Effects in the Obsolete category are retained for compatibility with projects created with previous versions of After Effects. When updating projects or creating new projects, you should use alternative effects and techniques rather than effects in the Obsolete category.

Basic 3D effect

If you are working on a project that was created in an older version of After Effects and the Basic 3D effect is applied to one or more layers, you can continue to use the Basic 3D effect; otherwise, use the 3D layer switch to convert layers to 3D layers. (See 3D layers.)

This effect works with 8-bpc color.

The Basic 3D effect manipulates a layer in 3D space.

The quality setting of the layer affects Basic 3D. Draft quality calculates pixel location to the nearest integer value; Best quality calculates pixel location to the subpixel level.

Swivel

Controls horizontal rotation (rotation around a vertical axis). You can rotate past 90° to see the back side of the image, which is the mirror image of the front.

Tilt

Controls vertical rotation (rotation around a horizontal axis).

Distance To Image

The distance from the image to the viewer.

Specular Highlight

Adds a glint of light that reflects off the surface of the layer. The light source for the specular highlight is always above, behind, and to the left of the viewer. Because the light comes from above, the image must be tilted backward to see this reflection. The specular highlight can be viewed only at Best quality. When Draw Preview Wireframe is selected, the specular highlight is indicated by a red plus sign (+) if it isn’t visible on the layer (that is, if the center of the highlight doesn’t intersect the layer) and a green plus sign (+) if the highlight is visible.

Preview

Draws a wireframe outline of the 3D image. The wireframe outline renders quickly. To see the final results, deselect Draw Preview Wireframe when you finish manipulating the wireframe image. The preview wireframe is drawn only at Draft quality; when you switch to Best quality, the image content is drawn. This way, you won’t accidentally render a Best quality movie in Preview mode.

Basic Text effect

If you are working on a project that was created in an older version of After Effects and the Basic Text effect is applied to one or more layers, you can continue to use the Basic Text effect; otherwise, use text layers for greater control over text formatting and text animation. (See Creating and editing text layers.)

The Basic Text effect places text on an existing layer—unlike text created on text layers or imported text created in Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator, either of which becomes its own layer.

This effect works with 8-bpc color.

Note:

The width and height of text aren’t constrained by the dimensions of the layer; the layer dimensions merely define the visible region of the text.

Position

The position of the text on the layer.

Note:

The Alignment setting in the Basic Text dialog box affects the behavior of the Position point. The point always positions the vertical center of the text relative to the layer. However, if the text is left-aligned, the point positions the left edge; if the text is center-aligned, the point positions the center; and if the text is right-aligned, the point positions the right edge.

Color Key effect

For information about keying in general, including links to tutorials and other resources, see Keying introduction and resources.

The Color Key effect keys out all image pixels that are similar to a specified key color. This effect modifies only the alpha channel of a layer.

This effect works with 8-bpc and 16-bpc color.

  1. Select the layer that you want to make partially transparent, and choose Effect > Obsolete > Color Key.

  2. In the Effect Controls panel, specify a key color in one of two ways:
    • Click the Key Color swatch to open the Color dialog box and specify a color.

    • Click the eyedropper, and then click a color on the screen.

  3. Drag the Color Tolerance slider to specify the range of color to key out. Lower values key out a smaller range of colors near the key color. Higher values key out a wider range of color.
  4. Drag the Edge Thin slider to adjust the width of the border of the keyed area. Positive values enlarge the mask, increasing the transparent area. Negative values shrink the mask, decreasing the transparent area.
  5. Drag the Edge Feather slider to specify the softness of the edge. Higher values create a softer edge but take longer to render.

Fast Blur effect

When layer quality is set to Best, Fast Blur is a close approximation of Gaussian Blur.

Stu Maschwitz compares the Box Blur, Fast Blur, and Gaussian Blur effects in a post on his ProLost blog.

This effect works with 8-bpc, 16-bpc, and 32-bpc color.

Gaussian Blur (Legacy) effect

The Gaussian Blur effect blurs and softens the image and eliminates noise. The quality setting of the layer doesn’t affect Gaussian Blur. The Gaussian Blur (Legacy) effect produces slightly different render result compared to the Gaussian Blur effect.

Stu Maschwitz compares the Box Blur, Fast Blur, and Gaussian Blur (Legacy) effects in a post on his ProLost blog.

