Use After Effects’ useful built-in effects to generate a title sequence.

After Effects is a fantastically creative tool that can be put to work for any number of animation styles and effects.

You can achieve a surprising breadth of output entirely within the application, without the need to build artwork elsewhere first. While it’s good to use the appropriate tool to create artwork, the fact that AE is flexible enough to allow creation of usable footage assets in its own right is a major bonus if you have to create a project without any source material.

In this tutorial, we’ll examine per-character 3D animation and use it (along with some additional effects) to create a simple title reveal. Our text will sit in a 3D universe that we’ll create using the built-in particle generator, CC Particle World.

Finally, to add some sparkle we’ll use spark-like particles to help give the text impact. Next issue we’ll use the straightforward output from this tutorial as the base to create a more complex animated title sequence, with sweeping camera moves and lots of life.

01. Open After Effects and create a new composition using the PAL D1/DV Widescreen Square Pixel present (1050-x-576 pixels at 25fps), five seconds long. You can vary these setting to suit your own project, but we’re going to nest this composition inside another, so at this stage it doesn’t really matter which size you choose.