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Can't create a paragprah text with several lines...

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Esther Casas
Can't create a paragprah text with several lines...
on Aug 29, 2012 at 5:45:54 pm

hello everybody!
So I've been fighting with a text in after effects CS5...my problem is that when I create a box (drag and option on mac) to type a paragraph into my layer, it's ok with the first line but when I hit return, the text doesn't go to the next line, but stay in the same and if I continue typing it's on top of my previous line....Not sure what I am doing wrong?? how do you type a paragraph in AE?
Thank you!!
e


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Robert Headrick
Re: Can't create a paragprah text with several lines...
on Aug 29, 2012 at 6:52:00 pm

Check your leading value in the Character palette (should be in the center on the right side of the screen if you're using the Standard workspace layout). If it's set to "0" or some other small number, then it's not allowing for any space between lines. Change it to "Auto" and try typing something.


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Esther Casas
Re: Can't create a paragprah text with several lines...
on Aug 29, 2012 at 7:17:06 pm

Robert! thank you so much, it worked! couldn't see that setting...

another question...I am doing a scrolling text (ending credits), and it' every very long...i am doing it with keyframes in position and is fine. But when you have a super long text...do you use several compositions and you add them together or you use one comp that is going to be very long? If I am planning to use a single comp...I think it will be a problem as your position start point is way too far...meaning you will not see it in your screen unless you really zoom out a lot..I hope I am making myself clear...I just like to know how I am suppose to be setting up the whole text, I am assuming with several compositions and adding together so I can see my position keyframes?

Thank you again!!!


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Robert Headrick
Re: Can't create a paragprah text with several lines...
on Aug 29, 2012 at 7:57:36 pm

No need to worry about keyframes. There's an easier way to set up a credit roll.

1. Create an expression for the Position value of your credit layer, and paste this into it:
rate = 6; //value in px/sec.
value - [0,rate*timeToFrames(time)]

2. Navigate to the point on the timeline where you want the credits to start
3. At that point, position your layer so that it's just below the bottom edge of your frame (note: if you move your anchor point to the very top of the layer, that will make repositioning a little easier with larger layers)
3. To make the credits go faster or slower, edit the "rate" value within the expression (this controls how many pixels per second your layer will move)

Note: Use even numbers when adjusting the rate if there's ever any chance of your footage being interlaced in future deliverables.

(For reference, I didn't come up with the expression, I found it here. But, I found several of the steps to be unnecessary, at least in the little bit of testing I did just now)


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Esther Casas
Re: Can't create a paragprah text with several lines...
on Aug 29, 2012 at 8:24:07 pm

thank you R, but sorry my ignorance..what do you mean with creating an "expression"? can't find it in the position...i can only create keyframes...?


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Robert Headrick
Re: Can't create a paragprah text with several lines...
on Aug 29, 2012 at 9:24:50 pm

When you reveal the Position properties, instead of clicking on the stopwatch like you would to create a keyframe, hold down Alt and click on it. This will open up an expression for that value. The default value will be "transform.position" in the case of a Position property, and the text will be highlighted; as soon as you either type something in or paste in the expression you copied from somewhere else, it will replace that default expression. When you've finished entering the expression, you need to close it either by hitting the Enter key on the numpad (note: hitting Return will *not* close the expression, it will jump down to a new line within the expression!) or by clicking anywhere outside of the expression box.

Expressions are basically scripts that operate solely within a particular value of a layer in After Effects. They're based off of Javascript and can do more complex things by interacting with other layers and performing mathematical calculations to dynamically change the value of a property without having to manually keyframe it.

In the case of this expression, the first line
rate = 6; //value in px/sec.

is creating a variable called "rate" that holds a value of whatever you edit that number to be (to edit an expression, just twirl down the property containing it and click on the text of the expression in the timeline). The second line
value - [0,rate*timeToFrames(time)]

is telling After Effects to set the x and y values of the Position property relative to the variable you created.


