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Track Matte Video Inside Text

Recreating the Alias Intro Part 2 By Stephen Schleicher
In the last installment, we used Adobe After Effects 6.0s Text Tool to create a typed on effect similar to what you see in the television series Alias. In addition to the typed on effect, video clips show up inside the individual letters. In this exercise, well use Track Matting to achieve this effect.

If you are continuing from the last exercise, go ahead and load up your project. If you are new to the game, you can use any text you wish, or you can go back and read Part One here.

When we last left, we had two layers in our Timeline; the text layer, and the cursor layer (a masked white solid). To help improve our workflow, it would be best if we pre-composed these layers (aka Nesting).

Step 1: Highlight both of the layers in the Timeline and press Command+Shift+C on the Mac or Control+Shift +C on the PC. Name the pre-comp Text Pre-comp, and be sure to have Move all attributes to New Composition selected. This ensures that all effects, keyframes, Transfer Modes, etc. are in the new composition.

We are going to need some video footage to place inside our letters. If you have purchased the Alias Season 1 DVD and listened to the audio commentary on the first disc, you know that J.J. Abrams used footage his children took on their vacation as the fast moving video (many assumed that the clips were locations from the show). Since I dont have vacation footage readily available, I choose to use a clip for Artbeats video library. Any outdoor footage will do. Because the video jerks around and moves a lot, I decided that the best way to duplicate this with a locked down shot was to use Wiggle.

Step 2: Import your video clip and place it in the Timeline below the Text Pre-comp layer.

Step 3: With the video layer selected in the Timeline, press P on the keyboard to bring up the Position property for the layer. To activate expressions for a property, hold down the Option key (Alt on the PC) and click on the Stopwatch Icon.

Step 4: In the expression window type the following

This will wiggle the layer 20 times per second, 500 pixels on the X and Y-axis.

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Related Keywords:adobe, after effects, alias, schleicher


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