After Effects: Making Text 3D.

5 03 2009

In my previous post we learned how to make text transition into different colors. If you’re not familiar with it, I suggest you read up on it because we’re going to be moving slightly faster now. You can find that post here.

With that, let’s open up After Effects and make a:

1. New Composition (cmd+N for Mac, ctrl+N for PC). It will be black at first.

2. The go up to Layer – New – Solid and choose whatever color you want.

3. Then go back up to Layer – New – Text. You can then change the text in the character palette. (Like in Photoshop) if you don’t see it then go up to workspace (in the upper right hand corner) and go to “reset standard” in the drop down menu.

If you followed those steps correctly you’ll have something like this (minus the word DEFgraphics).

picture-1

All right, since we got the hard part over with, it’s now time for the fun part. Making it move in space. With that we’re going to look at the comp window below where you see your layers. In the layers palette there are several different things – but the one we’re focusing on is the 3D tool. (If you don’t see this, then at the very bottom there should be a bar that says “Toggle Switches/Modes”, click it and you will see what I have) It looks like this:


With the picture above you want to click on that 3D box, thus making your text now 3D. You will notice that when it is in 3D space your text looks like this:

The green arrow represents your Y axis, the red arrow represents your X axis, and the blue arrow represents your Z axis (I like to call it zoom, since it pushes your text farther back or forward).

Now for the fun part. Go back into your layers palette and click on your text layer (mine is DEFgraphics). Click on the drop down arrow (to the left of your layer name, right next to the colored box). Go down to Transform and click that drop down arrow. You can now see there are more options for 3D text than there was for 2D Text in the previous tutorial.

For this tutorial we’re mainly going to focus on the Orientation more than anything. So you can forget about the rest of the intimidating stuff, which I’ll cover later. – For right now, go ahead and play with it without hitting the stop watch and see how your text moves. Pretty cool stuff huh?

I’m just going to do a simple 360 rotation. So if your text is all in a weird place just go back up to where it says Transform and to the right of it, it should say Reset and reset it. There, now everything is back to normal.

First off we want to hit our stop watch next to Orientation – don’t change anything right now. Then we want to go to our blue: 0;00;00;00 which is to the left and click on it. We want to move 2 seconds in time, so type in 0;00;02;00.


It should look like this right now. Though if you didn’t specify a time you can always go into Composition – Composition Settings – and then change the time. For this tutorial I made mine 4 seconds. That would be written 0;00;04;00. Then click OK.

All right, so in the Orientation part you want to click on the middle figure and type in 180.You will see your text appears backwards. Then move ahead in your blue 0;00;00;00 1 second in time. So therefore, you would write 0;00;03;00. Then you want to go back to that middle figure and type in 359. Now your text rotates like this.

Rotating 3D Text

So I added what we learned in the previous tutorial with this one. Though if you forgot, this is how we make our movie.

How to make it a movie:
Now you want to go up and click on Composition – Make Movie. Mind you if you haven’t saved your project I’d recommend saving it now. All right so once you click on Make Movie (cmd+M for mac, ctrl+M for PC) your Render Queue will open up. This will be next to the comp window you were working on earlier. So With the settings you want to go down to Render Settings and make sure that Best Settings is showing. Now you want to go to Output Module: and click on Lossless

You then want to go to Format Options then go to Compression Type and change it to Sorenson Video 3 (What I’ve been using and have been taught). You want the Quality to be at Best then click OK. Make sure that your Format in Main Options area is a Quicktime Movie. Then hit OK again. Now you can name your movie by clicking on the Output To: area and naming it. This is where you can choose where to save it to.

After that you want to hit the Render Button – Now depending on your Ram it could take anywhere from a few seconds to a couple mins. Mind you my video is only 3 seconds long so it shouldn’t be that bad. Once you hit Render wait for it and it should playing a ‘bringing’ type of noise, meaning your video is finished. Now double click and enjoy.

If you have any questions or suggestions leave a comment. Anyways hope it was helpful guys.
– DEF





After Effects: Simple Text Transition.

