Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
Changing the Appearance of Numbers
The remainder of the properties for the Numbers effect pertains
to the appearance of the numbers. For the most part, these are
self-explanatory and are similar to what we've seen these prop-
erties do in other effects. You can add a stroke, adjust the stroke,
display only the stroke, adjust fi ll and stroke colors, and composite
the numbers on the original layer.
The Size property makes the characters larger or smaller. You
can also increase (or decrease) the Tracking property to increase
(or decrease) the space between all numbers. It is not possi-
ble to adjust the kerning, or in other words, the space between
two characters while maintaining the space between the other
characters.
Does the Numbers
Effect Autoanimate?
The Numbers
effect does not
autoanimate.
However, if you simply
check the Random Values
option immediately below
the Type drop-down list,
the Numbers effect will
return randomly generated
values on each frame
automatically.
Recreating the 24 Intro
Because I am a huge fan of the Jack Bauer power hour, one of my
favorite tricks with the Numbers effect is to recreate the logo ani-
mation from the TV show 24. In this logo, a series of random num-
bers are generated, eventually stopping on the key number, 24.
In the following miniproject, we'll recreate a similar logo using
the Numbers effect.
For this exercise, I'm going to be using an LCD-type font. I don't
have the rights to distribute this font with this topic, but you can
Google LCD fonts and fi nd plenty of places online to download
LCD-type fonts for free if you'd like to follow along exactly. Just
remember that you'll have to restart After Effects if it was open
when you installed the font. If you don't have an LCD-style font,
any font with numbers will do.
The fi rst step is to have a blank comp with a solid layer at
comp size, and then apply the Numbers effect to it. Change the
font from the drop-down list in the upper left-hand corner of the
Numbers options dialog box to the LCD font mentioned above,
or another font of your choosing, and click OK. Then change the
Value/Offset/Random Max value to 42 (so we don't get sued for
using the number 24) and the Decimal Places value to 0. Then
uncheck the annoying Proportional Spacing parameter at the
bottom of the effect. I'll also increase my Size value to make
these characters larger. I'm using a Size value of 320, but that will
change depending on the font you've selected. After all this fi d-
dling, you might also want to adjust your Position value to center
the numbers. Fig. 18.5 shows you what I have so far.
The next part will be a little trickier than you might think. To
recreate this logo animation accurately, we need both characters
to animate randomly and then stop on the number 42. However,
once we select Random Values, then we lose control over the
display of exact numbers because the Value/Offset/Random
Fixing a Big Numbers
Problem
One of the biggest
pet peeves I have
with the Numbers
effect is that it appears
to wiggle as it animates.
Seriously, try it yourself.
Select Random Values
and then preview it. Argh!
Why is that the default?
That is so annoying! The
way to solve the problem
is by deselecting the
Proportional Spacing
option at the bottom of the
effect.
Tracking and the
Numbers Effect
Note that the
Position property
for the Numbers
effect also contains an
effect point. Remember that
effect points can be used to
paste in tracked data. This
type of effect can be seen
frequently in one of my
favorite movies, Stranger
than Fiction.
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