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How to write text in Light Streaks

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Chris Price
How to write text in Light Streaks
on Mar 28, 2013 at 10:26:46 pm

Hey,
Right, I was playing around in AE watching tutorials and stuff and I was able to make a light streak which looked pretty cool, then I took it into FCPX and put some music to it, which made an idea spring to my head which was to make it an intro for my youtube channel, now I want to change it a bit and make the light streak actually spell something out (my youtube name) I have read around and people say about masking the text and then copying the light path data into the light position property. How do I do that? I'm fairly new to after effects, I know how to do some things, but others like this I am very confused. So basically, for a dummy, how do I make a light streak spell something out? Try to be as simple as possible, because like I said, I'm fairly new to AE. Thanks for all your help,
Chris


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John Cuevas
Re: How to write text in Light Streaks
on Mar 29, 2013 at 1:00:34 am

There are a few ways to do this, but what it boils down to is you want to do a "write-on" effect. Use the text tool to create your youtube name. Now using the mask tool, draw a rough path where you want your light streak to follow. You will probably need to loop over some places, come up with ways to go from one letter to the next...

Once you have your mask finished, twirl open the mask properties and click "Mask Path" and (cntl+C) to copy that path. Now go to the position property of your light streak and (cntl+v) the mask path into your light streak position property. When you do this you AE creates roving keyframes, you can control the speed of these by grabbing the first or last one and dragging them out. These keyframes can converted to normal keyframes by selecting them all, right clicking them and deselecting "Rove across Time"

Here's a tutorial that should help you out. He's using a stroke effect, so he doesn't use the copy and paste to position, but that's technique you can use for creating your masks.: Animated Handwriting in After Effects

Let me know if you have any more questions or didn't understand something.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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Chris Price
Re: How to write text in Light Streaks
on Mar 29, 2013 at 1:37:13 pm

This sounds stupid but how do I open the mask properties?:P The rest of it seems alright, and thanks for the quick reply man! Cheers:)


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John Cuevas
Re: How to write text in Light Streaks
on Mar 29, 2013 at 3:22:53 pm

Select your layer and to the left of the layer name is a twirl down arrow. If you have masked the correct layer, then you will see twirl downs for Masks and Transforms. Twirl that open to access the Mask Path.


The short cut for a layer with a mask is "M", but that only access Mask Path, "MF" quickly will open Mask Feather.

Being that you have just started, I would strongly recommend you take a look at these getting starting links. AE is a program where if you don't properly learn the fundamentals, you will quickly throw up your hands in frustration.

Check out: Getting started with After Effects (CS4, CS5, CS5.5, & CS6), point 4 has links to 2 great free online training sessions. A quick 10 part one from Andrew Kramer and a much more in-depth one by Andrew Devis(hosted here on the Cow).

Good luck

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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