This effect works with 8-bpc, 16-bpc, and 32-bpc color.

Lightning effect

If you are working on a project that was created in an older version of After Effects and the Lightning effect is applied to one or more layers, you can continue to use this effect; otherwise, use the Advanced Lightning effect. (See Advanced Lightning effect.)

This effect works with 8-bpc color.

Start Point, End Point

Where the lightning begins and ends.

Segments

The number of segments that form the main lightning bolt. Higher values produce more detail but reduce the smoothness of motion.

Amplitude

The size of undulations in the lightning bolt as a percentage of the layer width.

Detail Level, Detail Amplitude

How much detail is added to the lightning bolt and any branches. For Detail Level, typical values are in the range 2–3. For Detail Amplitude, a typical value is 0.3. Higher values for either control are best for still images but tend to obscure animation.

Branching

The amount of branching (forking) that appears at the ends of bolt segments. A value of 0 produces no branching; a value of 1.0 produces branching at every segment.

Rebranching

The amount of branching from branches. Higher values produce treelike lightning bolts.

Branch Angle

The angle between a branch and the main lightning bolt.

Branch Seg. Length

The length of each branch segment as a fraction of the average length of the segments in the lightning bolt.

Branch Segments

The maximum number of segments for each branch. To produce long branches, specify higher values for both Branch Seg. Length and Branch Segments.

Branch Width

The average width of each branch as a fraction of the width of the lightning bolt.

Speed

How fast the lightning bolt undulates.

Stability

How closely the lightning follows the line defined by the start and end points. Lower values keep the lightning bolt close to the line; higher values create significant bouncing. Use Stability with Pull Force to simulate a Jacob’s Ladder effect and cause the lightning bolt to snap back to a position along the start line after it has been pulled in the Pull Force direction. A Stability value that is too low doesn’t allow the lightning to be stretched into an arc before it snaps back; a value that is too high lets the lightning bolt bounce around.

Fixed Endpoint

Determines whether the end point of the lightning bolt remains fixed in place. If this control isn’t selected, the end of the bolt undulates around the end point.

Width, Width Variation

The width of the main lightning bolt and how much the width of different segments can vary. Width changes are randomized. A value of 0 produces no width changes; a value of 1 produces the maximum width changes.

Core Width

The width of the inner glow, as specified by the Inside Color value. Core Width is relative to the total width of the lightning bolt.

Outside Color, Inside Color

The colors used for the outer and inner glows of the lightning bolt. Because the Lightning effect adds these colors on top of existing colors in the composition, primary colors often produce the best results. Bright colors often become much lighter, sometimes becoming white, depending on the brightness of colors beneath.

Pull Force, Pull Direction

The strength and direction of a force that pulls the lightning bolt. Use the Pull Force value with the Stability value to create a Jacob’s Ladder appearance.

Random Seed

An input value for the random noise generator that is the basis of the Lightning effect. If the random movement of the lightning interferes with another image or layer, enter a new value for Random Seed until you find one that works for you.

Blending Mode

The blending mode to use to composite the lightning on top of the original layer. These blending modes work identically to the ones in the Timeline panel.

Rerun At Each Frame

Regenerates the lightning at each frame. To make the lightning behave the same way at the same frame every time you run it, don’t select this option. Selecting this option increases rendering time.

Luma Key effect

The Luma Key effect keys out all the regions of a layer with a specified luminance or brightness. The quality setting of the layer doesn’t influence the Luma Key effect.

Use this effect if the object from which you want to create a matte has a greatly different luminance value than its background. For example, if you want to create a matte for musical notes on a white background, you can key out the brighter values; the dark musical notes become the only opaque areas.

This effect works with 8-bpc and 16-bpc color.

Key out a luminance value with the Luma Key effect

  1. Select the layer that you want to make partially transparent, and choose Effect > Obsolete > Luma Key.

  2. Select a Key Type to specify the range to be keyed out.
  3. Drag the Threshold slider in the Effect Controls panel to set the luminance value you want the matte to be based on.
  4. Drag the Tolerance slider to specify the range of values to be keyed out. Lower values key out a smaller range of values near the threshold. Higher values key out a wider range of values.
  5. Drag the Edge Thin slider to adjust the width of the border of the keyed area. Positive values make the mask grow, increasing the transparent area. Negative values shrink the mask.
  6. Drag the Edge Feather slider to specify the softness of the edge. Higher values create a softer edge but take longer to render.

