This is where it all starts. A concept. This typically is a small set of test renders showcasing a certain typeface with it’s animation principles. At least it should be 3 fully animated characters, and an initial design for a complete uppercase alphabet.
Importing Into After Effects
Wether you’re importing from Illustrator, a font file, or designing in After Effects itself, always make sure your characters are in appropriate sized compositions (see specs below). Within each composition the character should be centered on the x-axis and sit on a baseline that is uniform for all character comps. It sometimes helps a lot to make a composition with guidelines to (temporarily) import in all character comps to ensure consistent placement.
To easily customize all characters, we will connect certain features to the controller comp with expressions. The controls and expressions are different for each case, but always include color. We are with you every step of the way in setting this up with the most efficient use of expressions.
Before rolling the setup out across all characters, we stress-test the settings. The most important test is to see if everything is scalable with continuous rasterization on.
applying the final setup and animation principles to all characters. Depending on the character set and animation technique, this is the biggest chunk of work.
Characteristic and Typeset, use parameters of the grid effect to determine the width of each character. Once all the animated characters are complete, we will apply metrics to each character-comp. After that we will send you back the file so you can define the width of each character by setting two x-values.
To make sure all expressions work in each language of After effects, we will universalize the expressions.
In order for end users to create different looks, we will create 9 instances of the animated typefaces and update the expressions so they link to the new controller.
Another round of testing to see if everything survived the duplication process.
To ensure a wider audience we will create a version that is compatible with CS5.
We will take care of converting the animated typeface to a script-format that works with the upcoming Typeset tool.
Now it’s up to you again to create a promotional animations that showcases the typeface and it’s customization options. Typically this involves an overview of all characters, and some example uses. Maybe a word or sentence with very minimal settings and one which is a bit more elaborate to show the wide range of looks that can be accomplished. It’s a good idea to use a consistent theme or style for the promo, but please keep in mind that viewer needs to be able to imagine your animated typeface into his own project. So please don’t go overboard by pushing your promo animation to far into a certain style or theme. Find the sweet spot!
- Main promo for vimeo and product page (with sound). 1920x1080 in animation codec and a compressed version for Vimeo.
- 3 or more 1080 x 1080 loops for Instagram in mp4 format. Please start the loop on the best frame.
- 3 or more 800 x 600 loops for Dribbble. Please start the loop on the best frame.
- 1920 x 1080 stills for the product page. This should always include an overview of all characters and some examples of the typeface in use. Please make sure that images that go next to each other don’t have the same background color.
You will always remain the owner of your work. Period. We do however require an exclusive right to distribute your work. We invest a lot of time your animated typeface and would hate to see it appear on some stock-site or template-market. This also keeps us in the lead of our niche. This does not go for any static versions. Those can be distributed on other platforms as well.
At the end of each quarter you will receive a royalty report with an overview your sales. All revenue is split 50/50 between Animography and the maker(s). For our 50% we will take care of hosting, promotion, admin, tech support and innovation. The remaining 50% goes to the maker(s). This may be one or multiple persons. If a typeface was created by more that one person, most likely a type designer and an animator, it’s up to those people to decide on a fair split if the revenue. This may be equal parts of 2 x 25% or something else depending on the workload. Both makers get their own royalty report with their personal percentage. If an animated typeface has a static version, the royalties of the static version most likely won’t be split with the animator.
We have an ongoing discount of 25% off on orders of 4 or more typefaces. This will be calculated in the royalties. We also have a reseller, aescripts.com. They charge a commission of 30% on all orders, and also have the same ongoing discount. This will all be calculated in your royalty report. See an example of that here.
End User License Agreement
All customers agree to this end user license agreement during the checkout process. Feel free to dig through it for all the details. The most important bits are that users can use your animated typeface for personal and commercial projects of any scale. But it remains your work and they can not redistribute it in any way. Not online, not to their friends or their clients. If it is used in client work, they can only supply rendered work unless the client gets it’s own license.
We support After Effects CS5 and up. Our animated typefaces never depend on 3rd party plugins. Are always vector based. The comps generally use these specs:
All comps need to be 30 seconds in length at 25 fps. Make sure that frame 0 is completely empty and all required layers stay on until the end of the timeline. Frame-rate may be different is there is a good reason. If not, 25fps is our default.
We generally use a size around 800 x 800 px. This is a loose suggestion. The resolution for your animated typeface may require a different size. In general it should fit your widest characters (most likely the W) and the highest and lowest characters (like j and Å for example), without using to much excess room around the animated characters. Stress-test your setup before deciding on a final resolution. Changing the settings in your controller comp may cause your animation to get wider or higher. In any case, the resolution for all glyphs should be uniform. The comp-size for narrow characters like the i is the same as for wide characters like the w.
Your animated typeface will be used by lots of motion designers around the world. Let’s do them a favor and use simple, logical and consistent naming for all our layers. In English!
There should be none. Please get rid of all unnecessary layers, effects, markers, expressions, and items within shape layers. Not using only a stroke in a shape layer? Don’t just hide the fill, delete it! Doing this obsessively will result in a super clean and lightweight file and a great user experience.
Everything should be self contained. So no external footage or image files allowed. Illustrator files need to be converted to shape layers after importing.
The minimal character set is a full upper- and/or lowercase alphabet and numerals. While this works in some cases like display typefaces, the ideal character set includes:
animated typeface template
example royalty report
end user license agreement