After Effects for Beginners: Design and Animate a Lower Third | Duncan Rogoff | Skillshare

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After Effects for Beginners: Design and Animate a Lower Third

teacher avatar Duncan Rogoff, Video Editing & Motion Graphics

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (17m)






    • 7. OUTRO

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About This Class

In this beginner course we'll cover some of the basic tools and tips you'll use over and over again as you progress in the software, all while learning how to design and animate a clean and simple Lower Thirds Title.

We'll discuss how to set up a composition, and design a Lower Third using Shape Layers, Gradient Ramps, and After Effect's other built in tools.  Next, I will teach you how to create a simple animation using basic keyframes.

After this course, you'll have what you need to advance further in the software and tackle your first projects!


Other Beginner After Effects Courses:

After Effects for Beginners: Simple Logo Reveal!


After Effects for Beginners: Create Custom Transitions!


After Effects for Beginners: Sexy Titles!


Meet Your Teacher

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Duncan Rogoff

Video Editing & Motion Graphics


Freelance video editor and motion graphics artist based in San Francisco, CA. Almost entirely self-taught and has spent many hours gaining knowledge from online tutorials on sites like

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Always looking for new, fun, creative projects, and to keep learning.

Clients include: Apple, Nissan, PlayStation, Charles Schwab, Visa, Salesforce, Facebook, Apple, WeChat, FICO, Slingbox, Marc Jacobs, Kat Von D, Sephora...

