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Tutorial: How to Quickly Animate Text and Graphics with Red Giant Universe 2.0

Paul Schmutzler demonstrates key animation features in the new Red Giant Universe effects and transitions suite.

Customizing and Animating the Color Bars

Next, I have the color bars. As I said, I used three different color bars, but to create them just duplicated the same bar and changed the color, and changed its position where I needed to. For this I used a transition called Slide, which is also in the Universe set, and has similar controls to the Logo Motion effect we just looked at. You can choose the direction it comes from. To me, this seem kind of backwards because downwards comes from the bottom. When I think downwards I think it's moving downward, but in Universe it's actually moving upwards from the bottom.

Upwards would, of course, be coming in from the top. Left and right form the sides. The other thing I like is the ability to add a blur. Bringing it in with no blur fake to me, it was just too crisp, so I applied a Low Motion Blur as shown in Figure 6 (below).

Figure 6. Applying a Low Motion Blur

Finally, regarding the little icons I placed to the left of the color bars in each instance: I didn’t want them to be quite as static, so I added some subtle motion to them. Again I used Logo Motion, applying it to track V2 because that's where the symbol is (Figure 7, below).

Figure 7. Appling Logo Motion to track V2

Again, keeping the unifying theme for the graphics, I chose the same preset the I used for the logo to fly in, turned on the hover graphic, and adjusted the parameters. There's not really a whole lot of movement to it--just enough bounce to add some interest.

Next I added the graphics for each of the following items on my timeline, and I copied and pasted the effects, adjusting them a little bit for each one because each icon that I downloaded was a little bit different from the other so I had to re-scale them to make them all consistent.

Using Universe in After Effects

Now we’ll look at how Universe works in After Effects. One new feature that will be especially useful in After Effects is the inclusion of HUD components. This will also save you a lot of time if you have to create some custom graphics that involve a lot of motion and complicated elements.

In the sample project, to begin I created a dark gray solid layer, and that is just something for me to apply this effect to because it has to be applied to something, but you'll see that it's actually a graphic in and of itself. Right away it's already put on the default preset (Figure 8, below).

Figure 8. Choosing a preset for HUD components in the Universe 2.0 After Effects plug-in

In the After Effects plug-in there’s also a preset browser just like we saw in the Logo Motion effects in Premiere Pro. You can see at the 8:46 mark in the accompanying tutorial video that Red Giant has already built cool things for whatever you can imagine. Every single parameter and piece of this is modifiable to your needs.

I like the Blingon graphic, so let's start with that and build off of it. Select it, and now it's in your timeline. The solid layer is now turned into this (Figure 9, below). The dark gray solid layer is almost like a null object in After Effects. It serves no purpose other than to have an effect applied to it.

Figure 9. The Blingon graphic selected and in the timeline

This graphic has 4 elements: the outer ring, the triangular pieces, the center, and the inner ring about a third of the way out from the center. Each of those elements has a different color that can be changed to whatever you want, and they update in real time. You can adjust the opacity, so if you want something to show through it you can. The animation can be changed with different presets.

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