Type Animation Tips

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Recently I needed to create a look where rows of text animated vertically down, fading on in turn as they moved . This could have been achieved in a number of ways using multiple layers and keyframes, but that would have not only added complexity to the composition, it would have made updates and versioning more time consuming.¬†With an understanding of how After Effects’ Type tool works, and a little consideration, I nailed it with one layer and no masks or precomps.

The After Effects Type tool is amazingly powerful, and when you understand the basics it’s straightforward to create a wide range of type animation styles. Before you start duplicating layers and adding loads of keyframes or even using expressions, consider how you might be able to achieve the look with a single text layer.

http://www.vimeo.com/88562815

In this example (insert your own movie star name) the original preset had the letters jumping up one after the other. I added a 2 new Animator Groups for Position and set the Range Selectors so one word slid in from the right and one from the left. The z-position was animated using the After Effects’ Position transform property. Presets are also good to deconstruct once you have your head around the basic functionality of the tool.

So if you’d forgotten or been avoiding the After Effects Type tool, get into it, it’s one of the many powerful tools in the motion designer’s After Effects arsenal.¬†Remember there are also a bunch of type categories in After Effects Animation Presets (Animation > Browse Presets). As with all presets remember to use them as a starting point and add your own flair!

Discuss
  1. Tom
    Reply

    Hi John,

    When I use a track matte to put a texture to text and animate it the usual way the texture does not move with the text. So I either make a precomp or parent the texture to the text and bingo, it moves with the text animation. However, when I do the same thing but use the type tool to animate the text, the texture goes back to being stationary and not moving with the text.

    Do you happen to know a way around this or is it simply a limitation of the type tool right now? Some of those type tool presets would take days to animate normally especially combinations !!

    Tom.

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hey Tom, you’d still have to precomp the text, parent or use an expression. I agree, some of the presets are quite deep. Cheers, John.

  2. Jordan Montreuil
    Reply

    Once I spent the time learning the deep end of the text tool, I found out how much I loved working with it. Great post.

  3. Quba Michalski
    Reply

    AE Text animators, alongside AE Shape layers are some of the most powerful and most underused features of the program. The things one can do with them are pretty insane – you might remember my old “Alphabet Soup” tutorial in which I show how to create a 3D particle system using text, or SplatterType ink splat generator running completely on AE’s Text animation.

  4. Sherief
    Reply

    thanks so much but , it’s not for the cs4 why is every thing is going to the cs5

  5. Josh Stolz
    Reply

    When I click the tutorial link it says it can’t find the page. Did you take the tut down? I hope not, I really wanna see this one.

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hi Josh, all the links appear to be working for me. Which exact link are you clicking?

      Best wishes,

      John.

      • Josh Stolz
        Reply

        John,
        I’m not sure why it’s not working, but when I click on the word “tutorial” trying to find the tutorial where you say you demystify the type tool, no tutorial shows up. Maybe if you could send me a link to the one you’re talking about? Also, I really appreciate the response. I think it’s awesome that you’ll take the time to respond to so many comments even though you’ve got to be crazy busy.
        Thanks,
        Josh

        • John Dickinson
          Reply

          Thanks Josh that’s fixed now. I’d changed the permalinks recently! If you find anymore dead links please let me know!
          Best wishes,
          John.

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