Master the Art of Retro Titles: How to Animate 3D VHS Text in After Effects

In this tutorial I'll break down how to create a timeless retro animated title / logo. The techniques used are perfect for eternalising old 70s and 80s Scanimate idents📺

📼VHS Emulator – Take Your Title to the Next Level!

Colorama Effects  – Colours used in Tutorial


Written breakdown:

1. Add text, check the 3D box, extrude it

2. Add an orthographic camera setup

3. Centre align the anchor point

4. Add spotlights to the left, right, and 4 underneath

5. Tweak light settings to get a nice balance of shadows, highlights, and midtones

6. Use C to navigate around the text

7. Add rotation and position keyframes to create the smooth fly in movement

8. Precompose everything and add a colorama effect

9. Add the expression 'time *100' to the phase shift of the colorama effect

10. Adjust lighting to suit your preference

11. Duplicate the text comp in the project panel and the timeline, remove the extrusion in the new comp

12. Remove the colorama from the new comp

13. kayframe the extrusion of the side comp, so it resolves as 2D text

14. Make sure all keyframes are easy eased

15. Add a ramp, and a colorama effect to the front comp

16. Keyframe the ramp to bring it in towards the text

17. Add the layer styles: bevel emboss, stroke, and inner glow to the front comp

18. Add secondary type, add easy ease keyframes for tracking.

19. Now align so it appears behind the big text

20. Add an echo for a slight retro touch

21. Add glow threshold keyframes to 3 stacked glow effects on an adjustment layer

22. Drag in the VHS emulator from and tweak to tailor it to this project

23. Overlay the VHS Textures & Transitions, using screen / colour dodge, opacity and a levels effect

24. You now have a nostalgic VHS Retro Title!

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