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Tutorial: Using Adobe After Effects CC and Bridge to Add Life to Your Text

While After Effects may be daunting for some Premiere Pro editors, here is an easy-to-follow workflow that can enliven your text and titles with pre-built animations found in Adobe Bridge, applied in a few simple steps in After Effects, and imported directly into your Premiere Pro timeline.

Applying the Animation

To animate this text layer with the slow fade in from left to right, we're going to use Adobe Bridge. Go to the Effects & Presets tab (Figure 6, below), then click the drop-down menu where you see the pointer in Figure 6. 

Figure 6. The Effects & Presets menu.

From the drop-down menu, choose Browse Presets (Figure 7, below).

Figure 7. Choose Browse Presets.

Adobe Bridge opens with the Presets window showing. This is a separate application that's part of the Adobe CC suite. From here, double-click the Text folder (Figure 8, below).

Figure 8. Adobe Bridge. Click the image to see it at full size.

The Text folder opens, revealing a number of subfolders that include a series of pre-built animations in Bridge that you can apply to your After Effects text layers. Click on a subfolder to open it, and see the animations available, any of which you can preview by clicking on it. 

Figure 9 (below) shows the contents of the Animate In folder. Here we see a series of pre-built animations that we can apply to our After Effects type.

Figure 9. Pre-built animations in Bridge's Animate In folder. Click the image to see it at full size.

One really nice feature of Adobe Bridge is to show an animated preview what the text will look like by clicking on it in this folder (Figure 10, below).

Figure 10. Previewing the animated text.

For this example we'll select the Fade Up Words animation. All you have to do is double-click the animation and Bridge will automatically apply it to the After Effects layer that you have selected. It's important to make sure that you have the correct layer selected when you're applying a layer from Adobe Bridge; in our example, we have only one layer, so we know it's selected, but in more complex compositions this could be an issue.

You also want to make sure that the playhead is at the beginning of the layer when you apply the effect. Otherwise, Bridge will apply that animation wherever your playhead is, and the effect will start there.

After you double-click the animation, you can go back into After Effects, and you'll see that the animation has been applied to your type layer, and see the slow fade in from left to right when you preview the animation.

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