After Effects instructor extraordinaire, Jeremy Hicks teaches his latest lesson (he also taught the Arrivals Board tutorial) This time the theme is on broadcast quality title bumpers, made easy though, by using dynamic text in After Effects. Dynamic, meaning text that is stored in a .text file outside of the actual AE project files. Unlike dynamic text in a program like Flash that would bring it in at runtime, you do need to have After Effects open and ultimately render a movie to make use of it. But this trick is easy to setup and enables you to quickly create tons of title sequences.
So suppose Car Max hires you for a commercial, and needs the final shot to have local locations listed based on where the promo airs. Instead of creating tons of different project files or textually unique animations for each location, you can edit and update your text file, re-render and you’re done. Also since you can use array variables in the text file, this works for multiple areas of text in the animation or for multiple shots of just one title. And of course you can apply tons of FX to the text and do whatever you normally would to make plain text look good. The idea behind this lesson was to show how a company like CNN might setup their bumper sequences because they are constantly having to update them for different news stories.
And as always, there’s a lot more to learn then just what the title says. Jeremy has tons of tips for anyone looking to break into the professional broadcast industry.
Since this lesson was just released, it is currently discounted and paired up with another tutorial which I’ll blog about momentarily, but FOR NOW (at the time I’m writing this plus a couple months) you can visit the CartoonSmart Discounts page and get it for the cheap combo price. Here’s the discount page, and if you’re reading this in the distant future, here’s the After Effects: Dynamic Text perma-link.