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Looping It

Using layer transforms to spice up a looping background By Stephen Schleicher
Your client needs graphics for their video or film production. While static graphics may satisfy your client, using moving graphics in your production can really punch up a presentation and make it look refined and polished. In the last installment I showed a quick and easy way to create a looping animated background. This time well add lots of layers to the composition and use the layer transfer modes to complete the project.

One of the first additions to our looping animation will be the company name. Well create row after row of repeating text and have each row of text move in opposite directions across the screen. The even numbered rows will move right to left, while the odd numbered rows will move left to right. How do we create these rows of text? Well do it in Photoshop using the Fill/Pattern option.


1. Create a new image in Adobe Photoshop, make it large enough to hold the company name and make the background transparent.
2. Using the Text Tool, type the name once. Make sure you are using the font that represents the company and make it large enough to be read, but not too large that youll only get a few lines of text on the screen. For this example I chose a 26-point font.
3. Since well be using the transfer mode in Adobe After Effects make the type color white.
Defining a patern in Adobe Photoshop4. Crop the image to include not only the company name, but at least one letter space on the end of the text and enough space below the text to hold a second line of type.
5. Select all and define the pattern.
6. Now for a little bit of math. Make note of the image size. Now you need to decide how many times the text will be repeated across the screen. Deciding how fast the text will move may also help you determine this. Once that has been determined create a new image where the width is the original image width x the number or repeats, and the new image height is equal to or greater than 500. For this example I ended up with an image that was 1572 x 500 (with a transparent background).
Filling an image with a pattern7. Choose Edit/Fill and fill the new image with the pattern that you just defined. Now you have perfectly even rows of text where the text is not cut off and you have blank lines between each row, which well use to our advantage in a moment.
8. Save the image as text.psd and launch Adobe After Effects.

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Related Keywords:Adobe After Effects, composition, animation, Stephen Schleicher, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photohop, photoshop, after effects, layers, transfer modes, transform, overlay, soft light, hard light, color dodge, color burn, screen, digital animators

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