After Effects Motion Graphics: House of Cards Intro | Phil Ebiner | Skillshare

After Effects Motion Graphics: House of Cards Intro

Phil Ebiner, Video | Photo | Design

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6 Lessons (39m)
    • 1. Course Introduction and Project Files

      1:57
    • 2. Setting Up After Effects and Importing Assets

      5:46
    • 3. Create the Flag Animation

      14:56
    • 4. Adjusting the Speed of Your Animation

      5:19
    • 5. Adding Text and the Background

      7:54
    • 6. Exporting from After Effects

      3:23

About This Class

Learn how to re-create the House of Cards intro in Adobe After Effects. 

In this series of motion graphics tutorials, you'll learn:

  • How to animate the American flag.
  • How to add and customize text.
  • How to add a background that zooms.
  • How to export a video from After Effects.

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Download all of the project files needed to follow along with the course, including:

  • After Effects project
  • American flag image
  • Title card screenshot for reference
  • Title card video for reference
  • Font file

Use the After Effects skills learned in this course to create your own unique motion graphics!

Cheers,

Phil

Transcripts

1. Course Introduction and Project Files: Hey, everyone, fill debonair here with video school online dot com In this series of videos, I'm going to be showing you how to create the House of Cards title card, specifically looking at the animation of the American flag. So go ahead and download the project file for this Siris of videos. Once you download that file, it will be a ZIP file and you will see that it has a few assets in it that we're going to be using. You're going to be using a photo of the Capitol building at night. This is a free video or image that I found on Wikipedia. It has Attallah card screenshot of the House of Cards actual title. So this is there for reference. So that's just for educational purposes. I also found the intro video for the House of Cards, and this is good to see the timing. You can find this on YouTube as well, and then I have another U S flag graphic that will help us understand the right size of the stripes and everything the right aspect for everything. When we're creating our animation, there also is this text. So this is called big noodle fought. It's different than the actual house of cards title fought, but you have to pay for that. So I wanted to give you a free option. So in our Tala card, we're going to be using this fun and another one that should be already installed on your computer. There is also the template, So when you open up the after effects template file, it will look something like this. It has to compositions one with the flag animation and one with the full title card animation. So you can use that if you are interested in following along or just seeing how I do it or you can start a new composition are just a new project, and that's what I'm going to do. I'm gonna walk you through the entire process. 2. Setting Up After Effects and Importing Assets: The very first thing to do is to import all of your assets, so go ahead and open up after effects. Now, when you open up after effects, it might look a little bit different than mine. I have specific windows, but you can change the arrangement of your workspace by going upto window workspace and then choosing standard. And if there are any windows that I have open that you don't have open, then you can open them with these different options down here. So you have your line window character window tools will know all these windows, and the ones with the check marks are the ones that I have open. So go ahead and set yourself up. Right now. The only other thing that you might want to check out is the Move Anchor Point script. So this is a script that I have downloaded and installed, and it allows us to move the anchor point for our layers to different parts of our shape. That's a free plug in. Go ahead and go to YouTube and search for my 10 tutorial on how to use an install the move Anchor point script. If you need help just go to a video school in Lines Channel and you can search for a move anchor point. And here's this video. It has the link in the description to the script. There. It's completely free again, and I'll show you how to use it. Okay, so all of that being said in this video, I just want to show you how to get set up. So we're going to just start importing our assets. So the first thing we're going to import are are images and our video. So we have our Capitol building card. We have our tattle, screenshot our intra video and are US flag PNG. So just go ahead and drag that into after effects, just going to create a new folder called Assets, sometimes with bigger projects. I like to separate my assets into images and videos and other types of graphics. But since this is a pretty simple animation with not too many assets, I'll just create one asset folder, and with the text or the font, it's a TTF file that's included. Now you can only use this fought for personal use. You can go to def on dot com de a FON t dot com and find the spot and then purchase it for commercial use. But this is just for personal use, so please just feel free to use it for your personal projects, but not for commercial. So just double click it and it will install on your computer. So