23 02 2009

So, today I was chilling with one of my good friends who asked me for After Effects advice. If you’re not familiar with After Effects itself, it’s another program by Adobe which sets things in motion, mainly used for motion graphics. Well, today I’m going to take you through a couple basics for After Effects, like transitioning as well as color changing, fading, scaling, things that most users would raise an eyebrow at, but like most we were all beginners at one point in time so for those who need some brushing up or want to get your feet wet we’re going through some basics.

After Effects

This is what you see first when you first open up after effects. It’s a little intimidating. Though if your screen does not look like this, in the upper right hand corner you will see the word workspace click on that and go to reset standard and you should see what is shown above.

All right if you’ve made it this far then you should give yourself a pat on the back. All right so we’re going to start a New Composition so do to that, go up to Composition then go to New Composition or you can press cmd+N (for PC users ctrl+N should do it for you)


After Effects 2

For tutorial purposes we’ll go with the default setting, which for me is 720×480. The duration of your movie is up to you but this is how you would read it 0;01;30;00 means that it is 1 minute and 30 seconds the 0 at the front stands for hours the 2 zeros at the back stands for frames . So therefore 0;01;30;15 = 1 minute, 30 seconds, and 15 frames. For the purpose of this tutorial I’m going to set it at 2 seconds. For whatever reason you wish to shorten the length of your movie you can go to to Composition – Composition Settings and change the duration. So instead of a minute 30, you can change it to 2 minutes which will look like this 0;00;02;00

Don’t be afraid, you’ll see a black work area. Mind you if you toggle the transparency (will be below the black box to the left of the words “Active Camera” – it looks like a grid) you will see that there is nothing there. You’re probably asking why, and it’s because we haven’t put anything in there. So the next step is we’re going to make a New Solid.

To do this go up to:

Layer – New – Solid. It will bring up a screen that was somewhat similar to the one we saw previously. At the bottom you can choose what color you wish, for the purpose of this tutorial I’m going to choose white, but you can choose whatever color you wish. After you do that you will see your screen turn white, it’s what we wanted to do. Now when you toggle the transparency it won’t be blank.

We’re going to make text transition into different colors for this part of the tutorial.
To do that go up to:
Layer – New – Text. Now start typing what you want, for this I’ll type in DEFgraphics. You may be wondering “What the hell why is my text white?!” or “I don’t see it! You’ve failed me!” Never fear, If your After Effects window to the right hand side has effects and presets visable, there should be a tab next to it, click it. It shall bring up your text tab. You will find the effects and presets tab under the Time control tab, if not it should be the 3rd one down.
For purposes I’m keeping it black and I’m going to make it transition into green (hence my icon colors) but if you want to start out with a different color you can it in the character window along with the font you want to use. For me I’m going to use Helvetica Neue Condensed Bold.


picture-2

All right, for the next part we’re going to animate our text, but before that we’re going to set it up.
In the bottom of the comp window (should have a white (or whatever color you picked) as the bottom layer then it should have the text you typed) click the text layer, then there will be a drop down arrow to the left right next to the lock sign, click it. You will then see the “Text” and “Transform” pop up under it, leave those alone and go to Animate which is to the right hand right of “Text” and click the arrow which will bring up a new fly off menu. You want to go down to Fill Color then go to RGB


picture-3

To your surprise it turned your text red. To change the color if it go to the fill color that is to the left hand side and pick a color. Again for purposes I’m choosing green, but you can chose whatever you like.

All right, to make this bad boy transition into a different color you want to hit the Range Selector arrow/drop down. If you want to go from Black (or the color you originally picked) to Green (or the color you picked) you will first start off with the End marker and decrease it to 0%. If you want to go from Green to Black you will start with Start at 100% and End at 0%.

Here I’ll explain both techniques:

Going from Black to Green.
Start off with End being at 0%. You will then have to hit the stop watch (to the left of End) and move the playhead (the line with the blue pick looking device that is at the start ahead to above 2 seconds or as many seconds as you’d like the transition to occur) – You can also do this by clicking the blue 0;00;00;00 and changing it to 0;00;02;00 to move ahead 2 seconds. at that point move the percentage of the end marker to 100%. Thus it will make your text transition to Green.

