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Creating and animating type on a path

From: After Effects CC Essential Training

Video: Creating and animating type on a path

Creating an animating text on a path is very much like creating and animating any other text layer inside of After Effects. What the path gives you is the ability to really control exactly where the text is moving throughout the scene. Now, if we look at our project we can go ahead and select Layer 1. Here notice it's point text and it's left-justified. Now in order to make this text inhabit a path, we need to add a path to our text layer. I'm going to go up to my Shape tools and click and hold 'til I get to my Ellipse tool.

Creating and animating type on a path

Creating an animating text on a path is very much like creating and animating any other text layer inside of After Effects. What the path gives you is the ability to really control exactly where the text is moving throughout the scene. Now, if we look at our project we can go ahead and select Layer 1. Here notice it's point text and it's left-justified. Now in order to make this text inhabit a path, we need to add a path to our text layer. I'm going to go up to my Shape tools and click and hold 'til I get to my Ellipse tool.

You could go ahead and press Q on your keyboard to cycle through. Now, since I'm adding this text with the Shape tool, I'm creating a mask. And as we all know, masks can be anything. So I could copy this path from Illustrator or even Photoshop and then paste it into this text layer. But again, we'll just go ahead and use our circle shape. With Layer 1 selected, click and drag in the comp window. Then, hold down Shift as you start to drag, to make sure that you have a perfect circle. Notice, by default, the mask is already set to add. And it's cutting out parts of the word.

So let's change that setting to None by clicking on the pull-down and changing. Now, let's go to our text options. If we open our text options, the first group here under source text is path options. Let's open that option. Here where it says path, there's a pull down. (SOUND) Click on the pull-down, and enable Mask 1. Now, the text has been moved directly to that path. Now, at any point in time, I could make edits to that path. I'm going to go ahead and click right on the word, Mask 1 and press Command+T to open my transform handles.

And if I grab on any one of the handles here, I could change how the path is set up. And the text will flow accordingly. I'm just going to press Escape, and then undo, just to kind of get back to where we were. Woops, let's redo that. There we go. We've seen how we could move the path around the scene. Let's look at reverse path. If we click on that. It'll just choose the outside part of our path and flip the text around. Let's go ahead and turn that off for now. There's perpendicular to path. If you turn that on, it makes sure that the letters move in a perpendicular fashion to the path edge.

Force alignment will stretch the word over the entire length of the path. With force alignment selected, you can make adjustments to the last margin. That'll allow me to control exactly how much of this path the word inhabits. I can also click on this second alignment margin and drag directly in the comp window. Now last margin is only enabled when you have force alignment on. So let's turn that off just by clicking on the word on. Now the first margin will allow me to push those words around the path and it has the same control handle I can just click and drag. Adding text to a path doesn't seem particularly exciting. Notice, I could go ahead and keyframe this first margin, and just have it spinning around in a circle.

Where I think things start to get interesting, is when we transform this text into 3D space. So let's do that. I'm going to scroll up in my timeline to get to my text options here. And under the Animate flyout, I want to click on that, and choose Enable Per-character 3D. With that enabled, now I have a little bounding box around each individual character of my layer. I'm going to re-select Layer 1. Now let's go ahead and rotate our text layer and then press R to open the rotation parameters.

Let's click and drag on X, and we'll drag that to minus 90 degrees. Now we have our control axes. I'm going to click on Z and just move it down in the scene a little bit. Now notice this is moving the entire layer. Let's collapse Layer 1 and open it up again to get to our text section. In text, let's go over to the Animate menu one more time and enable Rotation. Now with an Animator applied, we have an option for X rotation, Y rotation, and Z rotation.

So let's click and drag on the X rotation and, sure enough, now our letters have sprung to life in 3D space. Now even though this has been achieved through an animator, we could still come back up under our text and go to our path options. Now under first margin we can click and drag and this text will move around in 3D space on the path. Using our first margin alignment. Now, just so this project didn't seem quite so stark, I went ahead and created some extra layers.

If you disable shy, and go up and collapse Layer 1, notice we have two lights, a camera, and a gray solid. So let's enable all four of those layers, and now we're working in the camera view. As I get an overhead view of the scene, I'm noticing that there are no shadows, on my text layer. So once you've actually created text, and moved it into 3D space, you want to go and select that layer and press AA rapidly on your keyboard to open up your material options. Now, I could go ahead and choose, cast shadows. And change that to on.