Path Text effect

If you are working on a project that was created in an older version of After Effects and the Path Text effect is applied to one or more layers, you can continue to use the Path Text effect; otherwise, use text layers for greater control over text formatting and text animation. (See Creating and animating text on a path.)

The Path Text effect lets you animate text along a path. You can define a path as a straight line, a circle of any diameter, or a Bezier curve. You can also import a path created in another application, such as Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator. The Path Text effect can work with nonsquare pixels, adjusting both character shape and path shape accordingly.

This effect works with 8-bpc color.

Note:

If you use Adobe Type Manager (ATM) and large text looks blocky or doesn’t otherwise render properly, increase the Character Cache Size in the ATM control column.

When changing the shape of a Bezier path over time, make sure to create initial keyframes for all four path control points; moving a control point without an initial keyframe doesn’t move it over time. You may find it easier to animate a path by modifying the motion paths of individual control points in the Layer panel.

Note:

Handles appear in the Composition panel only if the effect is selected in the Effect Controls panel and if you aren’t animating text along a mask or path.

If you want to move a Bezier path across the composition, and you don’t want to change its shape, animate the layer rather than the path. If you want to stretch, shrink, or wag one side of the Bezier path while keeping the other half in the same position, move a tangent-vertex pair together. To do so, create keyframes for both by dragging the outer circle of the appropriate vertex.

Note:

When animating the control points of a Bezier path, don’t confuse the Bezier path shape with the Bezier spatial interpolation of the keyframes. Like keyframes for other position controls, keyframes for the vertex or tangent of a Bezier path can be set to either linear or Bezier. You specify default spatial interpolation in General Preferences. You can specify spatial interpolation for individual keyframes by choosing Animation > Keyframe Interpolation.

You can apply motion blur to motion that you create with the Path Text effect. Blurring occurs on each character. Like motion blur for layers, blurring for characters is more visible when movement is quick. For example, blurring is pronounced when you choose negative jitter values, which produce jumpy motion.

Path Options controls

Shape Type

Defines the shape of the path. The Path Text effect name must be selected in the Effect Controls panel to make the path visible in the Composition panel.

Bezier

Shapes text along a Bezier curve, defined by four control points (Vertex 1/Circle Center, Tangent 1/Circle Point, Tangent 2, and Vertex 2). Characters that don’t fit on the path are placed off the end in a straight line.

Circle

Shapes text around the circumference of a circle, defined by two control points (Tangent 1/Circle Point, and Vertex 1/Circle Center). If the text is longer than the circumference of the circle, the text overlaps itself. If an arbitrary path is chosen and if the path is closed, this property forms the text around the path, as opposed to looping it.

Loop

Shapes text around the circumference of the circle, defined by two control points (Vertex 1/Circle Center, and Tangent 1/Circle Point). If text is longer than the circumference of the circle, it flows off the Tangent 1 point in a straight line. You can also use margin controls to make text enter or exit a circle in a straight line.

Line

Shapes text in a straight line, defined by two control points (Vertex 1/Circle Center, and Vertex 2). As with the Bezier path, the distance between the two control points doesn’t affect the spacing of the text, unless alignment is set to Force.

Control Points

Specify the points on the path.

Tangent 1/Circle Point

Specifies the following points: starting tangent for a Bezier curve, diameter of a circle and starting or ending point of text (depending on the specified alignment), and diameter of a loop and the point where text enters.

Vertex 1/Circle Center

Specifies the starting vertex for a Bezier curve, center of a circle or loop, and starting or ending point for text on a line (depending on the specified alignment).

Tangent 2

Specifies the ending tangent of the Bezier curve. The line between Tangent 2 and Vertex 2 specifies the slope of the curve at its ending point. For circles or loops, Tangent 2 is ignored.

Vertex 2

Specifies the ending vertex of a Bezier curve and the angle of a line. For circles or loops, Vertex 2 is ignored.

Custom Path

Specifies an arbitrary path. You can use a mask created in the Layer panel or in Adobe Illustrator.

Reverse Path

Reverses the path.

Fill and Stroke

Specify the fill and stroke options for the path text.

Options

Fill Only

Enables the option to set the fill color. All stroke options are disabled.