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Esther Casas
Re: Can't create a paragprah text with several lines...
on Aug 30, 2012 at 7:57:46 pm

Robert! this was a great explanation, thank you! I tried and yes, put your two lines in the expression in the text, so:

rate = 6; //value in px/sec
value - [0,rate*timeToFrames(time)]



but what this does is putting my text way to far from my frame, when I zoom out my comp i see that my text is now scrolling but outside of the comp, it basically went all the way up in position. So what i did was to set up the Y value to positive(as it was negative).
what i don't understand is how you got to number 6 for rate and what the second line is telling to do....I guess i will save these two lines every time I have to scroll a text...

Now, should I do exactly the same expression for each comp then? if you want all your text to move at the same rate, the expression should be the same for all the comps I am adding? I have a very loooong text separated into 320 different comps, i will put one after teh other with this same expression, correct?

thanks Robert! you are a great teacher!!


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Robert Headrick
Re: Can't create a paragprah text with several lines...
on Aug 30, 2012 at 9:24:34 pm

320 comps is a lot!! I think it's going to be easier on you if you simplify that down into one single comp. It can be done this way with multiple comps, if you feel it's necessary - what you'll need to do is parent them all to one main comp that will have the expression, and then they'll all move relative to that one. But it seems like an unnecessary extra step to me. If you have Photoshop, what might be a nice solution for you would be to create your credits as a .psd file. This can be imported directly into AE without needing to even create a text layer. You'll have the added bonus of being able to just update the .psd file and reload the footage in AE if you ever need to make changes (this is basically just making AE relink to the file by right-clicking it in the Project pane and selecting "Reload Footage").

As far as the expression moving your layer to somewhere you don't want it to be, that shouldn't be an issue at all, unless I'm misunderstanding something about how your layer is structured. When you first apply the expression, what it will do is begin scrolling from the original position of the layer (wherever it was placed before you applied the expression), from the first frame of the comp - remember, the position is now being controlled by an equation that is based on the "time" value of where you're at in your composition. That's a key thing... so if you're looking at it at, say, 45 seconds into the comp when you apply the expression, everything is going to look like it just moved, because you're essentially looking at it after it's already been scrolling for 45 seconds. What you can do then is manually move it back down into place so that the scrolling starts at that point instead of at the beginning of the comp. If you have an extremely long composition and you're adding the credits at the very end, then what you'll notice is that it moves the layer way, way up because the time value is already so large.

One way around this would be to precomp your layer. That way you can apply the expression within the precomp, and then it's totally fine if it starts scrolling from the first frame, because now you can just drop the precomp into your main composition and move it so that it begins at the exact point you want your credit roll to start.

Hope that makes sense. I feel like I'm getting really wordy now... if this is still confusing, maybe send me your project file so I can take a look at what issues you're experiencing.


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Esther Casas
Re: Can't create a paragprah text with several lines...
on Aug 30, 2012 at 9:42:43 pm

hey R! not 320, but 20 comps!! 320 will be waaay too many! ha!

thanks for the tip, yes, i think i will make pre-comp of the 20 comps and parent to a null that has the expression. i will let you know how that goes...
not wordy, you are helping me a lot Robert, be as wordy as you need to be, hope i am not making you to be more wordy than normal...


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Robert Headrick
Re: Can't create a paragprah text with several lines...
on Aug 30, 2012 at 9:31:41 pm

320 comps is a lot!! I think it's going to be easier on you if you simplify that down into one single comp. It can be done this way with multiple comps, if you feel it's necessary - what you'll need to do is parent them all to one main comp that will have the expression, and then they'll all move relative to that one. But it seems like an unnecessary extra step to me. If you have Photoshop, what might be a nice solution for you would be to create your credits as a .psd file. This can be imported directly into AE without needing to even create a text layer. You'll have the added bonus of being able to just update the .psd file and reload the footage in AE if you ever need to make changes (this is basically just making AE relink to the file by right-clicking it in the Project pane and selecting "Reload Footage").

As far as the expression moving your layer to somewhere you don't want it to be, that shouldn't be an issue at all, unless I'm misunderstanding something about how your layer is structured. When you first apply the expression, what it will do is begin scrolling from the original position of the layer (wherever it was placed before you applied the expression), from the first frame of the comp - remember, the position is now being controlled by an equation that is based on the "time" value of where you're at in your composition. That's a key thing... so if you're looking at it at, say, 45 seconds into the comp when you apply the expression, everything is going to look like it just moved, because you're essentially looking at it after it's already been scrolling for 45 seconds. What you can do then is manually move it back down into place so that the scrolling starts at that point instead of at the beginning of the comp. If you have an extremely long composition and you're adding the credits at the very end, then what you'll notice is that it moves the layer way, way up because the time value is already so large.