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1. LOWER THIRDS INTRO: Hey, everybody, Dunkin Rogoff here with another really great aftereffects tutorial for you. I'm gonna show you how to design an animate the clean and simple lower thirds title entirely inside of after effects. Using no additional plug ins first will build out our title using Shea players and some of after effects, other built in tools. Next, I'll show you how we can animate our third. Using some simple key friends, you'll have everything you need. Design an animate, a lower third title, all of your own seeing class we owe. 2. DESIGN THE TITLE BOX: Okay, so here we are inside aftereffects. Let's get started making our lower third. First thing we're gonna do is we're gonna create a new composition by coming down here and cooking on this composition icon 1920 by 10. 80 or full 10. 80 p is a good size 23 976 is a fair frame rate, and we shouldn't need more than five seconds for this. So just go ahead only and this third, we'll press. OK, we're make this title just out of shape players and some of after effects built in tools. I'm gonna come down here and we were turned on our title in action Safe to get an idea of the size of our third. And this indirect angle here is called title safe. We don't want any text to fall outside this boundary. Thes hash marks here represent the vertical center and the horizontal center of our composition. Let's go ahead and create a first shape will come appear to the rectangle tool or compress que on our keyboard. And if we keep pressing que weaken cycle through our shape players, we want this rectangle here. So we're just gonna come down, We're gonna click outside the camp. We're gonna drag over to the right and this is gonna act as our first outer border. The next thing I'm gonna dio is I want to take this shape layer first. Let's name it Outer border. I'm gonna duplicate this layer by pressing command de on the keyboard or going up to edit duplicate. I'll call this in a rectangle. We'll take this indirect angle that would change the color of it to a light blue. Actually, what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna come over here to our effects and presets window. I'm gonna type in the word ramp an added Grady in ramp by double clicking on this effect Also gonna get rid of our title in action. Safe. Now you can see we have a grading coming from left to right across our shape layer. So I'm gonna take this end color coming here. I'm gonna make that are blue color and I want take our endpoint by cooking on that little target and setting that to the end of our layer. And I want this also be a shade of blue. But I want this to be much much darker and much less saturated. I'll quick that our start point here, I'll make that the start of our ramp. And now I can just drag this over so that we could be showing a little bit more blue. And if I hold down shift, it'll drag faster. And there we go. Now I don't want to do is I'm gonna 12 down. This triangle would come into contents rectangle transform. I'm going, unlike the scale parameter here, we'll just take this and will shrink this down on the why access so that it fits insider outer border. I'm also gonna shrink it down on the x access so that this gets cut off on the end here. When a press you on the keyboard to hide those parameters, gonna take Argh! Radiant ramp. I'm gonna copy that by pressing command, see, and then command V paste it on our outer border and was going to reset. That here is that the left side of our grading is black on the right side is white. This creates a little more depth. I want to add a little bit more dimension to our indirect angle. So I select that I'll come upto layer layer styles, bevel and emboss. And now you can see if we zoom in We've got a little bit of outer bevel on that indirect angle. It just gives it a little bit more shape. And this is where main titles gonna live. 3. DESIGN THE SUBTITLE BOX: next. I want to make the shape for our job descriptions gonna be. I want to do this using the pen tool. So come up here and select the pen tool or compress a G on the keyboard. I'll select right here near the bottom of our shapewear, and I'm just gonna quick to create our first point. Now if I drag all the way over to the right and I hold down shift, I can create a straight line. Oh, come down to right towards the middle of our screen holding down shift and I'll create our second point. Now I'm gonna create a diagonal line and again I'll hold down shift. Great. One more flat point towards the end and I'll connect or two in points. Now I'm gonna take the shapewear. Wouldn't drag this below. And actually, do you work cost. You can see that this layer also has his outer stroke. I want to get rid of that. So selector shapewear, I'll come to here where stroke is. I'll hold down all and I'll quick until I no longer have a line that no back out come into our outer border. I'll take our grading ramp I'll copy that by pressing command. See a press command V pace it on a diagonal down there. It's actually a little thick for me so I can come into our transform option. I can take the scale. I can shrink that down a little bit, moved back into place. I'm gonna go ahead and duplicate this two more times. I'm gonna take shape layer to I'm gonna take our end color here, and I'm going to select the darker part of our blue. Grady, I'm gonna hide shapewear three so you can actually see what we're doing. I'm gonna take this layer, gonna press p on the keyboard to bring up the position. I'm just gonna slide it a little bit over to the right. I'm gonna go ahead now and when Turn on shapewear three. I'm gonna take our end color, and I'm going to select the lighter part of our great and again I'm gonna press p on the keyboard to bring a position, not slide that to the right. So now we have a little bit of a cascading Grady. It's a little too much for me. I would take both of these and to screw them over to the right. So there's a little bit of less white peeking through again. I can adjust start of these ramps to create a little more of a grating. That's looking nice. Now I just want to get a little bit more separation on our elements. Someone take this outer border here, I'm gonna come up toe layer where styles drop shadow to create a drop shadow around this object. Now come into our drop shadow options. We turn this distance up something like eight to make that a little more noticeable when you could see on the bottom. Here we've created noticeable lines separating our two elements. Actually, just gonna take shape layers two and three and nudge them up by using the up there. So now we've got a little more border on the bus and turn on our title in action safe. And we set this to fit. You see, that were a little bit high on the screen so you can take all these select every layer or press command a on the keyboard. If we hit shift and the down arrow will scoot everything down. 10 pixels right about there is looking good 4. FINAL DESIGN TOUCHES: So now we can dio You can take this composition. Hop in your project can open up a sloth composition. I can take this lower third. I could just drop it