After Effects – All Stars Credits (pt.1)

Now that Tix the robot has been completed and put to one side, Peter explained what we’d be getting involved with next *drum roll please*. With the skills we would learn today, we’d all create our own personal credit roll for an actor, a character etc, between 3 and 9 seconds long. Peter will then edit all of these together into a class wide credits roll. Cool project, I just need an idea! The inspiration came from something that Turner Classic Movies did while Peter worked for them, here is the example gif:


I love some of the references and humour in this, I feel like it may have been lost on some of the younger members of the class though.

It easily demonstrates the direction Peter wants us to take this project and for practice we’d be replicating the animation for Harrison Ford’s name with a little more pzazz! As always Peter provided all the illustrator files needed for the exercise.

I won’t cover the process in too much detail this week because its all tools and processes we’ve used bother, just used in a different way. We kicked off by setting keyframes to animate the roll rolling across the scene, also setting for rotation to get the speed of the rolling just right. We’d use this rolling motion as timing to animate the letters and hat being crushed.

The process of animating each letter had an order that needed to be followed. You couldn’t puppet pin the whole thing at once, as it would set keyframes for everything at the point you were. Letters had to be pinned and the bases starched, the frame before the boulder would pass by them. Then frame by frame, manipulate the pins to crush down the letter. Rinse and repeat until the end. We were meant to keep the mesh size down and number of pins to a minimum, however I took a risk and pushed the Mac a little hard to get extra movement out of the letters. Doing this I managed to get them all to buckle to the right first, before getting crushed. This process was then repeated for the hat, this was required twice as the hat had a front and back layer.


Keyframes were then copied from earlier in the timeline to get all objects to revert back to their original shape and size. We wanted this to have a bounce action, springing back from being squashed, enter our inertial bounce code used on Tix last week (great stuff). Due to observing a few problems other students had with the bounce scaling from the top and bottom, I remembered the pan behind tool and set the pivot points for the text and hat at the bottom, making sure a change in scale would only scale them up.

The finished piece looks great, however now I really need to sit down and have a think who I’d like to use as a reference to make my own and what assets that would require. Once I do I’ll post again




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