter constant until it get to the next keyframe … so no animation after a square, hold keyframe.
5. AE’s text engine is based on Photoshop which is not itself animatible. If you use the “Range Selector” parameter under the Animate property for text then this is they key to being able to animate text with ease in After Effects. Using the Range Selector means you don’t have to animate individual letters or words. This was the basis of the session and text animation in AE can go a million different places using the Range Selector and all its parameters.
6. (okay, one more that many people already know) Adobe After Effects is such an amazing, full-featured software application that it never ceases to amaze me when I watch an experienced artist work on it.