now we have our videos set up. We're just going to create a new composition. No, I'm just gonna go ahead and double check what my competition settings are for the flag, because we need to create composition, the right size, the right dimensions for our flag, and it looks like it's 1900 pixels wide by 1000 pixels tall. So it's not your standard video aspect ratio, but for our flag, that's what it's going to be. So imagine you're starting a project. You won't have these two compositions, so what you'll want to do is start in your composition. You can create press this little, create a new composition button right here that pops up the composition settings module. I'm just going to title this flag animation, and then I will change the width and the height to 1900 by 1000 and I found these dimensions for the United States. Flag online somewhere I forget where, but you can find those dimensions online if you need them. And the actual flag PNG that you have as an asset will fit perfectly in these dimensions and then click. OK, the next thing we're going to do is just place our US flag image. So just take the U. S. Flag. Drop it in the timeline, you might have to extend it so that it fills our five second timeline. So five seconds is about this. The length of time for the House of Cars intro. So if you want to make it shorter or longer, you can. That is, in the composition settings. And if you ever need to go back and change anything about this composition, you can just go up to composition, composition settings or press command K on your keyboard. If you're using a Mac or control K on your keyboard, if you're using a PC than under duration, you have your seconds five seconds. So with this U S flag, we have to rotate it because in the house of cards, it's upside down and backwards. So if we rotate it by bringing up our on our keyboards. So press are or just click this triangle over the left toe, bring up our transform properties and then under rotation, we can rotate it so that it is horizontal rather than vertical. So we want to rotate it negative 90 degrees. This way, we want to decrease the scale. So with the skill, just drag this down until it fills our composition. 50% is about perfect, and then we need to flop it. So a quick way to flop is to actually make this a three D layer. So clicks this little cube option and then for the UAE rotation, rotate this 180 degrees. So now we have our project set up. We have this flag in the background will use as a template, and next we're going to be creating the stripes and animating the stripes onto our actual composition. 3. Create the Flag Animation: Now we're going to be creating an animating the stripes of the flag. There are many different ways to create shapes and to animate shapes, and this is just one of them. So you might watch another aftereffects tutorial or you might already know how to do things . And after effects and I'm going to do it may be a different way. I'm going to try to do it the most simple way for beginners. So just follow along and let's get going. So what I'm going to do is actually just drop the opacity of the U. S flag just a little bit, so I'm just gonna drop it down to 75% so it's a little bit darker. So when we do create our actual shape layers, it looks brighter and weaken. Tell the shape from the background. I'm going to just close this down so it's easier to see. Then I'm going to take my rectangle tool. I'm going to just pressing space bar on my keyboard. I can move the actual composition so I can see a little bit better, and I'm just going to zoom back into fit up to 100% and Then I'm going to change the fill color with the shape tool selected changed the fill to this red. So I'm just going to take the eyedropper and click that read right there. Click OK, the stroke. Make sure that zero and then I'm just going to click right within my composition and create this shape. Now, we wanted to match pretty much exactly the shape of this stripe so you can zoom in on pressing Z on my keyboard and just zooming in and then taking my pointer selection tool and just double clicking the edge of these shapes and making sure that it fits the shape perfectly. So I'm using again pressing space bar. I have my hand tool, the move tool and moving that around. Then I can also use the keyboard arrows to move the shape up and down so that it fits that stripe perfectly. So make sure it goes all the way to the end. Zoom out and that looks pretty darn good. Okay, so then I'm going to move this up to the very top, some just clicking and dragging. And I'm also holding the shift button down. If I don't hold the shift button down. It moves left to right. But if I hold the shift button down while I'm moving, it locks it to that axis that why access as I move it up or the X axis, and it doesn't move it along that left or right, Just gonna zoom in here again just to make sure that I put it. It's directly lined up with that stripe, and then I'm just gonna zoom out, And now we're going to animate this. So we're actually going to animate this strike before creating all of our other stripes. And then once we animate this strike, weaken, just duplicate it. So click on this shape. And then if you have the move anchor point tool, you can just press this left side button. So if you install that, go upto two window and then make sure that move incurs point is selected. And then in that window, just