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Create a Split-Flap Type Display

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Read Time: 4 min
This post is part of a series called Logo Reveals.
Create Whispy Spirit-like Text
Create a Sci-Fi Movie Title Sequence

Twice a month we revisit some of our reader’s favorite posts from back in the archives of Aetuts+. Today we’ll look at a post that was published 2 years ago in June 2009. "Split-Flap-What?" You may ask... It's the term used for displays that are found in train stations and airports, where they typically display departure and/or arrival information and do that cool flipping of letters to display the new information.

This tutorial does not show how to create the effect from scratch but instead it is a tutorial to explain how to use the project file created by Mattias Peresini who runs the totally awesome mattrunks website which has incredible tutorials for After Effects in French. We are very happy to have Mattias doing his first English tutorial for us here at Aetuts+.


Show Video Transcription

Hi, everybody, and welcome this new After Effect tutorial for My name is Mathias, and I am a French user. It is the first time I've had to make an English version of my tutorials, so sorry for my bad accent. I hope you will understand me.

So, today we will learn how to make some cool transitions between words, like this one you can see right now on the video. It's based on the split flap effect, like the effect you can see in the displays device in the airport. And, first of all, you have to download the free project, which is on the AE tuts page of this tutorial, and open it.

Once you are done, you will have a final comp, which has some composition on it, and one light and one camera. So, you don't have to touch all the flip comp; don't worry about it. Just make sure you have a camera and with orbit tool, the C touch. You can fly around your letters. Each part of this project is free, so you can turn around animate your camera. The depth of field to simulate the depth with the camera works fine, and the motion reel, too.

So, everything with this is okay. And I will show you how to change the words in this project. So, if you work at the comps which are open, you have word one, word two, word three, word four, and word five. So, you can set up five words with ten letters max for each. So, there are some simple guidelines to help you change the words.

Each word is composed by different letters and each letter are on single text layers. So, by example, on word one, which is the first of the word display, if you want to change to another word, simply change each text layer in the comp.

So, if you want to type AE, simply double click on the layer and type your new letters: A, E. And you can change all of this, so it's really easy. AE All you have to worry about is, don't cross, don't exceed, the pink square. So, if you do, your letter will be cut, so don't exceed the square.

And then, you have two white things at the top of the comps. These are styles. So, you have backup style dark and backup style white. If you go into them, you will see some layer style. Just select it, copy it by hitting command C or Edit > Copy. And then, select all of your letters and hit command V to paste the layer style, and all your letters will have the dark style.

So, you can set different backgrounds if you work with dark style, like the white background. And if I come back into the final comps you will see a new style with a white background and dark letters. So, it's really easy; you can go with word two and copy onto all the layers your new dark style. So, it's fairly easy.

And if you want to put it back again on white, just select the layer style in the backup style white, hit copy, and then paste on your letters. So, it's really easy. You can change all of your words, and once it's done, you're done, and you can just make a preview to see the result.

So, I hope this project will help you, and this is the end of this simple tutorial. Sorry for my English accent. It's not really easy for French person. I hope you like the project and goodbye.

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