Light Writing Intro


Prepared at full HD (1920×1080), Light Writing is an ideal opener for trailer promos, video productions, presentations, product showcases, portfolios and more.

Of course, you can also change the colors of everything, the font (link to the free one I’ve used is included), sizes, speeds, duration etc etc etc…

Light Writing does not use any pre-rendered footage nor third-party plug-ins. All the elements are animated in AE and can therefore be easily fine-tuned to your requirements. Cycore FX plugins must be installed (included in CS3).





1) In the Main Comp timeline select the Light Writing Stroke layer and
move the current time indicator to the 5-sec mark or thereabouts (or see
the screen shot below)
2) Notice the red line (which is the path the light writing follows) matches
the general outline shape of the L-O-G-O characters
3) This is the basis of the effect. Learn later how to customize the path to
your logo / word.
OK let's begin

A) Your Content
1) In the Project Panel double-click to open the Your Content pre-comp.
You will see it contains a single layer of text using this free font:
http://www.fontspace.com/beyond-design/randi
2) Either type your text here or drop in your logo as, for example, a .psd
with transparent background. The light writing effect is most dramatic
with a simpler design, or word(s), but you can customize it to suit
anything (see below).
3) I recommend you keep to a similar on-screen size, position and
proportion that I have used, to ensure your message or logo stands out
without being over-sized.
4) In the Effect Controls for the test layer you will see I have used a bit of
Bevel Alpha on the text plus given it a colour ramp effect. You can of
course remove these effects or adjust values as your prefer. Much will
depend on your content, especially if it's a logo, but you could also
consider adding a Glow or Drop Shadow effect.

Return to the Main Comp to see Your Content in place. Scrub along the
timeline and you'll see the next thing we need to customize is the Linear
Wipe, which makes your word/logo appear from left to right…However,
we can’t finalize this before we’ve customized the light writing, so return
here when that’s done.
1) In the main timeline, twiddle down the Your Content layer to reveal
Linear Wipe.
2) Adjust start and end Transition Completion keyframe values so that
your word or logo appears just after the light writing passes that point.

B) Light Writing Stroke
This effect is based on a customizable bezier line, which - if you haven't
used these before - can be a bit fiddly to begin with. But take your time
and have patience because the more accurate your work on this, the
better the end result will be.
1) In the Main Comp timeline select the Light Writing Stroke layer. In
the composition window the bezier line will appear in red. Notice it starts
far left, shoots on to the screen, wiggles and loops where the word LOGO
used to be and then jumps a bit before flying out to the right.
2) In these instructions I'm going to assume we're leaving the start and
end points as they are - and concentrating on the central area - your
logo or word
3) Depending on the size of your logo/word I suggest you zoom in to at
least 100% at this stage
4) Click on the bezier line and you will see handles appear on the
currently selected point. I suggest you work from left to right, starting
with the point that was above the L.
5) Select this point and move it to an appropriate ‘entry’ point and use
the handles to adjust the angle of the line. For example, if your first
character is a W, an entry angle of 20 degrees or so might look right.
6) Now select, move and re-angle the next point in the existing bezier
line. Notice when moving handles around you can make the line loop.
7) Continue like this, point to point, concentrating on the area to the left
of where you’re working – as, slowly but surely, the right hand side will
get fixed up.
8) Assuming your logo/word is more complex than LOGO, you’ll likely
need additional points along the line. To add these, select the Pen Tool
and click on the line where you want the new point. You’ll notice the new
point’s handles appear, with the angle matching that portion of the
existing line. Move, re-angle and proceed until you’re done.
9) Above all, try to keep your new path smooth and closely following the
shape of your characters and/or outlines of your logo/graphic.
10) Zoom back out and scrub along the timeline to check your light
writing. Adjust and experiment until you’re happy – and don’t forget to
adjust the Linear Wipe on the Your Content layer (see above).

Customizing the light
Adding extra points to the path may have affected start and end timings,
otherwise known as rotation…
1) With the Light Writing Stroke layer selected, open its Effect Controls
panel and adjust Segments>Rotation at both the starting and ending
keyframes so the light writing isn’t visible to begin with and disappears
stage right at the end.
2) You can also tweak the animation by adjusting Segments>Length
3) If you want a different coloured line, twiddle down Rendering and click
on the currently white swatch. This area is also where you can adjust the
lights width, hardness and so on.
4) I have also applied a purplish glow to the line, the colour and strength
of which you can easily customize by twiddling down the Glow filter.

C) Flare Crossing
This flare boosts the light writing effect and you’ll probably have to
adjust its start and end positions depending on the width of your word or
logo. You could also have it follow a more complex motion path, but for
now let’s assume horizontal movement is what you want…
1) Twiddle down the Flare – Crossing layer to reveal the Flare Center
keyframes.
2) Move the current time indicator to the first keyframe and adjust the x
value. Move to the last keyframe and do similar.
3) Scrub along the timeline the check the flare’s movement is
synchronized with your light writing
4) Notice Flare Brightness also has a few keyframes. Adjust these to your
liking – make the flare even brighter, or tone it down.

D) Sparkles
You will probably have to adjust settings such as the position and width
of the particles producer to fit with your logo/word.
1) Select the layer and in Effects Controls > CC Particle World > Producer,
adjust position values and Radius X (for example, make this number
bigger and the producer will get wider).
2) There are many other parameters you can experiment with; maybe you
want bigger particles or a different colour…Just Twiddle down Particle
and customize from there.

E) Galaxy
This is another CC Particle World with a bit of Twirl effect applied. You
can adjust as per the Sparkles layer – instead of a ethereal pink you might
want electrical blue, for example.
The only other parameter used on this layer is opacity, in that the Galaxy
appears during the light writing animation and – along with other
elements – disappears at the dramatic close.

F) Starfield
1) Twiddle down the layer to reveal Effects > CC Star Burst
2) Adjust, for example the amount of stars; their size, speed and
direction

G) Flare - Ending
This is a simple lens flare effect, with the flare appearing quickly before
subsiding.
Notice that, at its brightest, other elements in the sequence begin to fade
out, to give the impression of some kind of galactic implosion.


Click below to download.

Download

(Direct Link, 2.88mb)


Sagar Sammy

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