SMOOTH Lower Thirds in After Effects! (EASY TO MAKE!)

SMOOTH Lower Thirds in After Effects! (EASY TO MAKE!)

This is your comprehensive guide to creating simple lower thirds in After Effects!

We’ll learn all about creating shapes, animation, easing, masking in after effects, creating a bounce animation, animating multiple strokes, matching colors, and much more in this After Effects tutorial!

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Tutorial Recording Notes:

Disclaimer: these are the actual notes I used to record this video and are written in a language you may or may not understand. Hopefully, you find them useful or cool.

  1. Bring in a shot of your film to get an idea of the lower third’s look
  2. Get a screenshot of a film with lower thirds that you like if you can’t get your style and spacing right
  3. Build simple graphic
  4. Add and choose text that works well together
  5. Get the alignment and spacing right
  6. Test the lower third
  7. Export for Premiere as a motion template file (show import to Premiere?)
  8. Open the composition with the video in place
  9. Turn on the safe margin guides and create a rectangle as the base for the lower third and align it with the bottom of the safe margins
  10. Type out the name “Jack the Ripper” and set to Antonio Bold at 75px and all caps. Set the text alignment to left.
  11. Duplicate that text layer and change the text to “Professor Of Humanities Columbia University and change the text to Adobe Garamond Regular, 45px, Leading to 40px, and Small Caps.
  12. Set the base shape layer the opacity to 25% and animate it to slide from the left onto the screen and bounce into place
  13. Duplicate this shape twice and play with the duration and bounce on the animations to change up the timing
  14. Duplicate one of the rectangles and dump the animation keyframes
  15. Add a 15px Path Offset to this new shape and dump the fill and add a stroke #00CBD6 at a 5px size
  16. Add a Trim Paths to this as well and animate the End 0-100 and the Start 0-100 and offset them so it flows well. Set the Offset to 1x+65º for this stroke
  17. Duplicate that stroke layer and set the path offset to 10px and change the stroke color to #FF8100
  18. Tweak and timing of the animation for the trim path and set the offset of it to 2x+285º
  19. Duplicate the stroke layer again and set the path offset to 5px and change the stroke color to #FF0015
  20. Tweak the timing of the trim animation and set the offset to 2x+130º
  21. Select the shape layers that make up the base of the lower third and change the color to some teals that you sampled off the video
  22. Create both of the masks that will reveal the text and animate them to slide and reveal the text
  23. Show how to create the Motion Graphics Template for use in Premiere


Nathaniel Dodson
I make videos about being creative with photography, design, and filmmaking. I'm a commercial photographer, a logo designer, a camera nerd, an artist, a wannabe thinker, and I like to read books. I arrived on planet earth in the year 1989.