CAP 151 - Introduction to Computer Animation

Lesson 5 - Type and Music (part 2)


This lesson continues the discussion of text and adding music/sound to a project. Objectives important to this part of the lesson:

  1. Cascading text
  2. Text on a path
  3. Adding sound/music

The lesson continues with another text animation example.

Tutorial Notes and Questions

Work through the exercises and turn in your answers to all questions below as part of the homework for this assignment.

Tutorial 1 (Creating Cascading Text):

  1. Open the project and comp file indicated on page 113. You will probably want to set the workspace to Text.
  2. Add an animator as instructed with a Scale property.
  3. Add a Fill Color, RGB property to the animator. Note the default color. Since we have nothing to go on, the default red is as good a color as any.
  4. The text asks you to explore using different Shapes, then reviewing the effect of each one by changing the Start and End values.
    Question 1: Which shape has the widest transition zone? Which shape has the narrowest transition zone?
    Explore the Ramp Up and Ramp Down features in this step as well. The text tells you to choose Ramp Up and close the Advanced section before going on.
  5. Set the Start and End values as instructed,
    Question 2: Why are the characters after the End value affected this time?
    New feature for this step: Offset. This value changes the start and end selection points at the same time. The text explains that we can animate this value to sweep the effect over the text.
  6. Change the Offset value as instructed and set a keyframe for it at the start of the timeline.
  7. Change the Offset value again at 2:00 on the timeline.
    Question 3: Why are the start and end values the same now?
  8. Add an Opacity property to the animation. Follow the instructions to set 0% opacity (transparent) at the end of the selection. Check the animation and save.
  9. Step 8 said we were done. Not really. This step illustrates that everything you do may suggest something else to do. This time you add an Anchor Point property to the animation so the letters can come in differently. Compare the first and second illustrations on page 115 to get the idea. Save the project again after this step.

Tutorial 2, (One Word at a Time), is short and pleasant. Try it on your own if you have time.

Tutorial 3, (Flowing Text):

This tutorial has three parts: animating blur, animated tracking, and text on a curve. We will do this one to see all three features.

  1. Open the comp specified in the text. Ignore the advertisement (and others in this chapter) for an Adobe font.
  2. Create Animator 1 with a Blur property as instructed. Blur should be used with restraint, since it prevents the viewer from seeing clearly. In this case, it will work well for the desired effect, a fade in for a title about light.
  3. A new button is introduced: the chain link button, when engaged, constrains an effect to be the same in the x and y axes. Turn this button off so you can set a value for the y axis, making the letters blurred vertically. (This effect can also be used to show an anisotropic reflection, one that is blurred on one axis more than the other. Follow the link above for a quick lesson in this concept.)
  4. The next change makes the text more unpredictable. Use Ramp Up again as instructed, and engage Randomize Order, as shown in the third illustration on page 118. Note that the result is not exactly random, since it looks exactly like the second image on the same page. To make it more random, change the seed value to something other than 0. This will make yours look different from your neighbor's work.
  5. Set the Offset value as instructed to complete the first part of the animation.
  6. Step 6 animates the tracking of the text. Add a Tracking property to the animation as instructed. Try setting the Tracking Amount to 6 as the text says, preview it, then experiment to decide what value you want to use.
  7. This step begins with some hand drawing. You are going to draw a line across the layer that the text will follow. The line will not be visible in the animation. Look carefully at the third image on page 119 to see the two items you must click on the tool bar before drawing your line/curve. Draw a line as a series of line segments. Drag its Bezier handles as needed in this step and the rest to adjust it on the screen.
  8. Set the Text, Path to Mask 1. What's Mask 1? It's the line you just drew. If you don't see this option, you didn't put the line in the right place. Once you have applied the text to the path, you are told to adjust Tracking Amount if needed. You may want to adjust the line as well.
  9. One more step, and it is not intuitive. Set the timeline marker as instructed, and find Text, Path Options, First Margin. Scrub that value to one that seems to work for you, and set a keyframe for it. Move to the end of the timeline, and set a different value for First Margin. Preview and adjust. Save when done.
    Question 4: Report the values you used for Blur y axis. Random Seed, Tracking Amount, initial First Margin, and final First Margin.

Assignment 7: There is a two page spread on adding sound on pages 124 and 125. You can open the authors' version of the penguin file to work with this concept. Oddly, this is not presented as a tutorial, but it serves the same purpose. Carry out the steps in this section, adding sound as instructed, and play the movie for me in class.