Game Development Reference
THE TEXT EFFECTS
Back in the old days when I started learning After Effects, the
effects in the Text category were essential. However, in After Effects
6.0, Adobe added the most powerful text animation engine any-
one had ever seen, and the Text effects became largely forgotten.
In After Effects CS4, half of the Text effects have been removed,
stripped of their ranks, and discarded into the Obsolete category.
So, “who” are the two effects that dodged the bullet? The Numbers
and Timecode effects. And as you'll see, they deserve to stick
around. Although simple, they can both come in handy for different
The Numbers Effect
The Numbers effect generates numbers, numbers of all kinds.
Numbers can generate random numbers (including numbers
with multiple decimal places), animate numbers counting for-
wards or backwards, and it can generate time passing, the current
timecode, the date, and more.
Applying the Numbers Effect
Go ahead and create a new composition. I used the NTSC DV
preset with a length of 5 seconds. Also, create a new solid at the
comp size. The color of the solid doesn't matter because Numbers
will completely replace it. Then apply the Numbers effect to this
When you fi rst apply this effect, you're immediately greeted by
a reminder how old school this effect is. This reminder comes in
the form of a dialog box that pops up (Fig. 18.1).
From this dialog, you can change the font size, style, and align-
ment. You can also choose whether to align the text horizontally
or vertically in your comp. Fig. 18.2 shows this effect with the
Vertical option selected.