Stroke Only

Enables the option to set the stroke color and width only. The fill option is disabled.

Fill Over Stroke

Enables you to create text with the fill over the stroke. 

Stroke Over Fill

Enables you to create text with the stroke over the fill. 

Fill Color

Add a fill color to the path text.

Stroke color

Add a stroke color to the path text.

Stroke width

Change the stroke width of the path text.

Character controls

Size

Size of the characters.

Tracking

Average distance between characters.

Kerning

Controls the horizontal distance between two characters. If you change the text, specified kerning is preserved for all unchanged character pairs. You cannot use the Undo command to undo kerning changes. To change horizontal spacing between characters over time, use Kerning Jitter Max or create keyframes for Tracking.

Kerning Pair

Specifies the pair of characters to kern. Click the arrow to move among the pairs.

Kerning Value

The amount of kerning to apply.

Orientation

Specifies the orientation or rotation values of each character.

Character Rotation

Each character is rotated by the specified number of degrees from its current angle. The center of rotation is on the point where the character intersects the path. Perpendicular To Path changes the initial angle of the characters.

Perpendicular To Path

Rotates each character so that it’s perpendicular to the path. If Perpendicular To Path is deselected, characters always remain upright (unless rotated by Character Rotation).

Vertical Writing

Rotates each character so it’s vertical along the path.

Rotate Roman Characters

Rotates Roman characters vertically along the path; if Rotate Roman Characters isn’t selected, only non-Roman characters are rotated.

Horizontal Shear

Slants characters left or right, similar to italics. The slant is based on the point where the character intersects the path. To slant characters from their centers, set Baseline Shift to make the path go through the centers of the characters.

Horizontal Scale, Vertical Scale

Resize the characters by the specified percentage in the horizontal and vertical directions. Text is scaled from the initial rasterization size, specified for Size. Setting the scaling percentage greater than 100 may result in blurred edges. For best results, set Size to a point size that doesn’t require scaling beyond 100% to achieve the largest desired text size. For example, to increase the text size from 44 to 88 points, set Size to 88 and specify a starting value for both Vertical and Horizontal Scale at 50%; then increase both scale values to 100% if you want the text displayed at 88 points.

Paragraph controls

Alignment

Specifies the horizontal alignment of the text on the specified path.

Left

Places the first character at the position specified by Left Margin; all other characters are drawn relative to it. Right Margin is ignored.

Right

Places the last character at the position specified by Right Margin; all other characters are drawn relative to it. Left Margin is ignored.

Center

Centers the text between Left Margin and Right Margin.

Force

Places the first character at the position specified by Left Margin and the last character at the position specified by Right Margin, spacing all other characters evenly between. Tracking is ignored.

Left Margin, Right Margin

Specify the margins. Left Margin specifies the position of the first character in pixels, relative to the starting point; Right Margin specifies the position of the last character, relative to the ending point. In path shapes, the starting point for Bezier curves and lines is Vertex 1, and the starting point for circles and loops is Tangent 1. The ending point for Bezier curves and lines is Vertex 2, and the ending point for circles and loops is Tangent 1. To move text across the path shape that you’ve defined, create keyframes or expressions for the Left or Right margins (depending on the specified alignment). Positive values move the text to the right; negative values move it to the left.

Line Spacing

Specifies the space between lines of characters.

Baseline Shift

Specifies the distance in pixels between the path and the bottom of the characters. Depending on the path shape, text may appear to be better spaced if the path passes through the centers of the characters. You can set Baseline Shift to a negative value so that the centers of characters lie on the path.

Advanced controls

Visible Characters

The number of characters that appear at the current time. Animate Visible Characters to display one or more characters at a time to create the appearance of typing characters. Positive values specify the number of visible characters from the beginning of the text to the end. Negative values specify the number of visible characters from the end of the text to the beginning. Remember that spaces are characters, too.

You can also use this control with Fade Time to fade in characters. When Fade Time is 0, the next character appears when the value of Visible Characters is halfway to the next whole number. For example, the second character appears when the value of Visible Characters is 1.5, the third character appears when the value is 2.5, and so on. A Fade Time value of 0 produces the appearance of typing characters.

Note:

Visible Characters doesn’t alter the positions of characters defined by the path and other controls.

