Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Adding and animating type on a path

From: After Effects CS6 Essential Training

Video: Adding and animating type on a path

Animating text on a path will give you the ultimate control when you're trying to fly your text around on a screen. To get started with our animation, let's look at what we've got. layer 1 we have a Text layer, and layer 2, if we double-click on it you can see it's a pre-comp of our Illustrator logo. So let's close that comp and talk about what we're going to create. I want these four words to fly around the kinetEco logo in a circle, and then we're going to have both of them scale away from the camera so it looks like they are just kind of fading off into a very small place.

Adding and animating type on a path

Animating text on a path will give you the ultimate control when you're trying to fly your text around on a screen. To get started with our animation, let's look at what we've got. layer 1 we have a Text layer, and layer 2, if we double-click on it you can see it's a pre-comp of our Illustrator logo. So let's close that comp and talk about what we're going to create. I want these four words to fly around the kinetEco logo in a circle, and then we're going to have both of them scale away from the camera so it looks like they are just kind of fading off into a very small place.

So to get started, we need to create our path. I'd like to have flexibility with my animations, and in doing that I'd like to be able to reference my path from any other layer at any time. So instead of just creating my path right on the wind solar green energy layer, let's create a path on a layer Solid. So if we go up under Layer, we can choose New > Solid and just make sure it's the comp size by clicking the button and we can leave with this purple color, so I'll click OK.

Now, move your mouse over the Comp Viewer and scroll to 100% magnification. If you're not seeing this anchor point, make sure layer 1 is selected. Now go up to your Shape tools in the Tool palette and make sure that we have the Ellipse tool selected. Place the Ellipse tool directly over the center of this layer and then click and drag. Now after you start dragging, hold down Shift, and then Command at the same time. So I'm dragging, holding Shift and Command and this is allowing me to draw the circle from the center point of this layer.

If we scroll on our mouse again to zoom back out over the canvas, this is about what I'm looking for for the mask. To add this mask to the Text layer, you'll just have to click on the word Mask 1 to make sure it's selected and Copy, Command+C, and Paste, Command+V. Since we're not using Layer 1 anymore, we can turn its visibility off and make it shy and enable our little shy guy there. That way it's hidden but we can always go back to it if we need it for any other reason. Select Layer 2, and you can see that the Mask that was added to Layer 2 pasted on to the layer if we scroll in here and move up.

You can see the anchor point is the center point of the circle. So when you paste a path onto a new layer, it will paste in the same position from your source layer. We don't need this mask to mask anything, so change its Mask mode from Add to None. If we scroll back out in our comp, here I'm just going to reposition, let's look at what we have. The mask is in the wrong place. So if you press V on your keyboard to grab the Selection tool, you can double-click on the Mask to grab the bounding box or create the bounding box.

If you move your mouse anywhere inside of the bounding box, you can move the Mask up in the composition. I want to make sure it's centered on the comp and I like using Title/Action Safe as a reference. So in the lower left corner, click on Title/Action Safe and let's just move this right over the center of our canvas. Okay, if we scroll into 100% magnification, you can use that to make sure that you are at the center of your comp. Press Enter on your keypad to set that location for the Mask path.

If you open up the Mask Path options, here you can see we can also select the Mask Path right here. Well this is the parameter that we're going to use to keyframe. Now before we start animating the Mask, we actually need to apply the type to the Mask. So let's go back to 50% magnification so we can see our scene and turn off our Title/Action Safe in the Comp Viewer. With the Text layer selected, let's collapse layer 2 and then open it back up again, and open the Text options.

Under the Text options, you want to open Path options because we now have a path. We can go to the Path pulldown and enable Mask 1. Now when you have the words on the path, notice they snap to the top of the path, and they're upside down. Well, the first option here is Reverse Path. If we click off to on just by clicking on it, you see, now it's on the outside of the circle which is what I was looking for. Why did it choose the top of the path? Well if we scroll down, the parameter that we want to adjust is this first margin.

So click and drag on that parameter so you can see a preview as to what the words will be doing. Notice as I move, if we scroll in here you can see this control vertice has a circle around it. None of the other ones do. That's letting me know where the start of the path is. So when I Reverse Path, it literally moved from one side of the path to the other side of the path but it was also referencing the start point. Now to create our animation, we have to animate the path and we have to animate the type moving around the path.

So two separate parameters and that also gives you a lot more control. Now before we start animating I just want to show you some of the other options with the Path Options. Perpendicular To Path; if we click on that, notice that will make the words literally perpendicular to the path as opposed to each individual character. Force Alignment; here let me scroll out here, we'll stretch all the letters out so it's around the entire path, obviously we don't want that. And then First Margin just allows you to work with the first margin.

And if we had a lot of type that went all the way around, we could click and drag and adjust the end margin and see something. But again, since we only have a little bit of type, you don't have to worry about that option. So I'm going to reset that to 0. Now to start our animation with Layer 2 selected, let's press M to open up our Mask. This is where I want the circle to end in terms of its size. So let's start by adding a second keyframe. So move your current-time indicator down to about 2 seconds and add a keyframe for the Mask Path.

Now if you press Home, that'll move your current-time indicator to the start and if we scroll out here with our mouse over the Comp Viewer, you can press Command+T and open up this bounding box. Now the only reason I opened this bounding box is because we already had Mask 1 selected. If it wasn't selected we would have just grabbed the Text tool. So to add another keyframe, all you have to do is click on one of the corners and you guessed it, if we want it to go around the center point, we have to hold Shift+Command on the Mac or Ctrl on the PC.