right on top there. Now what I like to do. So I have to just give it a little bit of transparency. So oppressed t on the keyboard to bring up the opacity and just turn that down. Something like 80. It's a little too transparent. So maybe we'll go something more like 90 so you can see a little bit of the image behind it . And now, once we have an image behind, this thing really starts to come to life so we can go in here. We can add our titles. We come into the text tool, we can type in the box. We can type in Slough. We'll go ahead. You see, I drop you here to make that white and scale it down so that it fits inside our box Press V on the keyboard. Select our move tool again. We'll bring up our title in action. Safe. You'll see that if we screw this over but hold down shift in drag, I'll only move on the X axis could just not that into place by using the arrow keys. So take this will duplicate this layer grab it will hold down shift to move it straight down will change the size down Something like 60 instead of ultra will make it different Weight will change that to media coconuts that back over instead of sloth. Weaken, Say move slowly. There's still a little bit big. So does take that We double click here. Take that down to about 55. We can nudge that back over again using the arrow keys. Now it looks to me Look, our initial shapes aren't quite big enough, so I can just select all of them. There might be enough room, just screwed them over. If that doesn't work, we compress s on the keyboard to bring up the scale on link up properties here scaled it up on the X access and again, words have to move them back into place using the arrow keys. That's looking much better. So if we hop back into our sloth now, we've just created our first lower third. It's looking really nice. Now that I've showed you how to build this, I'm gonna go ahead and really quickly show you how to animate using just some basic key friends 5. ANIMATING WITH KEYFRAMES: we'll come back into 1/3 composition here. A press to you on the keyboard to hide all parameters. I'm going to start but animating out directing now I want our indirect angle and our sloth text to move at the same time as a router board. So we select both these layers by pressing shift, and we take this pick web tool here, and I'm gonna parent it the outer border. You can see now that our parent is this outer border. So any time I move the outer border or indirect angle and our sloth text are gonna move along with it so high that here we'll go to frame 20 on our composition oppressed P on the keyboard to bring up position. And I'll set a key friend. Now come back to the beginning here, and I'll just drag this number over to the left. And you can see that just by dragging the outer border, everything else moves with it. I hold down shift. These numbers will move faster. So if I press play, this also eyes onto the screen. I want to give this animation a little more life in a little more smoothing. So It's like both are key frames and press F nine on the keyboard or right click go to Key frame assistant Eazy e's, and this will add a little bit of smoothing. So now if we play it, it slides into place a little slower. And again, I want to adjust this a little bit, so select both or key frames will come into our graph editor. Right now we're looking at the speed graph. You might be looking at something like the value graph, which looks like this. What we want to do is we wanna work with speed graph. So coming to this list icon down on the bottom instead of edit value graph, select at its speed graph what is quick and will select their last point and dragged us over the left. Now this means is that our animation? We'll start moving very quickly and the slowly ease into place. Hop out of the graph editor here we could play this back. Now you have an animation that's looking a little nicer now, one last thing to really sell this effect. It's adding motion book, so we need to select the three layers that we want Or do you want a time? You can also click and drag down this line here. These three circles represent motion board. In addition, turning them on for each individual layer also need to turn motion boron for the entire composition. So now if you go back to the beginning and press play, you can see this comes on with a little more born movement, which adds some more life. We're just going to do something similar to the bottom. Here. I'm gonna take this move slowly text And when a parent this to shape layer three, I'm gonna come to something like Frame 22. Just where I wanna animation to end. It's good to offset your animations to give things a little more interest When we come into our shape Layer one here and I'm gonna do the same thing in a press PM The keyboard to bring a position. I'll come back to the beginning and I'll slide this layer all the way off screen. Select both my key frames and press F nine on the keyboard Or go to Key frame assistant Eazy e's Hop into the graph editor. Don't drag that over 6. REPEATING THE PROCESS: So now I'm gonna come forward to frames by hitting command and the right arrow to move one frame commanded the writer again to move a second frame. I'll do the same for shape layer to press P to bring a position, said a key frame. Hot back 20 frames. Now I can jump in time 10 frames by holding command and shift and then hit the left era to move 10 frames. So that's 10 and that's 20. It's now a drag our position over the left until this rectangles off the screen select. Both are key frames. Press F nine on the keyboard. Come to key Frame assistant Eazy E's Hop into the graph editor. Move that over. I was gonna repeat this process one more time, will come to our last key frame will jump ahead to frames in time by holding command and the right era. Going shape. Layer three. Press P to bring a position and said a key friend well, hop back 20 frames by pressing command shift in the left arrow to move 10 and once more to move 20 on dragged the X value over to the left, and you can see since we parented that our techs will move with it. Select or key frames. Well hit F nine on the keyboard coming to our graph editor slide that over. We also want to make sure we have motion board turned on for the rest of our lives. And so now my press play, we have a full cascading animation. If we scrub through it slowly, you can see how are layers animate on separately. If we come back into our sloth composition, go to the beginning. Since this is all pre composed all over third, it's completely animated on top of our image. 7. OUTRO: That's it. You successfully created your first lower third. First, we started out by actually making our lower third using Shea players the Grady Int ramp, drop shadows and the bevel effect. Then we added some text. We began to animate with basic key frames, animated the position parameter Eazy E Starkey frames and a justice feed graft. To give it a little more life. We repeated the process to make a cascading animation and then Addison motion blur to make things look a little more realistic. That's it for our first lower third. Thanks so much for joining me. See you next time we out, we out.