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13.5 How to Animate Text in After Effects

In this lesson, you'll learn how to animate text in After Effects. You'll find out how to use the text animation tools to make some useful and cool looking text animations for your projects.

How to Animate in After Effects

Learn how to animate in After Effects in our in-depth course. Learn how to create impressive After Effects text animations using a variety of useful animation techniques. You’ll start by learning about keyframe animation and how to reveal text with masks and shape layers, before moving on to three practical projects.

Related Links

1 lesson, 00:49


2.Getting Started
5 lessons, 42:55

What Is After Effects?

Main Panels


After Effects Tools

More AE Tools

3.Compositions and Layers
3 lessons, 26:35

After Effects Composition


After Effects Layer Properties

3 lessons, 25:21

After Effects Keyframe Basics

After Effects Keyframe Easing

Spatial Interpolation

5.Masks, Shape Layers, and Text
5 lessons, 45:36

Learn How to Mask in After Effects

After Effects Shape Layers: Part 1

After Effects Shape Layers: Part 2

Text in After Effects

Text Animation and More

2 lessons, 13:42

What Is 2.5D?

More 2.5D

7.Motion Tracking
4 lessons, 34:04

Motion Tracking, Camera Tracking, and 3D Text

More Motion Tracking

Camera Tracking in After Effects

3D Text in After Effects

8.Mattes and Cool Effects
4 lessons, 43:43




Mind-Blowing Third-Party Effects

9.Build a Lower Third
2 lessons, 21:35

How to Make a Lower Third in After Effects

Final Touches on the Lower Third

1 lesson, 09:11

Exporting From After Effects

1 lesson, 01:16


12.Bonus Lessons
4 lessons, 2:14:00

How to Make an After Effects Text Animation

How to Use After Effects Intro Templates

How to Create Handwriting Animation in After Effects

How to Create Brush Effects in After Effects

13.Frequently Asked Questions
8 lessons, 1:34:42

FAQ Introduction

How to Export Video From After Effects

How to Export Video From After Effects Using PreRendering

How to Mask in After Effects

How to Animate Text in After Effects

How to Make a GIF in After Effects

How to Duplicate Layer in After Effects

FAQ Conclusion

13.5 How to Animate Text in After Effects

[MUSIC] In this lesson, you will learn how to use the text animation tools and make some useful and cool looking text animations for your projects. [MUSIC] So I'm gonna show you how the Text Animator works in a really basic way using some kind of abstract text here. This is just two text layers here that are just periods. I have one that's at 100% opacity, and then I have a duplicate called original at 10% opacity. So when I move this top text layer around, you can see where we started from. So if you twirl down in your text layer, you're gonna see this Animate. And if you click it, there'll be a flyout. And we can animate a bunch of things here. But to start, I'm gonna do something really simple. Let's just look at animating the position. When you select that, nothing happens. But we can set a position for this, and I'm just gonna push the text down. And if we were just to key frame animate this, it's basically no different than just animating the position under the transform properties here. But using the text animator gives us some more options, because if we click under Range Selector, we can set the star, Of what's going to be affected and the end of what's going to be affected. That's what these cursors are right here. In fact, you can actually adjust them in your project as well. And we also have an offset. And so you can think about this as pushing the, essentially, affected state. And see, here's the unaffected or the original position. And if we set the range to be here and here, so this is the start and the end, we can kind of push this through our text layer here, which is not maybe the most useful thing. So we'll dive down into the advanced options here and take a look at some more options. The first is units, and we have the ability to change this from Percentage to Index. Index will be the number of characters in your text layer. For now I'll just leave this to Percentage. We can also change what the units are based on by characters, characters, excluding spaces, words and also lines. I'll just leave it set to Characters, now. We have a Mode option here where we can choose Add, Subtract, and some other options. We go to Subtract, it does the exact opposite. So it essentially inverts the animation. And we have an Amount slider here, so you can set this to negative or positive. Most of the time, you just leave this to Add and this to 100%. The shape though, the shape is where things get really interesting. So right now I'm using a Square shape, but you can see we have some other options. And you can think of the square is the shape that is being essentially pushed through the animation to affect what's happening here. If I change this to Ramp Up, you can see that now we get a little bit different have an effect here. Where the part that's being affected is ramping up from the affected state here to the unaffected say, or the position where we set it to to the original position. And we can use the Offset to go back and forth between these. And we can create something that's a lot, maybe more useful and nicer looking than the square shape. But we also have Ramp Down, which inverts this. We have Triangle, Round and Smooth. For a lot of things that you're doing, the basic kind of text animations, probably you're going to be using the Ramp Up. And you can change the size of the kind of transition area based on the Start and End values here. And then you can use the the Offset to go in between them. We have