1. 3D & Motion Graphics
  2. Motion Graphics

Design Rhythmic Motion Typography in After Effects


In this tutorial you'll learn how to create animated typography synchronized with musical events (lyrics). You'll learn how to fit your typography to a rhythm, add dynamic animations and use the camera and motion blur to create a high-end final effect. This tutorial showcases a technique that is highly sought after in motion graphics today.


We love to see what you do with the techniques taught at Aetuts+. We encourage you to create your own motion typography videos in this style and post a link to your video in the comments below. Most of all, we hope you enjoy the tut!

Show Video Transcription

Markus: Hey, this Markus Gustafsson from and I'm going to show you can you can make one of these typography movies.

Song: Yeah, here we go for the hundredth time. Hand grenade pins in every line. Throw them up-

Markus: Right, so this tutorial is going to be based on my own typography movie that I made with the song Linkin Park. I'm going to show you how I did and how I worked when I did this movie.
So let's begin. First of all, open a new composition. I'm going to name this "Bleed It Out" because we're going to use that song again. Import the sound, "Bleed It Out" and drag it down to the composition.
So the first step when it comes to syncing the sound, the audio, is basically just to write the text you are going to use. We are going to use [alerts] for the "Bleed It Out" text and when you're done with the title typing we will go to our audio layer, press "ll" and hold down the control key to scrub through the audio.
So there I heard the [cue] so we're going to crop down the layers to the first sentence there. Zoom in a bit. We will listen to the "we go, go". Oops. "For the." You need to listen very carefully. Time, there you can hear the time. So, let's see if it's all right.

Song: "Yeah here we go for the hundredth time."

Markus: Looking good. Right, so let's pre-compose this. Name it "One". And let's begin with the other sentence. And we're going to do the second sentence exactly the same as we did with the first sentence. Just going to type out the words, layer by layer. It's very important that you do this layer by layer because we're going to animate these words later.
And we're done with the typing. We can go to our audio layer again and do the same things again, we'll hold down the control. Just going to crop them first, zoom in, and hold down control. Not right. There. This is the "g", grenade. That's the "p". There. And line. Awesome.

Song: "Hand grenade pins in every line."

Markus: Looking good. Let's pre-compose this too, name it "Two". It's going to crop that down.

Song: "Yeah here we go for the-"

Markus: Oops.

Song: "Yeah here we go for the hundredth time, hand grenade pins in every line."

Markus: I think the hand just cut off just a bit too early.

Song: "Yeah here we go for the hundredth time, hand grenade pins in every line."

Markus: Right, so, looking good. Now we're going to start designing these texts. So we're going to choose cool fonts. Going to choose the same fonts I used in my own typography movie. And we're going to line this up. So this...looks good.
Here we go. There isn't much to say about this process, just going to design this same way I did with my own typography movie. Going to copy this position, just to line them up. Same thing of the "for". And we're going to choose copy the "for" position to "the" and the word "for" and "the" seem to be too big, just need to scale them down. Scale them, just move them down. Move them down a bit. That's pretty good.
Let's do the same thing with the, "hundredth". Moving down, scaling up. Moving down again. Scaling up, and moving down. Right, that looks pretty good to me.
Let's go to the next sentence. 3D and motion [blur] and rotate it negative 90 degrees. Let's look at the grenade, oops. I rotated, all the layers, 90 degrees. Need to rotate the hand. Right, so the grenade. Just copy and paste the position of the "hand" and scale up the grenade. Move it a bit to the right. Just going to move down the "pins".
Choose "pins" position and copy those to the other words. Drag it to the right and drag "grenade" to the right and align. Seems a bit too small so I'm going to scale them up a bit. Just move them down and move them in again. Right, that looks pretty good to me.
Let's start animating. So we're going to the first pre-compose and what I want to do is have the "here" word fly out. Flying. So we're going to animate the "the" position, go back three frames. And push the "the" position...There.
And I want the word "hundredth" to fly in from the back. So I'm going to set the key frame for position. Just move it back. I also want it to fade in so animate the transparency, the opacity.
Now I'm going to animate the "time" too, and choose the mask too because I want to animate the mask on the word sign. So let's set a key frame for the path. What I want to do is to make the "time" word seem like it's coming from the back of the "hundredth" so let's take the bottom value to the top value. Move the position up. Moving up. And there we go. Pretty cool effect hey?

Song: "Yeah here we go for the hundredth time-"

Markus: Looking pretty good. So next step in this as well is to start animating with the camera. So, new camera 35mm. Oops, no, 3D layers in the composition. Let's turn into 3D. I'll use the null object asset camera controller. [Parent] it. And what I want to do is start with the camera on the word "here". Zoom into the word, set the key frame. And move there, see the word "we"? And just set the key, and what I want to do here is to zoom in on the word "we". We. Here we go.
And when the "'go" comes up I want to have the focus on "we go". So center these two words. "For the". Just going to zoom out a bit. And when the "hundredth" comes I want to zoom out again. Center it. And I want to do the same here. When the time comes we'll have to zoom it out so we can see the whole text. Center it.
Let's preview. Looking good. Now let's preview these with motion grid. Even better. So what I want to do now is to make a pretty cool transition to the new sentence and I want to do that by zooming out with the camera.
And we're going to position this next sentence negative 150 pixels. And let's set the key frame for the camera, move forward and zoom out until we see the word, "hands". Awesome. We want to rotate the camera to negative 90. And we want to fade out the first sentence so that's going to [inaudible 12:46]. Press "t" for [inaudible 12:47]. Set it down to zero.
Looking good, and what I want to do now is rotate the camera so we will have focus on the "grenade". So move it back to zero and let's try to center this. Hand grenade. And I want to do is when the "pins" in every line comes up- I just want it to zoom out even more. So just push the [inaudible 13:43] position on the null just a bit, just to center it a bit. There.
Just going to change the key frame velocity a bit in here, awesome. There. And the last part we're going to do with the camera is to zoom by the next sentence. Motion blur. Looks like the rotation to the hand to the grenade seems to be too fast. Just going to stand a bit, two frames. Let's preview. Looks pretty good. So let's preview this video one more time with the sound on.

Song: "Yeah here we go for the hundredth time, hand grenade pins in every line. Here we go-"

Markus: So that's it. That's my tutorial on how to make a typography movie. Hope you guys learned a lot, this has been my Markus Gustafsson from Thanks for listening.

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