Project Week – Day 1 : Creating A Video Intro Animation

Every year my school gives students a week to do a project on whatever they want.  Literally anything.  They take a week off of classes the week before spring break and have at it.  See a short video I made about last years Project Week HERE.

This year, I’m working with students who are making films for their Project Week.  Some are documentaries while some are short narrative films.  It really entails me helping them out if they’re unsure of how to edit something or want to bounce ideas off of me.  I decided I would do my own Project Week as well 🙂

My Project Week is centered on creating introductory content for my YouTube channel.  I’m hoping to complete the following:

  • Create a 2-second video intro animation using After Effects to put at the beginning of all my videos.
  • Create a short 30 second intro video for my channel.
  • Create a 2-3 minute video on my filmmaking story; how I got into making movies.

Yesterday, I made my video intro animation!  After Effects has a ton of stuff you can do and I’m pretty inexperienced with it but found some super helpful tutorials after I developed my idea for what I wanted to make.  After several hours, here’s what I came up with:

Here’s a general outline of all that went into making this happen:

  • Take ideas that I liked from a ton of different video intro templates in THIS video.
  • Watch THIS video on creating a simple intro and THIS video on doing more complex animations.
  • Design (on paper) the general layout of what I wanted the final product to look like.
  • Animate the center line to ‘pop up’ out of nowhere.
  • Learn how to get my first name to slide up from the center line and last name to slide down from the center line (a bit more complicated than it would seem).
  • Learn how to get the dotted outline to appear in a rotating fashion; adjusting the size of the dashes and how close together they were.
  • Deciding where I wanted to put ‘MEDIA’.  I wanted it in the center but how to make it show up.  Originally had it show up in black text and created a white rectangle behind it to cover up the line a bit, but the animation portion of that was not looking the way I wanted it to.  I then decided on white text with a black background and I figured out you could unlink the ‘scale’ animation which solved some the issues I was having with the fluidity of the animation.  Had to animate the MEDIA text and black rectangle in the same way.  Originally was going to have them try to ‘rotate’ into the screen but it ended up looking weird.  Also originally had it in a different font that was really stretched out horizontally but I didn’t like how it came out looking.  This part is what took the most time.
  • Found a mechanical ticking sound, opened it up in Adobe Audition to have it repeat at the interval I wanted, and then imported it into After Effects to give the dashed line a sound effect.
  • Added the ‘pop’ sound for when MEDIA showed up.
  • Felt the final product was missing something.  I added the last bold black square around it all and animated it to match the MEDIA animation.

I didn’t really know how to do much of this stuff besides general key framing, which I do in Premiere, but didn’t know about the ‘easy ease’ key framing to make it look a bit smoother.  Learned a lot but feel I will probably forget most of it since I don’t make animations much.  What I WILL take away is all the stuff that I at least know I CAN do in After Effects.

Today, I think I will begin on gathering resources for my other two projects.  Hooray Project Week!

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