some easing here, so we can kind of ease the shape or smooth out that ramp to give you more of an s-curve, which is quite pleasing. There's also a Randomize, which for a lot of things is not probably gonna be what you're looking for. But that's pretty much it. So if I wanted to create a nice little transition here, I would set maybe a key frame here for my offset. Set it to be something like this, probably put it at the beginning of the comp. And then maybe go to, I don't know, two seconds, and then just push the offset through so that all of my text was at its original position. And then I get something like this, which looks pretty cool on its own. But you can imagine if these were text characters, that would be quite nice as well. However, you may want the text to sort of reveal itself. So I would guess that you probably want to add at least an opacity to this animation and then turn the opacity down to zero. And that way, what we're going to see with our animation is we're gonna see our text, Go from zero opacity and then start to animate up in opacity and position up to its original position. Which looks quite nice. Now, I might also add to that something like a blur, and you can blur both the x and the y or just one of those, but that kind of gives it a nice little treatment as well. So let's just duplicate this for now. And on this I'm just gonna change the text. How does this look? Hey, check that out. We just created a nice looking little animation there. We can take our keyframes and we can easy ease them. Nice, and you can change the size of this animation or the affected area by going down and adjusting the Start position, or the Start value, and the End value. Now, when you do that, sometimes you'll have to pull the offset, A little bit, either at the beginning or maybe the end. But you can also animate these as well. So you can have it start here, and by the end you could have maybe the start position maybe tighten up a little bit more. Which will kind of give it the effect that it's starting slower and then kind of speeding up at the end. I didn't actually end up animating this at all. So that's just kind of one very simple way that you can use the Text Animator to get a pretty basic look that works for a lot of things. Remember, you can animate a bunch of different properties. And there's also selectors that you can add to your animation. For example, if I added a wiggly selector, this is gonna look kind of nuts, and then as the animator goes through, it's going to kind of unanimate that wiggly thing that's happening at the beginning. It's not super useful in it's default state, but you can make it do some pretty interesting things. There's also an Expression selector. And you can do some searching online and you can find out how to do some really cool things with the Expression selector to give your text some kind of inertial bounce. And that looks pretty cool as well. Let me show you a few other simple things that you can do, With this basic text animator. So let's do something like, Now. And I'm just going to position this in the middle of my comp. Now sometimes you'll be creating kind of a typography animation. And you'll need the text to go from maybe one style in a font to another style. Maybe you wanna emphasize this now, to a voiceover. Now is the time to start exercising, I don't know. And you wanna emphasize this by making it bold, where it was previously a kinda slimmer font style. Well, there's no way to animate between these smoothly, although I believe there is now an option to animate between these, but it's not going to animate the way that you perhaps want it to. But there is a way to fake it, and it looks really pretty decent. If I jump down here to the Text options, what I wanna animate are two things. I wanna animate the Tracking, and I also want to animate the Stroke. Specifically, I wanna animate the Stroke Width. Now, your text may not have stroke on it, it may look like this. Because a lot of times when you create text in After Effects you don't have a stroke on it. So if this stroke color is set to none, there won't be any stroke. And if you do want stroke, you need to change this to a color. And I'm just gonna change that to white. If you have a stroke on this by default, let's just set it to 0, So that we can animate it down here with this Stroke Width. So I'm just going to put a keyframe here on Tracking amount and Stroke With. I'll go maybe ten frames forward, push the Stroke Width up, and also push the Tracking just a little bit to make room there. I'll select these, maybe ease them. And now I have this nice little animation here where I'm fattening up the text. Pretty simple, but pretty effective in a piece that has a lot of typography. Because you can really emphasize some of your text, and you can do all kinds of things. You can put some expressions on this to give it some inertial bounce. But for now, let's look at another example. So, for this next example, I'm gonna create a new comp and I'm going to call it Path. And, Just type out Path. And I'll zoom out a little bit. One thing I don't think I mentioned in the original course talking about text is that you can animate your text along a path. And that is super fun. It's super easy to do. With my text layer selected, I'm just gonna grab the Pen tool here, and I'm just gonna draw a mask. Now, you can use closed masks, you can use open masks. But I'm just gonna use an open mask for now. And I'm just gonna adjust the shape to give it kind of a loop de loop thing. And you can think about this as the path that your text is going to take on its journey. So something like this. And then if we dive down into the options here, under Text we have