Fade Time

Specifies a range of time over which a particular character is partially visible. Fade Time works in conjunction with Visible Characters. If Fade Time is 0, each letter appears fully opaque at the appropriate Visible Characters value. If Fade Time is 100%, a particular character is displayed with greater and greater opacity as the value of Visible Characters increases between whole numbers. The exact opacity of the character is equal to the fractional part of the Visible Characters value. For example, the eighth character is displayed at 10% opacity if the value of Visible Characters is 7.10 and Fade Time is 100%; the same character is displayed at 60% opacity if the value of Visible Characters is 7.60, and so on.

For Fade Time values between 0% and 100%, the opacity of the character is defined as a range across the halfway point between whole-number values of Visible Characters. For example, if Fade Time is 20%, the eighth character begins to appear at a Visible Character value of 7.40 and is fully opaque at 7.60. If Fade Time is set to 60%, the same character begins to appear at a value of 7.20 and is fully opaque at 7.80.

Mode

The blending mode used if characters overlap.

Jitter Settings

Specify the maximum amount of deviation added randomly to baseline, kerning, rotation, or scale. Higher values produce greater deviations. Positive values produce smooth motion; negative values produce jumpy motion. Movement is created without keyframes or expressions, although you can use keyframes or expressions to change the maximum values.

A specific jitter value generates the same seemingly random motion for identical text and settings. If a composition contains duplicate animated text, you can generate different motion for each instance of the text by changing a setting but making the change invisible. For example, you could add a space to a second instance of text, and then adjust the kerning so that the space isn’t visible. This method creates an invisible change that generates different motion.

You can specify the following Jitter options:

Baseline Jitter Max

Sets a maximum distance, in pixels, that characters are randomly moved above or below the path after Baseline Shift is applied.

Kerning Jitter Max

Sets a maximum distance, in pixels, that characters are randomly moved apart from one another along the horizontal axis after kerning and tracking are applied.

Rotation Jitter Max

Sets a maximum amount, in degrees, that characters are randomly rotated after Character Rotation is applied.

Scale Jitter Max

Sets a maximum amount, as a percentage, that characters are randomly scaled after Horizontal Scale and Vertical Scale are applied. For best results, characters should not scale greater than 100%.

Move vertices, circle centers, and tangents

  • To move the Vertex 1/Circle Center and the Tangent 1/Circle Point together, drag the outer circle of the Vertex 1/Circle Center.
  • To move only the Vertex 1/Circle Center, drag its cross hair.
  • To automatically snap the Tangent 1/Circle Point on top of the Vertex 1/Circle Center, select the Pen tool and then click the outer circle of Tangent 1 (Windows) or Command-click the outer circle (not the cross hair) of Tangent 1 (Mac OS).
  • To snap the Tangent 1/Circle Point to increments of 45° from the Vertex 1/Circle Center, Shift-drag the outer circle of Tangent 1.
  • To move Vertex 2 and Tangent 2 together, drag the outer circle of Vertex 2.
  • To move only Vertex 2, drag its cross hair.

Spill Suppressor Effect

The Spill Suppressor effect removes traces of the key color from an image with a screen that’s already been keyed out. Typically, the Spill Suppressor is used to remove key color spills from the edges of an image. Spills are caused by light reflecting off the screen and onto the subject.

Note:

If you’re not satisfied with the results from using the Spill Suppressor, try applying the Hue/Saturation effect to a layer after keying, and then decrease the saturation value to de-emphasize the key color. (See Hue/Saturation effect.)

This effect works with 8-bpc and 16-bpc color. In After Effects CS6 or later, this effect works in 32-bit color.

Use the Spill Suppressor effect:

  1. Select the layer, and choose Effect > Keying > Spill Suppressor.
  2. Choose the color you want to suppress in one of the following ways :
    • If you already keyed out the color with a key in the Effect Controls panel, click the Color To Suppress eyedropper, and then click the screen color in the Key Color swatch for the key.
    • In Spill Suppressor, click the Key Color swatch and choose a color from the color wheel. To use the eyedropper in the Layer panel, choose Spill Suppressor from the View menu in the Layer panel.
  3. From the Color Accuracy menu, choose Faster to suppress blue, green, or red. Choose Better to suppress other colors, because After Effects may need to analyze the colors more carefully to produce accurate transparency. The Better option may increase rendering time.
  4. Drag the Suppression slider until the color is adequately suppressed.

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