Going from Black to Green Video

Going from Green to Black
Start off with Start Being at 100%. Then hit the stop watch next to Start. You will also need to hit the stop watch for End being at 0%. Now you may be asking “Why DEF?” It’s because you want to go from Green to Black and you want the text to move forwards not backwards. So therefore now click on the blue 0;00;00;00 and change it to 0;00;02;00 then bring End up to 100%. – Thus going from Green to Black.

Going from Green to Black Video

All right, so the hard part is now over, so I’m guessing by now you’re asking “DEF how the hell do we make it into a movie?” – Never fear, I’ll show. Now you want to go up and click on Composition – Make Movie. Mind you if you haven’t saved your project I’d recommend saving it now. All right so once you click on Make Movie (cmd+M for mac, ctrl+M for PC) your Render Queue will open up. This will be next to the comp window you were working on earlier. So With the settings you want to go down to Render Settings and make sure that Best Settings is showing. Now you want to go to Output Module: and click on Lossless


picture-12

You then want to go to Format Options then go to Compression Type and change it to Sorenson Video 3 (What I’ve been using and have been taught). You want the Quality to be at Best then click OK. Make sure that your Format in Main Options area is a Quicktime Movie. Then hit OK again. Now you can name your movie by clicking on the Output To: area and naming it. This is where you can choose where to save it to.

After that you want to hit the Render Button – Now depending on your Ram it could take anywhere from a few seconds to a couple mins. Mind you my video is only 2 seconds long so it shouldn’t be that bad. Once you hit Render wait for it and it should playing a ‘bringing’ type of noise, meaning your video is finished. Now double click and enjoy.

Oh yes, before I forget: This will save you a whole lot of time in knowing where your files are. Go up to File – Collect Files. Click OK. Then the collect files window will open then click OK again. It should compile all your files into 1 folder. If the screen says None (Project Only) – change it to All. (This would be beneficial if you had multiple effects etc) if not then just select None (Project Only) – if it is just text files and it should save it up for you into a folder. Now if you start adding other elements the All will appear when you collect your files. This will save you the time and hassle of trying to figure out where all your files went if you move them around.

Hopefully I was thorough with you guys on how to make a simple text transition and you didn’t get lost along the way. Mind you this is my first tutorial – so I hope I did a good job for you guys. If there’s any flaws please feel free to leave me a comment and I’ll make changes as soon as possible.
So until next time, have fun doing what you’re doing.
– DEF





File Organization and Organization in general.

17 02 2009

If you’re a creative you’ve probably heard that organization is key. For the most part it is and ironically I usually find myself with clutter on my desk. Though how many of you can have a desk full of clutter yet know where everything is? – I’m one of those people and cleaning the big eye sore kind of throws me off from time to time, but it must get done.

Though minus being a semi-mess my files are usually key when it comes to my organizational skills. I’m sure most of you (if not all) have some form of doing this. Which is completely fine, I’m going to give a run down of how I organize my own for those of you who might not have a system. In the end it saves a lot of time and frustration from pulling your hair out and trying to find files. Also I’ll give general tips on how to make sure all your files are where they should be in several different programs so you and your printer won’t be smacking yourself over the head.

I’m notorious for lists, but for the better of me I’ve decided to implement graphs and charts. We’re visual people and I’m determined to add more visuals along my posts.

DEFgraphics key to organizing files:

diagram

All right, so the diagram seems a bit smashed so I’ll explain it, it goes:

Step 1:
Project Name
Well, I think this one is self explanatory, but for those of you who want an explanation here it is. This will be the folder of which all your contents for the current project you’re working on goes. Therefore if I were working on a book about dogs I’d probably name the folder The title name or “Dog Book”.

Step 2:
Thumbnails

This will thus be a folder within the folder of your project folder. I suppose I’ll go off of the whole Dog Book thing because I brought it up. Here sketches that are pertaining to the book will go, maybe some quick layouts. Nothing too fine rendered just yet. Just your brain throwing up idea. Possible brain mapping (I will write about that in a later post) as well as a brief of your current design.