click this left side and it moves the anchor point over here. I'm gonna undo that now, If you don't have that, what you can do is choose your pan behind tool and then select this anger point and move it to the left side, so it's pretty easy after effects has made some updates since they launched Creative Cloud version. So it's easier toe move your anger points and lock it to the left or right or center of your shape. So now we're going to animate it, so we're simply going to create a shape, a size or scale animation. First, I'm going to rename this so I can just select this layer press return on my keyboard and I'll call this red stripe, and I'm also going to change the color of this to read. So I know this is the red stripe. Then I'm going to press s on my keyboard to bring up scale and I'm going toe unlock the constrain proportions. Then I'm going to click the time clock stopwatch right here, the time button, and this creates a key frame right there. Now that's telling after effects that at this point in time, I want these size of this shape to be what it is right now. That and that's our end property. So that's what we want it to end at. So I'm just gonna move this over to the right. We're gonna play with the timing in just a second. I'm just gonna move it over to the right and then taking the first scale property. The with drop this back down to zero. Now, if I turn off the viewing of the U. S. Flag in the background, you can see how this animation works. So we have our first stripe animating on. Now let's look at the actual House of Cars intro for reference. I'm just going to place this in here, and I'm just going to have to scroll to the end because that's where the actual house of cards flag animation is some just clicking and scrolling to the end. And then I'm going to put my timer at the very beginning of my composition and just scroll this layer to the right so that it starts at the very beginning of the composition. And then I can kind of scroll through and see how long it actually takes the striped animate on. I'm gonna have to zoom in this, and it's not very high quality, but I can still see the timing so it's very quickly. So you see that red line, its animating on it starts and about there it ends. So that's the length of the animation. And so that's how far we want our key frames to be apart from each other. So it starts here at the very beginning, and then it ends here. Where are timeline indicator is does that make sense? Now that we have that one animation, I'm going to just turn off the intro video so I can see my stripe coming onto our composition. Gonna turn on the U. S. Flag again. Now that we have that one stripe, what we can do is just duplicate this layer. I'm just going to duplicate it by selecting it in the timeline and pressing command D. And then I'm just going to move that layer down so that it matches up with our next stripe . Make sure that you select the right one. So I have disliked this 2nd 1 Move it down. I'm using my keyboards now and the arrows to move it up or down, you might have to zoom in if you need to get a better view. So again, duplicating selecting that 2nd 1 and moving it down So pretty easy. Now we move on to our next stripe and this these ones are a little bit shorter. So we're still going to move it, duplicate this 3rd 1 So now we have 1/4 stripe, moving it down using my keyboard. But instead of animating to 100% we're going to animate to another number. So press you on your keyboard or s to bring up the scale key frames. You see how, before we scaled from 0 to 100 now we're going to scale from 0 to 60. The U. S. Flag dimensions are about the blue. Over here is about 20% of the with, so the stripes are about 60% and then the blue is 40% basically, So we're going to enemy up to 60 for this stripe. Then again, we're going to duplicate and move down, duplicate and move down, duplicate and moved down. The cool thing about this is that it's really easy to duplicate and move our white stripes . So what we can do is just select all of these stripes, duplicate them, and while we have them duplicated and all selected, click the red over here for one of the ones that you have selected and changed to. They don't have a white, but let's just change two sandstone for now. So that's going to be our white stripes and then go up to fill again with everything selected and change the fill color to white. Now with everything selected press shift and down on your keyboard or just down on your keyboard and line it up with the other stripes. Now you might have to go in here, zoom in, make sure everything is lined up properly so that it's they don't overlap. Some just gonna go in here perfect. This just a bit. So it looks like our white stripes have to go down. Just a hair, something like that. This could get a little TDs, but it might have been. It probably would have been better if I had zoomed in while everything was selected, because I can probably just like the rest of these now and move them down altogether. Okay, so now we don't need this white stripe at the bottom, so all I will just take this last stripe and delete it. So now we have everything animating on at the same time, and we need them to animate separately. So I'll just turn on my intro video and what I'll do it. Just go through it one frame at a time and to scrub through your timeline. One frame at a time where you can actually do is