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Falling Letters Intro - Create an AWESOME introduction for your video!
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Posted on August 27th, 2005
Adobe After Effects
Hi everybody.. welcome to a new after effects tutorial.. today we will create some falling letters that at the end creates a slogan or whatever you like. This effect is pretty simple using some animation presets.
Now you are telling why should we use presets..?? I just have one answer for that..
"Why reinventing the wheel, when it's already there..."

So let's move on.. Here a screenshot of what you will be creating..

Step 1

Create a new composition with the size you wish. I'm using Standard PAL size, since I'm working in europe ;)
720x576, with a length of 5 seconds.

I've put two solids on the top & bottom of my composition to fake the look of a 16:9 picture.. you can just skip this part if you don't want that..

Each one has a length of 720px and a height of 100 px, position them at the borders of your movie.. so you have a "faked" 16:9 look..

Step 2

Next we will create some text..
So right-click on your timeline window and select "New - Text", you could also go to your tools-palette and choose the type tool.. but it with this way your text will be centered automatically.

Type something that fills your title-safe area (to show the titlesafe area you can click on this icon safe-areas located on the bottom left side of your movie.

I've typed "World Television is creative television" I wasn't so creative this morning.. so if you have a better idea then do that. :) also switch the 3D layer mode ON by clicking the small 3dbox ;)

Now duplicate that textlayer 8 times using CTRL+D, so at the end you have 9 text layers.

Step 3

Now we need to distribute the all text layers on the whole screen.. for that, select all textlayers and press "P" so the position settings show up, and since you are already here, click on the small stopwatch beneath the position layer to create a keyframe at position 00:00. Don't forget to deselect all layers again by clicking somewhere on the timeline, otherwise if you change one setting all other layers will have that new value
My first text layer will be positioned at 360, 100, 0 (X,Y,Z), and here the following layers:

2. 360, 150, 0
3. 360, 200, 0
4. 360, 250, 0
5. 360, 300, 0
6. 360, 350, 0
7. 360, 400, 0
8. 360, 450, 0
9. 360, 500, 0

You will not see the first and the last 2 layers, since they are underneath the 2 solids we created to fake the 16:9 view.
step 3

Let's now give our textlayers some depth.. to achieve that we should change the Z-values of the text layers.. just play around with the settings or just use mine:

1. 360, 100, 0
2. 360, 150, 493
3. 360, 200, 284
4. 360, 250, -257
5. 360, 300, 344
6. 360, 350, -50
7. 360, 400, -181
8. 360, 450, 1021
9. 360, 500, 766

step 3.1

Let's move on to the presets

Step 4

Now the presets will come in place.. particularly the "Raining Characters In" preset.
To select it, press CTRL+5 a new option window will open, and then select animation presets - Text - Animate In.
step 4

You just need to drag & drop the preset to each text layer, don't be scared when your text is vanished, if you click on a text layer you will see a red outline in your composite window.. text is still here :)
step 4.1

As you see on my screenshot, the letters are falling down.. and at the end they will create our slogan we made first.
But this would be a bit of a lazy effect... so let's enhance it a bit more..

Step 5

We are going to set some keyframes around our text layers, so to begin ensure that your playhead is located at 02:00 and create a new keyframe for all textlayers by putting all Z-values back to 0.

Then move to 03:11 and give all your text layer a value of 300 on the Y-axis.
That will put all textlayers in the middle of the movie. You will see why we are doing that further on.

If you do a RAM-Preview now you will see that our effect already has been enhanced, but not enough.

Please lock layer 7 (the text layer that is positioned in the middle) this will be the main layer, and select again all text layers, layer 7 will not be selected since it's locked, press "T" to bring up the opacity settings for the layers.

Here the settings I've used for the opacity

Position - 00:00

1. 0%
2. 0%
3. 0%
4. 0%
5. locked (always 100%)
6. 0%
7. 0%
8. 0%
9. 0%

Position - 02:00

1. 100%
2. 100%
3. 100%
4. 100%
5. locked (always 100%)
6. 100%
7. 100%
8. 100%
9. 100%

Position - 03:00

1. 0%
2. 0%
3. 0%
4. 0%
5. locked (always 100%)
6. 0%
7. 0%
8. 0%
9. 0%

Unlock layer 7 (original layer) and create a opacity keyframe at 04:14 with a value of 100% and another keyframe at 05:00 with a value of 0% this will fade our text on the last half second.

Also create for layer 7 a scale keyframe at 04:14 by pressing "S" and another keyframe at the end of the movie with a value of 900.

These 2 last setting will give us some kind of zoom in effect with a fade out.

You can apply glow effect to the slogan, so it looks like the matrix effect, or you can even create a camera that flies through the slogan, I leave all that stuff to you now.

Have fun creating this effect, and as always here's the movie :)

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