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3.2 How to Animate the Light Streaks

Hi everyone, and welcome back to how to Create a Cinematic Text Animation in After Effects. In this lesson we'll learn how to animate our custom lights. So now that we've got our custom lights created, let's go ahead and connect everything together, and create some controls for our streak. So to do this, we need to create a new null object, so let's go to layer, new and null object, to bring up the null object into our scene. And then from there, in fact select both the null object and the streak, press P on the keyboard, then from there just selecting this streak we're going to hold Alt on the keyboard and click on the position here. Then from there we're going to grab the pick whip, click and drag it into the position of the null, like so. And then we're going to do the same with our lens flare, so select the lens flare, press P on the keyboard, hold Alt, and then click on the stopwatch position on the lens flare, like so. And then grab the expression pick whip again, and then click and drag it into the position of our null, like so. So now, once we select the null object, and if we use our selection tool, once we start moving around the null object, it will also move around our lights. Now you can see here we've got some edges as we haven't actually changed the blending mode for our streaks or our lights, let's go ahead and control Z that and select our lens flare. And underneath mode, let's change it from normal, to lighten and now we've added it back into our scene, let's go ahead and select the null object and there we go, we've got our streaks. So from there, I'm just going to change the edges of our streak just so that it doesn't have that sorta edge there, excellent. So, now that we've got our streak added into our scene, let's go ahead and change some more controls, so, next we want to control the brightness of everything using the null object. So to do this, we need to select Effect, and go to Expression Controls, and then select Slider Control, making sure that our null object has been selected so that it's applied into our null object so you can see now we've got a slider control inside our null object. And now let's go ahead and call this brightness so hit enter on the keyboard, and let's change this slider control, and rename is brightness, excellent. Now, let's go to our Streak, Press T for opacity, and now, Alt-click on the opacity like so, and we're going to grab the pick whip, and in fact let's bring the null object back here. So let's go ahead and grab the pick whip for the opacity of our streak, and add it into our null objects slider like so. And you'll notice once we've done that this streak sort of disappears, like so, and that's because the brightness of the streak is now controlled by the null. So if we increase the brightness of the null, you'll notice our streak reappears again, awesome. So let's bring the streak to about 80%, and with the lens flare let's ahead and do the same for this, so we need to alt click the flare brightness so let's go ahead and select, that in fact, let's go ahead and open it up here. To go to effect, go to lens flare, and select flare brightness, we're going to alt click flare brightness here, and let's click on null object so that it comes back up here like so, and we're going to alt click the flare brightness here. Like so, And drag the pick whip. So if we select the null object again, grab the pick whip of our flare brightness for our lens flare, all the way up into our slider. So now, if we play about with our slider here, you'll notice everything, the brightness of both the lens flare and the light streak is controlled by the slider. Excellent, so next we want to animate the lens flare, first of all, let's go ahead and move the lens flare, and see the position that we want. So I'm just going to move it just to the side here, like so, just below the text, and the center point for our scene, and now we're going to animate the lens flare. So let's go to the beginning of our timeline, let's collapse everything here just so that we don't get confused, select the lens flare, and we want to animate the way that the lens flare is moving so let's go ahead and open this up. And we want to key frame, the flare sensor, so let's go ahead and find the flare sensor, and key frame that by clicking on the stopwatch. And now move the timeline to about five seconds here, like so. And then we can change the flare center, so let's change this to 126, by 600. And you'll see the flare is subtly moving, now in fact let's go ahead and change it a little bit more, so that it moves slightly more to the right, like so just to give it a little bit more movement in our scene. All right that's a little bit too far down. That's it, excellent, so if you scroll back and fourth the timeline you'll see that the lens flare is now moving. Now we want to create a flicker effect for our lights, so in order to do this we need to alt click on the slider here, so let's alt click on that, and type in wiggle(1, 40). And what this will do is it means the brightness will wiggle by 40% every second. So if we drag the timeline here you'll see how the brightness of our lens flare changes like so, so we can preview that to see what that looks like, excellent. So that's it for this lesson, in the next lesson, we'll continue to add more atmosphere to our video by learning how to create and control particle effects, see you all there.

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