press command and then right on your keyboard, arrows or control if you're using a PC, so starting at the beginning, I'm just going to scrub right. So command, right until I see the first white straight popping up and I will move that first stripe the first white stripe to that starting point. See that? So I'm going to zoom in here so you can see a little bit better than I'm going to scrub a couple more frames and it looks like the the stripes start animating on every two frames, so I can kind of just based it off that so go to frames. Move two frames move, and if you're skilled, you can kind of just do it without even moving. The timeline indicator after effects kind of allows you to move things on the timeline one frame at a time, and it locks it to those frames as you move things. So I'm just going to do everything to frames at a time and then I'll just zoom out and I'll just go to the end of this animation so the last stripe should be completing right about here. Now, let's see if that's true. I'll just select my last red stripe Press s and perfect. My last key frame is happening right about there. It would probably be good to go in and just rename all of these white stripe so you can go through and name rename all of the white stripes white stripe and last thing we have to do is add our blue background. So I'm just gonna turn off our intro video. I'm gonna turn off the U. S. Flag. I just want to play through this just so you can see what it looks like. So just gonna present zero on my keyboard and there you have the first part of the animation the stripes. Now let's odd are blue and turn back The U. S. Flag turned on that again so that I have the right color. Then I'm going to take my shaped tool, change the fill color to this blue click. OK, and now just go in here zoom in just a bit. Take are shaped tool and create that shape. You want it to be perfectly aligned, so you might have to zoom in here, line it to the top in the bottom. Let's just go up to the top. Looks good. And to the right, make sure it goes to the end of the composition. Perfect. Here we will add the same type of scale animation. So using your hand behind tool selecting our shape layer, we can just move the anchor point to the left of this shape press as to bring up our scale . We will set a key frame. Make sure that you unconstrained the proportions, clicking that little chain icon. We're gonna move our first key frame to the right and then decrease the scale to zero will bring up our intra video again just to see how long this takes. So it's going to start right about here. I'll move my blue shape layer right there so it starts right there and it ends right about there. Let me turn off this intra video. I just put it above my last shape layer and let's just play through this and I'll turn off the U. S. Flag play through it. It's looking pretty good. We have the animation down. The only thing that's kind of missing is that the speed of the motion is a little off, and I see some black spaces in between some of the lines. So I got to make sure to move these shapes into select them and move them up or down so that there properly space and there's no spaces in between the shapes. So next I'm just going to give you a quick tip on how to improve the motion and the speed of these layers. 4. Adjusting the Speed of Your Animation: the motion and the speed of the these animations are a little bit funny. They're not as fluid as the motion in the actual intro. So what we're going to do is add a little bit of easy easing. So easy ease is an effect that, after effects allows you to add to your key frames that ramps up the speed or ramps down the speed of an animation. So instead of moving from point A to B at the same rate throughout point A to B. So right here we have these stripes going on. They're moving at the same speed from the very beginning to when they abruptly stop in the natural world, things start slower, they speed up, and then when they're stopping, they slow down. Imagine a car. It doesn't start at 60 MPH and then stop at 60 MPH. It's look slowly goes up from 0 to 60 and then when you're slowing down, it goes from 60 back down to zero. So let's take all of our layers, so just select all of them. Just select one and then press shift and select the top one press s to bring up all of the key frames for scale. I was gonna make this timeline a little bit bigger. Then, with your selection tool. Just click and drag over all of these key frames. You can right click choose key frame assistant Eazy E's or just hit F nine on your keyboard . So this is going to look a little bit better. So let's just get this full screen again. So the speed looks a little bit more natural. It's not perfect, but a little bit more natural. The next thing we can do is play with the speed even more with the graph editor. Click this little, but in this icon right here at the top of your timeline for graph editor, make sure that you are using the speed graph. So this second icon from the right is a little choose graph type and options menu instead of at it. Value graph. Make sure you are on the speed graph. We can zoom in here a little bit, and when all of your shapes are selected, you see these graphs. This is the speed you see the ramping up, so the Y axis is the speed and the X axis is the timeline, so it's starts to ramp up and then slow down. For all of these key frames, we wanted to