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Forums Adobe After Effects Create text in mid air?

  • Create text in mid air?

  • Andreas Sweden

    April 19, 2005 at 10:27 am

    Don’t know how to explain it but it is used for a lot of intros in movies etc, I want text to appear to be in mid air.
    I am naming the turns arround a race track as the driver is driving through them and I would like him to pass the name like a virtual sign where the text is floating in its own dimension or layer.

    Hope you guys understand what i want, are there any tutorials for this?

  • Alexxx

    April 19, 2005 at 11:29 am

    Hey there,

    If I understand what you’re trying to do, there’s a few different ways of doing this.

    1) Simply composite flat text on a separate layer over the top of the footage. It will look like that’s what you’ve done. Not really IN the scene.

    2) Give the text some depth to give the illusion it exists in the scene. I would use Zaxwerks Invigorator to create 3D text, but you can cheat a little and use the shatter effect. Simply don’t shatter the text and you will be able to give it depth and even some subtle lighting effects. The lighting on the text should match the lighting of the scene you are trying to compose it onto. Ie, direction of Sun etc. Of course, the angle/perspective should also match. You can adjust all of these, Invigorator will give you more control though. Fake some shadows by either duplicating the text, blur it, scale it to sort of match the scene, then choose an appropriate transfer mode (multiply etc).

    3) Ditch AE and use a full 3D package to composite the text onto the scene creating proper flowing shadows over the scene etc etc. This can take ages to get right especially if the background scenery is moving….but when you get it, it looks top notch.

    Another little trick is to use the camera shake (or fake some) and track the text onto the scene. By that I mean if you use the subtle shake of a camera as if it were handheld (or even paning etc) and the text moves together with the scene, it sells the whole illusion of the text being IN the scene even more so.

    Give those a try and see if you get close.


  • Andreas Sweden

    April 19, 2005 at 11:31 am

    Ill give number 2 a try, thanks.
    Feels like this is going to take a while : )

  • Michael Szalapski

    April 22, 2005 at 12:17 pm

    “I’m going to try number two…this feels like it’s going to take a while…”


    Sorry, I have a potty mind.

    – The Great Szalam
    (The ‘Great’ stands for ‘Not So Great)

    No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.

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