So let's click and drag until the path is way outside of our Comp Viewer. Now if we scrub in the timeline, here you can see, okay, the path is animated, that's perfect, now we just need to animate the type along that path. So let's collapse Layer 2, go to the Text section and then under Path Options we will keyframe the first margin. So move your current-time indicator to the start of your comp, add a keyframe, press End. And then I like to click and drag on the parameter.

That way as I drag, I can see exactly how many times I'm going around the circle. So I want to drag until I get about three times around the circle. Perfect! If we scroll through here and load up a RAM Preview, you can see that we've got our Type animated. Now the only thing we have left to do is scale down the logo. So let's go collapse Layer 2, select Layer 3, press Home, and we'll start with a logo with this size.

So to automatically add a keyframe to the scale, instead of just pressing S, if you hold down Alt on the PC or Option on the Mac and then press S, this will automatically add a keyframe for the scale. If we move down to 2 seconds, which is where the keyframe was on Layer 2, you could also select Layer 2 and press U, just so you have a reference, we can scale our logo down. So select Layer 3 and click and drag to adjust the scale down. Now we can load up a RAM Preview and you can see our Type flies down and we have our Circle Type spinning around.

Now if you're one of those overachievers who wants to keep pushing this animation, I suggest you use parenting or the pick whip. Now if you haven't already checked out the video on that, go back to the Animation 101 chapter and check it out. Now let's see how to animate shapes and shape layers.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for After Effects CS6 Essential Training
After Effects CS6 Essential Training

78 video lessons · 55028 viewers

Ian Robinson
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 8s
    1. What is After Effects?
      1m 8s
  2. 2m 53s
    1. Welcome
      1m 40s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 13s
  3. 1h 8m
    1. The six foundations of AE
      5m 3s
    2. Introducing the interface and the workspace
      7m 51s
    3. Understanding compositions
      8m 48s
    4. Getting comfortable with layers
      7m 33s
    5. Getting started with animation and keyframes
      8m 30s
    6. Understanding effects
      3m 26s
    7. Moving in 3D space
      7m 41s
    8. Rendering your first animation
      8m 20s
    9. Specifying preferences and cache settings
      5m 44s
    10. Staying organized
      5m 15s
  4. 38m 6s
    1. Creating compositions
      7m 19s
    2. Importing footage and compositions
      7m 54s
    3. Preparing compositions for animation
      8m 7s
    4. Introducing renderers
      3m 15s
    5. Understanding precomposing
      7m 16s
    6. Relinking missing footage
      4m 15s
  5. 59m 58s
    1. Defining layers
      6m 23s
    2. Creating type
      5m 58s
    3. Creating layer solids and shapes with masks
      7m 55s
    4. Building shape layers
      6m 17s
    5. Understanding switches and blend modes
      8m 26s
    6. Crafting custom shapes and masks
      6m 18s
    7. Creating variable-width feathered masks
      5m 1s
    8. Rotoscoping with the Roto Brush
      8m 20s
    9. Refining with the Roto Brush
      5m 20s
  6. 1h 8m
    1. Understanding keyframes
      6m 1s
    2. Adding and adjusting keyframes
      9m 54s
    3. Interpolating keyframes
      8m 5s
    4. Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor
      7m 17s
    5. Understanding positional keyframes
      7m 0s
    6. Controlling animation with parenting and the pick whip
      9m 57s
    7. Understanding animation paths
      6m 27s
    8. Timing to audio
      4m 41s
    9. Trimming and sliding edits
      5m 31s
    10. Swapping images
      4m 1s
  7. 29m 7s
    1. Layering multiple effects
      9m 13s
    2. Generating graphic effects with adjustment layers
      7m 28s
    3. Building backgrounds with effects
      6m 50s
    4. Creating animated strokes
      5m 36s
  8. 40m 15s
    1. Introducing cameras
      10m 3s
    2. Working with 3D layers
      6m 37s
    3. Positioning layers
      6m 13s
    4. Adding lights and working with Material Options
      9m 21s
    5. Using 3D precompositions
      2m 5s
    6. Adjusting depth of field
      5m 56s
  9. 28m 31s
    1. Caching and prerendering
      6m 33s
    2. Understanding the alpha channels
      5m 18s
    3. Using the Render Queue
      4m 34s
    4. Rendering with Adobe Media Encoder
      7m 15s
    5. Archiving finished projects
      4m 51s
  10. 44m 27s
    1. Creating type animators
      12m 16s
    2. Animating type in 3D space
      6m 35s
    3. Adding and animating type on a path
      8m 45s
    4. Composing 3D type
      8m 41s
    5. Animating shape layers
      8m 10s
  11. 32m 45s
    1. Creating stylized video
      6m 47s
    2. Retiming video footage
      9m 31s
    3. Retouching with the Rubber Stamp tool
      10m 19s
    4. Smoothing shaky camera footage
      6m 8s
  12. 14m 19s
    1. Understanding keying
      3m 19s
    2. Creating a garbage mask
      4m 27s
    3. Getting started with Keylight
      6m 33s
  13. 15m 56s
    1. Importing Photoshop documents
      6m 11s
    2. Importing Illustrator files
      4m 24s
    3. Working With Premiere Pro projects
      5m 21s
  14. 1h 15m
    1. Adjusting ray-tracing quality
      8m 19s
    2. Tracking footage
      8m 15s
    3. Extruding shapes
      8m 39s
    4. Bending layers
      8m 38s
    5. Adjusting ray-traced lighting and materials
      9m 22s
    6. Adding environment maps
      4m 58s
    7. Beginning compositing
      8m 52s
    8. Creating render passes
      10m 17s
    9. Building a final composite
      8m 14s
  15. 1m 8s
    1. What's next
      1m 8s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed After Effects CS6 Essential Training.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.