ramp up and down even more so select all your key frames by just clicking and dragging over the bottom of this graph, and when you zoom in, you'll see that there are these little yellow points that shoot out from each of the key frames. Click this last one on the right and dragged the left. That's going to ramp down the speed even more, then find one of these ones on the should be on the right side of one of these key frames. So maybe going to the 1st 1 might be the best way to do it and click to the right, so it's going to ramp up even more and ramp down. So let's play through this just to see what this looks like. And that looks even better so it ramps up, ramps down. Maybe the ramping up is a little bit too much. Maybe it slows into that ramping up just a bit, a little bit hard to find the right key frame to select with. All of these are just ramp up just a little bit. We want more of that ramping down. So uncheck the key, the graph editor Play through it and it looks like we have a much better looking animated flag. You can compare it to the intro video flags and just Let's play through it. This one looks a little bit smoother. Even, I think, actually, with the intro video, it doesn't ramp up much. It just ramps down even more so I don't even know if ramping down is a word or a technical term. So go back to our graph editor. I'm going to zoom in here their first select all of our key frames. Zoom in. We're going to change the ramping downs that it's starting very fast, and then it really slows down at the end. Yeah, that looks better. That looks much better. And even I can just select this last layer or just like the blew a shape layer and we take our scale. We could ramp that down even more because that's the one that looks the slowest to me. All right. You could spend hours and hours tweaking the timeline of everything, but this looks very good. It looks very close to the speed the blue might. I want Teoh. I might want to slow down just a little bit, just like that, great. In the next part, we're going to be adding this to the actual title card and adding text and the background. 5. Adding Text and the Background: let's create a new composition for our title card, so create press that's created new composition button. Now we're going to use the's standard 1920 by 10 eighties pixels. We're gonna keep it at five seconds. We call this title card and click OK, we will add our background image so we have this capital image, so I'm just gonna drop this on our timeline, and it's very big, so I'm just going to bring up the scale and make it smaller until it fits better. Here is where we can use our title screenshot to adjust the size of the flag and the text. So just drop our title screenshot above our capital image and then just bring up the scale and increase the scale until it fits the size of our actual composition. Now we can take this flag animation composition and just drop that actual composition right in side of our actually composition. Our title card composition. Go later on until you see the whole flag animated on. Bring up the scale and drop it down and we can zoom in here and we want to move this right over our flag and make sure it's about the right size, so you were really dropping it down quite a bit. About 9% or so 9.5. That's looking pretty darn good. Next, let's add our text. So let's drop the opacity of this title card. So go down to 50. And with this we can even change the size and position of the Our Capitol building. This image isn't exactly how it is on the intro of House of Cards, but it's It's pretty close so we can move this just a bit, something like so. And if I un if I turn off the title screen shot, you can see that it looks pretty good. One thing, though, is that this image that I've shared with you is a little bit bright, so let's darken it just a bit. A quick way to add a layer to make it darker is just by going toe layer. New solid create a black solid, so just make sure you choose the color black, but this and then select okay and then put it right above the capital layer press T to bring up opacity and drop the opacity like 40% or so. It's not perfect. But for our purposes, it's easy and easy way to darken the background to make sure that the foreground stands out . Let's take our text tool. Just type house. I'm using this big noodle titling text because I thought it looked similar to the House of Cards text in the title card. I'm going to move this down and line it up with the flag. Just gonna turn on our tile screenshot to see what it looks like. I can see that the text in the House of Cards screenshot is a lot whiter. It's more spread out. So will play with the tracking a bit. So under your character panel, you can play with the tracking and the size just a little bit. It looks like it's even folded a little bit, so that looks pretty good, actually. So it's more like a bold and then about 2 60 tracking. That's pretty good Now, since I have the right settings for that house text, I'm just going to duplicate it and move it over here and I'll say cards. So move the cards right over the cards text, and then one more timing. I'm going to duplicate this and I will just say of and of is a different font in the House of cards, texts and in what we're using, let me just make sure what text I was using for the of this one's actually very different from what the House of Cards text looks like. I'm using