Publishers of technology books, eBooks, and videos for creative people

Home > Articles > Digital Audio, Video > Adobe After Effects

Like this article? We recommend

Animating the composition

So far, you’ve started a project, created a composition, imported footage, and applied some effects. It all looks great, but how about some movement? You’ve applied only static effects.

In After Effects, you can change any combination of a layer’s properties over time using conventional keyframing, expressions, or keyframe assistants. You’ll explore many of these methods throughout the lessons of this book. For this exercise, you will animate the Position property of a text layer using keyframes, and then use an animation preset so that the letters appear to rain down on the screen.

Preparing the text composition

For this exercise, you’ll work with a separate composition—the one you imported from a layered Photoshop file.

  1. Click the Project tab to display the Project panel, and then double-click the bgwtext composition to open it as a composition in its own Timeline panel.

    This composition is the layered Photoshop file you imported. Two layers, Background and Title Here, appear in the Timeline panel. The Title Here layer contains placeholder text that was created in Photoshop.

    At the top of the Composition panel is the Composition Navigator bar, which displays the relationship between the main composition (Bgwtext 2) and the current composition (Bgwtext), which is nested within the main composition.

    You can nest multiple compositions within each other; the Composition Navigator bar displays the entire composition path. Arrows between the composition names indicate the direction in which pixel information flows.

    Before you can replace the text, you need to make the layer editable.

  2. Select the Title Here layer (layer 1) in the Timeline panel and then choose Layer > Convert to Editable Text.

A T icon appears next to the layer name in the Timeline panel, indicating that it is now an editable text layer. The layer is also selected in the Composition panel, ready for you to edit.

Animating text with Position keyframes

You’ll start by replacing the placeholder text with real text. Then, you’ll animate it.

  1. Select the Horizontal Type tool (type.jpg) in the Tools panel, and drag over the placeholder text in the Composition panel to select it. Then, type Substrate.
  2. Select the Title Here layer in the Timeline panel again, and press P to display its Position property.
  3. Make sure you’re at the first frame of the animation by doing one of the following:
    • Drag the current-time indicator all the way to the left of the time ruler, to 0:00.
    • Press the Home key on your keyboard.
  4. Using the Selection tool (selection.jpg), drag the text layer down and off the bottom of the Composition panel, out of the viewing area. Press Shift after you start dragging to constrain the operation to the vertical axis.
  5. In the Timeline panel, click the stopwatch icon (stopwatch.jpg) for the layer’s Position property to create a Position keyframe. An orange diamond appears in the Position bar for the layer in the time graph, indicating the new keyframe.

    Keyframes are used to create and control animation, effects, audio properties, and many other kinds of changes that occur over time. A keyframe marks the point in time where you specify a value, such as spatial position, opacity, or audio volume. Values between keyframes are interpolated. When you use keyframes to create a change over time, you must use at least two keyframes—one for the state at the beginning of the change, and one for the state at the end of the change.

  6. Go to 3:00 by doing one of the following:
    • Drag the current-time indicator to the right in the time ruler so that it’s positioned at 3:00.
    • Click the Current Time field in the Timeline panel or Composition panel, type 300 (for 3 seconds) in the Go To Time dialog box, and click OK.

    Now you can drag the Substrate title to its final position, but since you dragged it off the screen in step 4, you’ll need to zoom out to grab it.

  7. With the Title Here layer still selected in the Timeline panel, select the Zoom tool (zoom.jpg) and Alt-click (Windows) or Option-click (Mac OS) to zoom out so that you can see the text layer on the pasteboard of the Composition panel.
  8. Switch back to the Selection tool (selection.jpg) and drag the text layer up in the Composition panel, to the top quarter of the viewing area. Press Shift to constrain the drag operation to the vertical axis. Your final Position values should be approximately 359, 135.

    After Effects automatically creates a second keyframe at this position.

  9. To zoom back in to the composition, choose Fit Up To 100% from the Magnification Ratio pop-up menu in the lower-left corner of the Composition panel.

    The blue lines at the top, bottom, and sides of the Composition panel indicate title-safe and action-safe zones. Television sets enlarge a video image and allow some portion of its outer edges to be cut off by the edge of the screen. This is known as overscan. The amount of overscan is not consistent between television sets, so you should keep important parts of a video image, such as action or titles, within margins called safe zones. Keep your text inside the inner blue guides to ensure that it is in the title-safe zone, and keep important scene elements inside the outer blue guides to ensure that they are in the action-safe zone.

    Even though this is a simple animation, you’ll learn good animation practices right away by adding ease-in controls using the Easy Ease feature. Easing into (and out of) animations keeps the motion from appearing to be too sudden or robotic.

  10. Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) the Position keyframe at 3:00 and choose Keyframe Assistant > Easy Ease In. As the text approaches its final position, it will ease to a smooth stop. The keyframe icon changes to an arrow.

Adding an animation preset

So far, the text is moving onto the screen. After it arrives, you don’t want it to just sit there. Applying an animation preset will bring it to life.

  1. With the Title Here layer still selected in the Timeline panel, go to 2:10, the point at which the text is almost at its final position. Remember, you can go to the time by dragging the current-time indicator or by clicking the Current Time field in the Timeline panel or Composition panel.
  2. Click the Effects & Presets tab, and then type raining in the search box to quickly locate the Raining Characters animation presets.
  3. Drag the Raining Characters Out effect onto the word Substrate in the Composition panel to apply it to the text layer.

    The Effect Controls panel opens so that you can customize the Echo effect, which is a component of the animation preset. The default settings are fine for this project.

  4. Choose File > Save to save your work so far.
  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

Peachpit Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Peachpit and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Peachpit products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email ask@peachpit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.peachpit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020