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Dividing the Title

You may have noticed that in After Effects, there are several ways to accomplish the same result. When you're deciding which technique is best, it often comes down to personal preference and work style. Sometimes the best technique is the one that can be most easily revised when your client wants you to tweak things here and there.

The objective in the next few steps is to reveal sections of the LA HI-RISE title at different times. One way to accomplish this is to duplicate the text layer and apply a separate mask to each text layer while staggering the start time for each layer. You can also create a separate text layer for each group of letters and then animate the layers separately. In this project you'll use only one layer to do this, because it takes fewer system resources and allows previews to play back more quickly:

Go to time 1;00, and use the Rectangular Mask tool to draw a mask around the letter L in the Master Comp window.

Masking the letter L

Continue using the Rectangular Mask tool to create masks for the letter A, the letters HI, the hyphen with the letters RI, and the letters SE, for a total of five masks. When you're placing the masks, be sure you cover each letter or set of letters completely and don't overlap the adjoining letters. To get a closer look at your masks and letters, press Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac OS) and the plus-sign key (+) to increase the magnification of the Composition window.

Masking the title

To make each mask easier to identify in the Timeline, click the mask's name, press Enter or Return, and then type the letter or letters that are masked. Repeat this for each mask.

The renamed masks in the Timeline

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