mono type course, Eva. I believe this should be installed already on your computer, especially if you're using a Mac. If not, you can just find one that looks similar. I'm going to make sure that is not all caps, and I don't want it to be bold either. And this spacing between the letters is smaller, so it looks like it's more like 1 50 Now just move this down over the of text, so it's pretty darn close. It's not perfect, definitely, but it's close. I'm just gonna turn off our title. Screenshot of text looks a little bit too close to the cards. I'm just gonna make the tracking 1 20 and move the cards to the right a little bit. The only other animation we have are those two animations we have to do now. The background scaling and the opacity, the fade on of the House of cards text so I can actually bring up the intro video. What I can do is actually just copy, copy or cut this. I'm just gonna cut it by pressing Community X and then command V on my tattle card composition. Turn it on. And then this will show us when we want to fade on the house of cards text. So scratch scrubbing through here, going to start right about there at this point. So select all of your text press t on your keyboard, set the opacity to zero, and then click the time stop clock right here to set that key frame. Then move your your timeline on your timeline to the right until it's fully faded on right about there, then set the opacity to 100%. So that's pretty good. The other thing with this intro video is that and I'll just scale it down so you can kind of see what it looks like. Better is that the background is zooming out. So let's create that background zooming out effect. I'm just gonna delete that, and then I will take our Capitol building and we will actually go to the end of our time line, set the scale to 46 which is what it is, and then set a key frame right there, then go to the beginning of the timeline and change the scale to, like 50. So now we have the Capitol building scaling back, creating that zoom out effect. We have our text fading on and we have the flag animation, so putting it all together, if I just play through this, we get a pretty good looking house of cards animation. I think that's pretty good. The flag. Let's look solid. The text is great. Of course. It is different, The font is different and the image in the background is different. It's not a time lapse. It's just a still image. But you could imagine that this is if you had those shots and the exact fonts, it would look literally, exactly the same. The next thing we have to do is export this video, so that's what I'll be covering how to do next 6. Exporting from After Effects: before exporting this video. I like to just clean up my compositions so to quickly collapsed all of these layers I just press command a s s to clo close down out of everything Just gonna delete this tattle screenshot And actually that's pretty much it That's all I need to dio So just play through it one more time to make sure that the timing of everything looks good. Maybe the opacity of this black sawed might be need to be a little bit higher to make it a little bit darker. And that looks pretty good. Now let's export this so go to composition. Add to render queue. You can also add it to Adobe Media encoder, but I'm just going to export right within after effects in the output module. Just this drop down menu, click this H 264 option. You can then click the H 264 text right there to bring up all of the options for H 264 But that preset is a 100% quality ht 64 video, so that should be good to go and then the output to just click that not yet specified text and save it to wherever you want, so I'll save it toe assets, and I'll call this one class project House of cards, click, save and then click. Render. It's going to render out, depending on how fast your computer is, It might take a little while. You can tell that my computer is pretty fast. I have 16 gigabytes of Ram. I wish I had even more gigabytes of Ram, but it's pretty good for most animations. If we go to our folder, we have this class project now. If I open it with quick time, we can then play it back just to make sure just to double check what it looks like. Alex. Pretty solid. I am super happy about this, and I hope you have enjoyed this series of tutorials on building the House of Cards title card. If you are following along, I would love if you exported your own version and posted it to the course site. I would love to see your work. If you want extra credit, please upload and post your own version, so create different flag. If you live in another country, you can use a different countries flag If you want to use your state flag or create your own flag, do something different. Use the same techniques of just the simple scale animation to create your animation and then maybe create a different title. Use a different image. Use video. If you have video, just get creative with this technique and and go crazy with it. I would love to see how creative you can get and then, ah, give you some feedback. Thank you so much for watching. If you have any questions, please let me know otherwise will see you in another tutorial. As always, check out video school online dot com for my latest blogged articles, free tutorials or premium classes on everything related to motion graphics, photography, video production, business creation and more. Have a great day.