Step 3:
Roughs

The stage where we are first working in programs such as Photoshop and Illustrator. This folder is going to need to be broken up into more sub-folders. I know, I know, you’re asking “DEF! Why so many damn folders?!” and I’m telling you why right now because it’s easier to find and access things than have them scattered all around – that and I’m possibly a little OCD, but that’s besides the point. So in this stage there will be folders such as:
– Stock/Reference
– PSDs (Your Photoshop files)
– Ai Files (Your Illustrator files)
– Pre Deliverables ( Comps before your final comp, ready to show the clients etc)

Step 4:
Final Project

Where all the magic happens. If you’ve ever found yourself rushing to figure out where you left what file, then here is the perfect folder for you. This is pretty much where all the finalized pieces go, go you will see similar sub-folders here, which are:
– PSDs (The final version of your PSDs)
– Ai Files (The final Ai files)
– Deliverables (The files that are ready to be sent off to the printers, the final project)

There you have it my friends, how I, DEF, organize my files. Now my question to you is how do you organize your files and/or do you have a system of how you do. Feel free to leave your commentos, I’d love to hear your feedback on this.
– DEF





DEF, you’ve moved?

30 01 2009

Yes,
You’ve heard it right. I, DEF, am moving my blog now to WordPress for the mere fact that it’s more customizable and I like the feel of it more so than where my current blog is. Also I’ve got more options here to move around and I like the feel of it. So that being said, yes I’ve moved to WordPress, and no I’m not sure what I’m doing.

[Update]
So I figured out how to move my posts from blogger into wordpress, saves the hassle of copying and pasting. So here you go, the other posts are up.





The Art Exhibition was a success.

23 09 2008
I had my exhibition tonight and it was fairly successful. We had gained a lot of traffic throughout the 3 hour showing. The exhibition was on magazines my class as a whole made individually that could be on anything. I’ll have to get to posting magazine entries later though since I’m actually in the last week of finals before I get a week off.

Though I’ve got some new projects underway and I’ll update as much as possible for it,but for now I’m going to have to sign off since I need to get some work done as well as prep for my portfolio class tomorrow.

Update:
As I was going through my daily blog readings I found out that Adobe plans to launch CS4. The new CS4 features a wide range of upgrades from their already excellent Creative Suite. Some of the features include being able to edit masks in Photoshop in its own mask window, as well as being able to have art boards in Illustrator, so you’re not hopping around from file to file trying to finish your project. Now you can save multiple files as one file, thus cutting production time in half.

It’s exciting, though expensive. Thank you educational discounts.

Update: Some of the spreads as well as my poster design for my exhibition


This was my poster for my self promotional magazine. The concept behind it was to have the user walk by and wonder why it’s broken, then make the connection with the TVs in the background that say ‘BOOM’ – Also, the whole concept was having two functioning TVs instead a broken TV.






Current projects underway.

3 09 2008
It’s 4:30 AM, and I can’t get back to sleep. I think it’s one of those natural things designers face is dealing with insomnia and projects we’re put over til the last minute. – It’s not so much procrastinating as it is not being able to fall back asleep. Like I said before I’m currently updating sites as well as trying to handle my busy work flow, though I’ve been faced with an unfortunate event of not being inspired.

My question to you is how do you become inspired and/or how do you overcome your creative blocks? Is there any form of technique you use or do you have to step back and not think for awhile? I’d love to hear what you’ve got to say.

I suppose I should throw up some work and get some feedback and/or critiques on it since I’m currently stuck on what to do. Here’s some work I did for one of my friends, she’s an up and coming musician and she needed web flyers done for an event she was playing at. Since the event was being hosted at a fair, we had wanted to go with a carnival type of theme to it.
You can find it here: Heidi Hughes Concert Posters

As far as sites go, here is where you can most likely find me if I’m not blogging.

Def Graphics on Flickr
Def Graphics on Behance
These are currently being worked upon between. Look forward to seeing something new in a couple weeks.