One way around this would be to precomp your layer. That way you can apply the expression within the precomp, and then it's totally fine if it starts scrolling from the first frame, because now you can just drop the precomp into your main composition and move it so that it begins at the exact point you want your credit roll to start.

Also, as for where the 6 came from for the rate, that's just a value that I thought looked nice when I tested it very quickly while I was writing the post. The comment in the expression is actually inaccurate, I just realized - it actually should say pixels per *frame*, not pixels per *second*. 6 pixels per frame means that a single small line of text will move from the very bottom of the comp to the very top of the comp in about 5 seconds on a 1280x720 frame (720 pixels tall, divided into 6 pixel increments is 120, divided by 24 frames per second, is 5 seconds).

Hope this makes sense! I feel like I'm getting really wordy now, which might just be confusing you more. If this doesn't help you out, maybe send me a copy of your project file so I can see what's causing issues for you.


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Robert Headrick
Re: Can't create a paragprah text with several lines...
on Aug 30, 2012 at 9:34:33 pm

Ahhhh... sorry for the double-post! Thought I was editing my previous one instead of creating a new one entirely. Disregard the first one, the second one is identical but also attempts to answer your question about the rate value.


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Esther Casas
Re: Can't create a paragprah text with several lines...
on Aug 30, 2012 at 9:55:48 pm

an another question for you R....i am planning to add some small images through the credits, randomly...and also maybe some small quicktimes..what is the best way to do it? just importing and throwing them in? i am guessing it's pretty straight fw but before i start i like to make sure i get your advice...as it's been great!


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Robert Headrick
Re: Can't create a paragprah text with several lines...
on Aug 30, 2012 at 10:27:38 pm

Since you're using precomps at this point, and you'll be applying the expression to the precomp rather than directly to the layer, this will be very easy. Just go inside the precomp and position your image wherever you want it to be relative to the specific text, and that's it! Your motion is being applied to the precomp as a whole, so the image will move along with the text.


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Esther Casas
Re: Can't create a paragprah text with several lines...
on Aug 31, 2012 at 4:08:17 pm

Is working great robert, and then...how do you change the expression so the texts scroll faster?


rate = 6; //value in px/sec
value - [0,rate*timeToFrames(time)]

is this 6 a "standard number" i am going to do tests just changing this number, is something else i should be checking when i do this? this number 0?


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Robert Headrick
Re: Can't create a paragprah text with several lines...
on Aug 31, 2012 at 5:16:59 pm

Just change the rate (currently at 6). Smaller than 6 will make it slower, greater than 6 will make it go faster. A tip that was mentioned on the blog where I originally found the expression said to try and keep your rate at an even number just in case your footage ever gets interlaced (otherwise you might encounter weird image issues related to frame rate while scrolling). The 0 is the horizontal position value, so essentially right now it's just centering your layer. If you want your credits to be slightly to the right or left, then you can adjust that number to do that. But an easier way will be to just manually move it like you did when you originally positioned the layer.


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Esther Casas
Re: Can't create a paragprah text with several lines...
on Sep 6, 2012 at 7:19:09 pm

hello Robert!
just wanted to let you know the credit scrolling titles are working great thanks to your suggestions, now my final question is:

at the end i have a layer that I want to be scrolling the same way but I want an ease at the end of the movement. Because is parented to the null like all the layers, is stopping very abruptly at the end, how do i do an ease at the end??

Do I have to do a new null with an expression with an ease at the end for just this layer?

the expression i have now is this:

rate = 6; //value in px/sec
value - [0,rate*timeToFrames(time)

THANK YOU!!


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Esther Casas
Re: Can't create a paragprah text with several lines...
on Sep 10, 2012 at 2:14:22 pm

Hello Robert!

I hope you remember you helped me tremendously last week with some scrolling text...But i have the last question for you as I have been trying to do something else without success:

Everything is working fine but the only problem i have now is that i want to speed up the whole thing. So what i did first was to change the speed in my null, the expression was:

rate = 6; //value in px/sec
value - [0,rate*timeToFrames(time)]


and I switched it to this:

rate = 8; //value in px/sec
value - [0,rate*timeToFrames(time)]


But now all the positions of the comps are totally screwed...not idea why???

