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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.

Adobe After Effects is a very robust program that editors often find intimidating. In this tutorial I'll show you a easy-to-follow workflow that will enable you to take advantage of some pre-built animations that will allow you to add a little more excitement to the titles you deliver in your Premiere Pro edits.

In this tutorial we'll explore the following techniques:

  • How to create type in After Effects
  • How to apply pre-built animations with Bridge
  • How to import that animated type into Adobe Premiere Pro

The project I'll create in this tutorial was built on a MacBook Pro with OS X Mavericks, Adobe After Effects CC, Adobe Bridge CC, and Adobe Premiere Pro CC. You should already have these applications installed on your system if you're going to use this workflow.

Let's begin by taking a look at a tutorial I created recently using the pre-built animations from Bridge to animate the text. Rather than just using an ordinary cross-dissolve transition, the text fades in from left to right (Figure 1, below).

Figure 1. In this example, the text fades in from left to right using a pre-built animation from Adobe Bridge. Click the image to see it at full size.

Creating Your After Effects Composition

The first step is to create a new composition in Adobe After Effects by clicking the button shown in Figure 2 (below). The Composition Settings dialog opens. For this project we'll just leave it at the default settings (Figure 3, below). But even if you don't want to do a lot of tweaking here, you do want to make sure that your composition settings match your project settings in Premiere Pro.

Figure 2. Creating a new After Effects composition.

Figure 3. The Composition Settings dialog.

This will open up a new composition in After Effects. Without delving too deep into After Effects, let's create some text by navigating to the T tool (Figure 4, below) in the toolbar. Select the Horizontal Type Tool, and type the words What you will learn into this composition.

Figure 4. Choosing the Horizontal Type Tool.

You can see in Figure 5 (below) that what we have now is a standard type layer with the words "What you will learn."

Figure 5. A standard type layer with the text we typed in.

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