Using Presets

In this step-by-step guide we’ll show you how to install, apply and save presets for animated typefaces.

Presets can do many things in After Effects, but for us they are a quick and easy way to change the default settings of an animated typeface, without having to navigate all the built-in controllers. This comes in handy when you need to apply the same settings over and over again to many different words. 

Not all typefaces come with presets. Typically if a typeface has lot’s of customizable features, a folder with presets is included in the download. If not, then you can still create you own.

This tutorial is divided into 3 segments:
• Installing Presets
• Applying Presets
• Creating Presets

View the tutorial on Vimeo or Youtube to quickly navigate between these segments.

If you prefer a text-based instructions, just keep on reading. 

Installing presets
To install the presets, simply follow these 3 steps:

  • In your After Effects folder, there is a presets folder. In there, create a new folder and name it ‘Animography’.
  • Drag all the .ffx-files from your download to this new folder. 
  • Start or restart After Effects.

You can now find the presets in the Effects & Presets panel.

Applying Presets
To apply a preset, Just: 

  • Place the CTI at the in-point of your controller-layer. *  
  • Select the controller-effect inside the controller-layer. **
  • Double click the preset.

* The preset applies it’s keyframes at the CTI in your timeline. If the CTI is not at the in-point of your controller-layer, your animation will not start at the beginning of each character-layer.

** It’s important to select the controller-effect inside the controller-layer, before double clicking the desired preset. If you only select the layer, it will add a second controller effect, instead of overwriting the existing effect. This won’t work. When is happens by accident, simply delete the second controller effect and try again.

Multi-layer Presets
In some cases a style consist of multiple presets. The multi-layer presets have an extra suffix in their name. For example Webster - Style 07_1 and Webster - Style 07_2.

To apply a multi-layer preset, make 2 instances of your type that exactly overlaps. Apply the preset with suffix _1 to the upper controller, and the preset with suffix _2 to the lower controller.

Creating your own presets
Even if a typeface doesn’t come with presets, you can always create your own. To do this, just: 

  • customize the controller settings
  • Select the controller effect
  • Select ‘Save Animation Preset’ in the animation menu
  • Give it a logical name and save it in the Animography folder inside the presets folder.

The new preset is immediately available in the Effects & Presets panel. There is no need to restart After effects.