Tutorial 69: Revealing Text

Joe Clay | May 5, 2017

If I thought it was busy last week, I was in for a shock. Thankfully I recorded this early. I've actually edited the tutorial and written this from a hospital room because, like our daughter, our son is deciding to come slightly earlier than expected (but not pre-term thankfully).

If you decide to use the presets, bear in mind that you'll have to adjust the effect controls to suit the typeface you're using. But I also hope that you'll try this idea out on your own and come up with something cool. If you do, tweet me @workbench_tv!

I hope you all have a grand weekend! I'll see you guys next week.

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Feel free to download a preset that you can use in your own projects!

Tutorial 68: Outline Reveal

Joe Clay | Apr 28, 2017

It's been a busy week over here, and I always get asked about how I make certain parts of our intros, so I figured this would be a good time to make a tutorial like this. It's not the most advanced, but it does show an easy way to create a nice reveal. I didn't have the time to mess around with this, but I think it could be very interesting when combined with Tutorial 59: Shape Expressions, or even just some other expressions. For example, linking the stroke width to a slider and linking the Offset Paths to that value would let you animate the slider to expand the outlines as they grow on. Or you could use Tutorial 59 to get the copies all in one layer, and use repeaters, or any of the other shape path manipulations. As always, if you figure out anything cool send an example to @workbench_tv!

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Tutorial 67: Glitch Mapping

Joe Clay | Apr 21, 2017

This tutorial expands upon Tutorial 65 to show a much faster way to map and render ASCII characters as well as any other characters or graphics you'd like to map. There's a little bit of setup involved if you want to make custom maps, but there would be anyway. Our project file already has a few included.

See UNVI art's tutorial for a nifty way to use Particle Playground to map characters to luma values.

Note: I ran across an issue when I was making the project file. I had some odd edges on some of my tests—due to the way Mosaic and shapes interact—so I made my gradient horizontal to test and fix this issue, and I realized that only some of the left edge pixels were being incorrectly mapped. Why the left edge? I don't know. But this can lead to small gaps or the map being off one gradient level.

On some things it's noticeable, but on most images it's fine. If you need it to be perfect, you'll have to set your project to 32 bits per channel. The Displacement Map effect must have some optimizations that mess this up in 8 or 16 bpc. This is a little bit slower, but it's surprisingly minimal. It's still workable, even on my laptop. That said, I didn't really notice it throughout most of my testing, so 8 bpc will probably work for the majority of things you'll try, especially if you want to go really glitchy with your look.

The project file is set up in 32 bpc but there's a test comp in there you can look at to see what happens when you switch to 8 bpc.

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Feel free to download the project file that you can use in your own projects!

Tutorial 66: Point Control

Joe Clay | Apr 14, 2017

This tutorial explores a useful technique for tying a point control to position, so you can freely move a layer around that already has position animated, and save it as a preset. While you can also use the Transform effect for this, this ensures that your vector-based layers stay crisp if you choose to scale them up and you don't have to worry about any bounding box weirdness.

Original expression

hp = effect("Hit")("Point");
[value[0]+hp[0],value[1]+hp[1]];

Simplified expression

hp = effect("Hit")("Point");
value + hp;

Simplified expression with offset

hp = effect("Hit")("Point") - [960,540];
value + hp;

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Tutorial 65: ASCII & Text Generation

Joe Clay | Apr 7, 2017

Today we take a look at using an expression using sampleImage to generate text and make some really slow rendering ASCII art. I'm sure there are faster ways to do this, but this is an academic look at the process behind it, so that you can learn these techniques and hopefully find another use for them.

While I was able to make the intro work, unless you really need this effect, it's not worth attempting. I had to split up my HD frame into 4 quadrants. Two were rendered as stills, and two were rendered as videos. I cut the clips slightly in Premiere, but for about this length each section took an hour to render on my decently spec'd hackintosh.

Also, make sure to check out Mainframe's tutorial on Lester Banks, and that awesome site were I found that ASCII gradient.

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Grab the Project Files

Feel free to download the project file that you can use in your own projects!

Tutorial 64: Faux Text

Joe Clay | Mar 31, 2017

In this quick tutorial, we look at a quick way to make fake dummy text for animations that are easily modifiable and baed on actual text

The preset contains a version for CC 2017 and 2015.3.

I've also been alerted to the fact that Blokk Font exists. That's pretty awesome. I think I ran across that font, or one like it, a long time ago. But I forgot it existed. It would've been helpful, but at least I figured this out because of that. This technique can also be used in other ways if you're crafty. And you don't have to type anything other than |, haha.

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Feel free to download a preset that you can use in your own projects!

Tutorial 63: Specific Transparency

Joe Clay | Mar 24, 2017

With specific transparency, we can have layers that are transparent when they cross other layers, but are otherwise opaque. This way you can keep a client's color palette accurate, or you can have layers that are selectively transparent so only certain layers below show through. Maybe I should have called this tutorial Selective Transparency? Too late now. There's no turning back.

I also made a new intro and recorded a quick riff for it. Let me know what you think and I'll see you guys next week.

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Tutorial 62: Slice Like a Ninja

Joe Clay | Mar 17, 2017

This week, we take a quick look at using the Set Matte effect to save us from having a bunch of track mattes littering our comp! But if you use this to eliminate extra track mattes, it'll make working in After Effects easier and allow you to make more complex effects. So this is a good building block to utilize.

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Tutorial 61: Seamless Patterns

Joe Clay | Mar 10, 2017

This week we check out a quick technique to set up seamless patterns, for ribbon boards or anything else you need tiled.

x = thisComp.width;
[x,0];

You can divide the comp width to increase the amount of copies. Just make sure to add more copies to the repeater and change the offset. ;)

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Tutorial 60: Advanced Text Animator Attributes

Joe Clay | Mar 3, 2017

This week we explore the advanced attributes of text animators so that we can understand what the hell things like ease high means. Hint: high or "on" is what the properties in the animator are set to, and low or "off" is the default value.

To animate a loop with an angle control, add an angle control to your text layer, name it revolution, and past this into the Range Selector's Offset Property:

r = effect("Revolution")("Angle")%360/360;
if(r < 0)
{
    linear(r,-1,0,-100,100);
}
else
{
    linear(r,0,1,-100,100);
}

In the, hopefully, near future, we'll start a separate series to explore expressions in-depth—including some programming/mathematical concepts that specifically help with After Effects, like range mapping as used in the expression above.

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