So what i did is just change the speed by changing the % in time of the pre-comp.But why are the positions changing when i just change the speed of my null? do i have to create a new null of the pre-comp which already have the previous null parented? I actually tried this (making a new null with fatser speed and doing a pre-comp with the other null inside) and didn't work because all the positions are again, displaced (all the comps are outside the frame now...)

I just like to understand if there is something i didn't do on the first place...

thanks again!!


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Robert Headrick
Re: Can't create a paragprah text with several lines...
on Sep 13, 2012 at 4:27:35 pm

Esther,

Sorry I haven't been responding as quick! Things got a little busy for me the past few days.

To answer your most recent question about the position values getting messed up when you altered the rate in the expression, I'm not sure what's happening. If you're looking at your text layer at any given point in the composition, you should expect its position to change since you're making it move faster, but the layer should still start at the same position at the beginning of the comp. If I'm understanding correctly, you currently are parenting your text layers to a null, which has the expression as its position value. Then the text layers and the null have been precomposed, and that precomp is being nested into your overall composition to represent the scrolling credits, allowing you to more easily adjust the point at which the credits begin to roll.

In some very brief testing that I just did, I was able to alter the rate in the expression without "screwing up" any of the position values of anything. Some things I would suggest double-checking: that your text or other layers are properly parented to your null; that the expression is on the Position value of the null and not anywhere else; that you haven't accidentally introduced any additional lines or typos into the expression; that you have manually adjusted the position of the null on the very first frame of your precomp so that the scrolling starts at the right place; and that you haven't altered any of the overall values of the precomp within your main comp (for example, applying the expression to the null inside the precomp *and* to the position values of the precomp itself would probably create weird results).

Looking up at your previous question, about adding an easy-ease to the end of the movement, that may be beyond my skill to figure out. With the way this expression is built, I believe it would involve coming up with a mathematical equation that would gradually decrease the amount being subtracted from the position value until it came to a stop. I tried a couple of basic things just now but only succeeded in altering the speed at a certain point in time, not slowing it down to nothing. However, a good workaround might be to simply use time-remapping on the precomped layers within your main comp. Right click the precomp, choose Time --> Enable Time-Remapping. This allows you to set keyframes at certain points in the composition (for example, at the point where you want it to begin slowing down, and at the point where you want it to stop), and then drag those keyframes apart to cause more time to pass between those two points.


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Esther Casas
Re: Can't create a paragprah text with several lines...
on Sep 19, 2012 at 3:21:48 pm

Hello R!
sorry, now i am he one delayed here! i actually already timed remapped before you told me, and now it looks great. Thank you so much for your help and for sharing your expertise!
talk soon...
E.


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bruce koken
Re: Can't create a paragprah text with several lines...
on Oct 15, 2012 at 4:30:14 pm

HEY ALL. CALL ME STUPID, PLEASE, BUT CREATING SIMPLE 2ND ROW OF TEXT IN SAME LAYER DRIVING ME BANANAS.I SET THE LEADING VALUE TO '0' OR 'AUTO' AND THE SECOND ROW APPEARS WAAY DOWN AT BOTTOM OF THE LAYER WINDOW.

IN ADDITION, AT ONE TIME I COULD HIGHLIGHT A PORTION OF TEXT AND THEN JUST MOVE THAT PORTION AROUND. SO, SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WAY, I CHANGED A SETTING I PRESUME.

SOMEWHERE THERE IS A BUTTON OF LIFE HERE THAT I AM MISSING BUT IF ANYONE HAS THE ANSWER I WOULD BE MUCH OBLIGED.

THANKS, BRUCE


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Vishesh Arora
Re: Can't create a paragprah text with several lines...
on Sep 2, 2012 at 4:26:28 pm

Mr. Casas

You can try this method:
1. After Pressing Return, Select your words for second line using "SHIFT + LEFT ARROW KEY".
2. Now press "Alt/Opt + Down Arrow key". This will bring your text down.

Vishesh Arora
VFX and Motion Graphics Artist

http://digieffects.wordpress.com


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