Step 6 Drag your text comp into the main composition. Be sure to check the ‘Continuously rasterize’ checkbox. Scale and position the text frame to bookend the opening passages of the track. Drag your audio into the main comp and work through the song, keyframing the position, scale and rotation of the layer to match the audio.

Step 7 You’re about to move on to the finishing touches, but first, do a RAM preview to check the audio is matched nicely by your type. Assuming you’ve aligned everything well, and the pacing feels right, proceed to add a solid with a ramp to create a vignette effect. Also turn on motion blur to get a nice transition as the camera appears to move across the type.

Step 8 You can overlay dust and scratches to add further texture to the piece. Try grabbing Lutz Albrecht’s excellent Old Film v2 (available free from, create a sub-comp from it and then bring it into your project and use blending modes for the best effect.

Sam Hampton-Smith

Who: Sam is a graphic designer and illustrator living in Fochabers, Moray, Scotland. He set up a design studio in 2001 with his partner and now boasts an impressive client list including Barclays plc,, Gordonstoun School and the cashmere specialist Johnstons of Elgin. Sam is the proud owner of three children, one wife and an iPad.
Software: Adobe After Effects
Time to complete: 3 hours