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After Effects - Animated Infographic Video & Data Visualisation

How to get line to follow the video in Adobe After Effects

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hi there, in this tutorial we're going to get aligned to follow the building here, and we get that Text to type on as well, look at that. So, nice and easy one, let's get into the tutorial.

So first thing we're going to do is bring in our video. So I've got a New Project open. I'm going to double click the Project window. I'll try and double click it. And we're going to bring in 'Aerial Moving Dolly'. Now this particular technique - I'm going to make a Comp from it - this particular technique works really good if the Artwork is just moving in a straight line. Up, down, left, right, diagonally, as long as it's going straight, this technique is super easy, and quick. We're going to work on something a little bit more complicated in the next video, but let's get this one out of the way.

What I'm going to do is rename my Comp because it's got the same name as the video, and that makes it confusing. I'm going to call this one 'Pointy Line'. So I've got this video here. And what I want to do is, kind of maybe point to one of these windows. I'm going to start at the beginning, I'm going to put in some Text. The Text is going to go on a bit of a black background. So we're going to grab the Rectangle tool. And one thing to do is, remember - I'm going to start drawing now - if I use my Rectangle tool, and I have my Layer selected, it's going to create a Mask, that's not what I want. So I'm going to click off, so I have nothing selected. I'm going to draw a little box down here. So it's on its own Layer, let me give it a Fill color of Black. Down here I'm going to hit 'T' for Transparency. Lower the Opacity of it. So it's going to allow my text to be seen, but not be too big. Not big enough. That will do.

So, it's got a Stroke around the outside, go away. And we're going to add our Type, it's in our Exercise Files called 'Night Fact'. This Night Fact does not exist. I couldn't find a really good one online I was trying to find something interesting but couldn't, so I made one up. We're going to grab the Type tool, make sure nothing's selected here. Click once, paste. I'm going to break it into two lines. I'm going to move it down here, make it a bit smaller. It's the wrong one, that's the font size. Nice! All right, that's our Factoid.

So now we're going to do a Line. We're going to grab the 'Pen' tool. And like before, if I had this Text selected and I start drawing on it, it actually creates a Mask on that Text. You see, no new Line appeared. So I'm going to undo, just have nothing selected. Grab the 'Pen' tool, and the 'Stroke' here I'm going to make this kind of gray white. Make it 5 pixels wide. And I am going to have the Line going from here, and I'm going to pick a Window up here. I don't even know which one, I kind of picked one. That one. I'm going to pick that bottom left corner. Cool! So I'm going to click off, Play it through. You'll notice, obviously it's not attached yet.

So, back to the beginning here. To get it to animate, we're going to open up this. So 'Shape Layer 1' is our Line, I'll rename it, call this one 'Line'. And twirl it down. And inside of here, we're looking for Contents, we're looking for Shape. Looking for the Path, and this is the Path we're going to set the Keyframes for it. So, we got a Keyframe at the beginning. Then, all the way along-- now, my Window actually disappears off screen, about there. So I'll show you how to fix that up. So I'm going to get to about there. Where is he? Come on, window. Here he is there, before it disappears.

Now, to move it, what I need-- it can be a little fiddly. We still need the Pen tool. What I find is-- I'm going to close all this up. And I'm going to click down here, into no man's land, so I've nothing selected, and I click back on it. With my Pen tool, I'm going to click the Line that I want to change. Make sure your Playhead's back at the beginning here. No it's not, back there. Click once. And you can kind of see the difference between these two Lines. One's selected, one's not. You'll know, by dragging it if they both come with you, you've done it wrong. Click off, click back on, it's a little fiddly. So now I'm going to move it over here. So, Frame 1, it starts there. And it just follows along and because it's a nice straight line, we're going to preview it. It's going to follow along nicely. If you got any sort of bend in it, it's going to be a little bit tougher. And we'll do that in the next tutorial. That's how to get Lines going.

Now, ours is going pretty slow. It looks quite cool, when, let's say-- we do it to that, remember that pint glass kind of comes up nice and fast. Looks quite cool. You can point at things like a Pie Chart that's coming out, and get it to move around. So if you only came for the Line, that's it. I'm going to do a couple of other things with the Type just because we're here, and it feels like it needs to be done. First of all, I'm going to trim up the video because it gets to here, and the Line disappears off and it's kind of hard to do. So I'm going to kind of get it to about there, before the Line. So, it finishes at about 12:04. So I could go to 'Composition Settings' and just change it from 12:04. I could type it in there, but what most people do is they'll use this thing here, the Work Space area. We've used it before, where we kind of tied this in. Remember, we just want to preview it in a little loop.

What we're going to use it for-- I'm going to hold 'Shift', grabbing this end, this big gray box. Hold 'Shift', it's going to lock it into my Playhead. And now I can see up here, under my 'Composition' is, just please trim it to the Work Area. So now it's kind of lobbed this end off. It hasn't changed the movie. Your video hasn't changed, or been edited. Just the Comp has. So your video just runs the edge here, and doesn't get played. So now, just getting to this end bit, and stop. So that's how to trim up a video.

The other thing we’re going to do is this Text here. I want it to kind of type on like a typewriter. It's a nice, easy, quick trick. Under 'Effects & Presets', type in 'Typewriter'. So 'Typewriter', click, hold, and drag it. Add it to the 40% Text Layer. And it's pretty much ready to go. Typity, type, type, type. There are adjustments you can go and do. So under here, you can twirl down, look for the Transform, nope, look under Text. And this is Animator, that's been applied. Twirl it down, and these are the two Keyframes that are being applied. I find actually, just clicking on it, hitting 'U' give me the two Keyframes that I need. And you can speed it up by bringing them closer together, or slow it down by spreading them apart. Somewhere in the middle. Feel like saying, Jason born in some country doing some special stuff. But anyway, that's our little Line thing. We're going to Save it there and work on something more complicated in the next video. I'll see you over there.