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Create Metallic Text


This tutorial teaches you how to create 3D looking reflective metal text without the need for third party plugins or additional software. This quick method demonstrates how to create 3D bevelled edges as well as add animated glossy reflections to the text.

This type of text can be added to a range of After Effects Title Sequences that you may be working on and the colors can be customized very quickly with a simple curves adjustment.

You'll learn how to:

  • Combine text, JPEG’s, effects and animations
  • Alter and customise effects to best suit your needs
  • Create a smooth looping animation


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Hi, and welcome to another MotionMile After Effects Tutorial. Today we are going to be creating some metallic style text with a few reflections animating across the text. So go ahead and create a new composition, 1080p and about 10 seconds long. And then I’ve got a JPEG, which I’ll include for you guys, it's a reflection image and this is what's gonna be reflecting across the text to give it that really glossy, metallic feel.

Call this composition ‘Text’ and then we’ll create a text layer. I’m just going to use Arial Black for now. We will type in ‘metallic’, drag it centrally and all the settings here are fine. And then we will create another composition, just call this one ‘title’, and drag our text comp into the title and then we will create one more composition and call this one ‘reflection’ and then we will drag our reflection JPEG in here.

And then basically what we want to do is make this a lot longer, so we can animate it across like that. So we’re gonna use an effect called ‘motiontile’, and just click mirror edges. And then the output width, we will boost that up to about 500. That’s basically just copyin’ the texture over and over again. Right, so we’ll move it right to, we’ll drag it to the right and then we’ll hit “P” and click the position stopwatch and we will go to the end of the comp which is 10 seconds and drag it to the left. So now we can see it's just animating sidewards. If it’s going a bit fast for you, you can always slow it down, by just not moving the image as far across.

Right, so we’ll close that now. And we’ll drag it, drag it underneath text and then we’re gonna use some alpha matte, look at toggle switch that brings it up your trackmat. And we’ll select alpha matte. Doesn’t look much at the minute but we’ll need to apply some effects upon the reflection comp.

The first effect will be ‘cc glass’. And toggle the surface parameters and we’ll use bumpmap, select text. And then softness about 9 and then height 100. Just turn this to full resolution and zoom in so we can see what we are doing. And then displacement -250. And that's given us some edges, some bevelled edges. Almost given us a 3D effect.

You don’t need to bother about the light or shading parameters. Then we’ll apply one more effect, this is going to be ‘cc blobbylize’, weird name. We then, and toggle down this, again, blob layer text. And change the property to alpha. Then the softness, tone that down to about 7. And then cut away, just bring that down to a couple. And basically, that gives us some, again, some nice bevelled edges.

And it's really starting to look like metal text. And if we have a quick preview of what it looks like, going back down to half. Just go through, again because we’re using an alpha matte the reflection is just scrolling across this text and it's giving us a really nice effect. Some nice different, instead of just being a stroke of light which you usually see. It's some different shapes, as if the text is reflecting the environment around it so it looks a lot more realistic.

That's pretty much it for the text. You could go, go into the text and you could add maybe… what I’d like to do is go to animate, add like a tracking effect, err one thing you wanna do is you make sure that it's, if you go to character, paragraph window make sure its centralised, centre the text. Move it back into the window and then when you do your tracking the text will move at both sides instead of just one. So go to the start, tracking amount click the stopwatch and then 10, boost that up a little bit, maybe about 30. That's just gonna give you a nice subtle effect, as you can see the text is tracking out. In the preview, I’ve made the text gold. I’ll quickly show you how to do that. Create an adjustment layer, we’ll add, just use a curves adjustment. Then basically play around with the red parameters, just boost that up about there, then obviously bring the blue down, already starting to get like a gold tone. And we’ll just push the green up a little bit. And then you're starting to get a nice gold. Errmm so I don’t know what you prefer; a silver, chrome or gold.

So that basically just a quick little tip there to create some 3D looking metallic style text, thanks for watching. 

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