Path Options, and we can just select the Mask. And that will put the text right on that mask. And then if we use the first margin here, we can animate that along the path. If you hold Shift, it'll go a little bit faster. Let's say we wanted to animate this starting down here, and we'll animate this to about maybe here. And then, we'll go another second and push it a little bit farther. And then we'll have it kind of whip off like this, right down like that. It really helps if you make sound effects. Okay, so just previewing that I can tell that I want this to come in a lot faster round, [SOUND] and then kind of slow down and then kind of whip out. Linear keyframes are not gonna be what I wanna use here. So I'm gonna F9 these and then jump into the graph editor. And then with only the first margin selected, I'm gonna change this to the value graph. And then make some room here, and then zoom up here. And then I wanna change these handles here. In fact, I'm going to hold Alt, which you can't see on my keystroke viewer here, but I'm holding Alt to change the tool. And I'm going to click each one of these twice. And that will create a different type of handle where the handles are linked. And so what I want is I want to, Have this section here kind of be linear. So I'm going to align these handles so that they are kind of pointing up in the same direction. And then I'm going to adjust the handles coming out by pulling them like this, then I will pull this handle down like this. And if this seems a little abstract right now, this will make a heck of a lot of sense when I play this in a second. So essentially, we're looking at a big curve here. And so we're gonna go really fast in, it's gonna slow down right here, it's gonna move along. And then it's gonna start to pick up speed and whip out. So check this out. [SOUND] So I think maybe the end part needs to be a little bit longer. Yeah, like that maybe. Let's check that out. Okay, yeah, and I need to adjust, I think I got a little bit heavy-handed with this here, cuz that should be maybe more like that. Maybe I'll make it just a hair longer, something like that. And I'll just pull this guy in a little bit more like that. Now, what I think would make this look even cooler is to also animate the tracking. And what this will do, turn off the graph editor, is I'm just gonna put a keyframe here and a keyframe here. And then when I go back here, I'm going to increase the tracking. And I'm also gonna have to pull this back. What this is gonna do is make it look like it's kind of ripping apart a little bit. So that when it goes down here, we kind of increase the tracking again, and then maybe just push it down. And then I'm essentially gonna give this a very similar shape. And, in fact, I can just Alt click these to put the handles on that I require. And what I'm looking for is basically I want this to just kinda get smooth in, so I want kind of a similar shape here. Maybe like that, let's check out what that looks like. And then we'll turn on some motion blur for this. This should look pretty cool. >> [SOUND] >> Yeah, I like it. >> [SOUND] >> Pretty cool. All right, I'm gonna show you one more really quick. >> Coming this summer. >> So let me show you one more treatment really quick using the same text animator. I'm gonna change the font here to Tall Dark and Handsome. It's one of my favorite fonts, because I really like tall and skinny fonts. And I wanna put the, Anchor point right in the center, maybe scale this up a little bit, and also maybe increase the tracking. So what I want to do for this really simple technique is I'm going to come in here, and this time, I'm going to choose Enable Per-character 3D. And what this is going to do is it's gonna make this a 3D layer, but it's also going to allow us to animate something like the Rotation per character but in a 3D way. So previously without this, we could animate the rotation like this, basically only on the z-axis, if you will. But enabling the per character 3D allows us to animate them this way. Whoo, and that looks pretty cool. So I'm going to animate these really quickly Like this, going to hit F9, jump into the graph editor here, and just change these keyframes like this so that they kinda spin down like that. I may just increase this. I I think I did that little too much, maybe like that. Yes, that's right, great. I'm also going to increase the tracking. So I'm going to, Move the tracking away, and it's gonna have a really cool kind of effect. Yes, just like that, maybe a little bit faster. So probably get rid of it right here. I'm gonna throw an opacity keyframe right here and pull the opacity down to zero, so we can't see them when they're turned sideways. Like that, and then I will have these fade out like this. And I'll also Shift+Alt+S drop a scale keyframe and just scale these down over time. And really quickly, I have this really cool looking effect here. And I can also maybe even add some blur to this, although I don't need to use this blur. I could just put on some, Some Gaussian Blur, because I'd like maybe them to start blurring out as they fade off, something like this. Press U to just bring up the keyframes, maybe start the blur here. And then I'd probably increase that blur a good amount more, something like that. >> This summer. [MUSIC] >> And I think that's just a little bit too long. You really don't even need to see it that long. [MUSIC] >> This summer. Nice. >> Just another really simple texturing that you can do using some of these animators. That about wraps it up for this lesson. Make sure you check out the next lesson, where you gonna learn how to make GIFs. [MUSIC]

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