Now if we go back and select our camera, and grab our orbit around tool we can click and drag in the comp window. And notice that our text is clearly inhabiting 3D space. And if we wanted to animate any of the properties, all we have to do is just add some keyframes.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for After Effects CC Essential Training
After Effects CC Essential Training

110 video lessons · 50795 viewers

Ian Robinson
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 8s
    1. What is After Effects?
      1m 8s
  2. 30m 55s
    1. Welcome
      1m 11s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 19s
    3. Relinking missing footage
      1m 54s
    4. Working with keyboard shortcuts
      1m 23s
    5. Updating After Effects with Creative Cloud
      1m 25s
    6. Different ways to use After Effects UPDATED
      59s
    7. Exploring the interface of After Effects NEW
      12m 0s
    8. Exploring important preferences and setting up the cache NEW
      6m 20s
    9. Video terminology UPDATED
      4m 24s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. The six foundations of After Effects NEW
      11m 5s
    2. Understanding compositions NEW
      10m 35s
    3. Creating and manipulating layers NEW
      9m 49s
    4. Building animation NEW
      6m 29s
    5. Working with effects NEW
      7m 5s
    6. Introduction to 3D NEW
      8m 45s
    7. Understanding how to render NEW
      6m 48s
  4. 38m 54s
    1. Importing elements NEW
      5m 53s
    2. Organizing projects NEW
      3m 51s
    3. Building compositions with layers NEW
      6m 17s
    4. Animating with keyframes NEW
      10m 0s
    5. Adding effects and graphics NEW
      8m 7s
    6. Output techniques NEW
      4m 46s
  5. 44m 49s
    1. Exploring composition and project settings
      6m 48s
    2. Importing Photoshop files as compositions
      8m 39s
    3. Importing Illustrator files as compositions
      7m 41s
    4. Viewing files in the comp panel
      4m 42s
    5. Understanding Pre-compose
      4m 21s
    6. Positioning layers with snapping
      4m 55s
    7. Interpreting footage
      4m 0s
    8. Keyboard shortcuts for compositions
      3m 43s
  6. 1h 5m
    1. Defining layers
      5m 4s
    2. Creating type layers
      7m 38s
    3. Precise typesetting techniques
      5m 42s
    4. Creating layer solids and shapes with masks
      9m 6s
    5. Creating design elements with shape layers
      6m 10s
    6. Layer compositing: Masks, switches, and blend modes
      7m 35s
    7. Using track mattes
      4m 49s
    8. Precise compositing with variable-width feathered masks
      9m 24s
    9. Working smarter by swapping layers
      7m 6s
    10. Keyboard shortcuts for layers
      2m 35s
  7. 1h 27m
    1. Understanding animation
      6m 20s
    2. Adding and adjusting keyframes
      9m 52s
    3. Understanding keyframe interpolation
      6m 20s
    4. Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor
      8m 26s
    5. The power of parenting
      5m 26s
    6. Using null objects
      6m 46s
    7. Creating expressions with the pick whip
      6m 25s
    8. Creating and adjusting motion paths
      9m 56s
    9. Building complex graphics with Pre-compose
      4m 54s
    10. Preparing audio for animation
      8m 57s
    11. Generating graphics with audio
      9m 13s
    12. Working smarter: Navigating the Timeline
      4m 32s
  8. 58m 59s
    1. Understanding the order of effects
      5m 58s
    2. Generating backgrounds with effects
      5m 33s
    3. Generating a scribble effect
      8m 12s
    4. Animating strokes with effects
      6m 37s
    5. Using adjustment layers
      5m 52s
    6. Adding gradients and glows
      4m 30s
    7. Saving pan and scan presets
      5m 20s
    8. Fixing exposure with Levels
      3m 5s
    9. Fixing color casts with Color Finesse 3 NEW
      9m 57s
    10. Masking individual effects NEW
      3m 55s
  9. 55m 24s
    1. Understanding 3D in After Effects
      9m 2s
    2. Intro to cameras
      7m 51s
    3. Intro to lights and material options
      8m 56s
    4. Animating cameras UPDATED
      12m 39s
    5. Creating depth of field
      6m 48s
    6. Exploring the ray-traced 3D renderer
      10m 8s
  10. 1h 43m
    1. Understanding CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects
      1m 32s
    2. 3D foundations
      10m 43s
    3. Matching CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects projects
      8m 9s
    4. Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite interface
      7m 31s
    5. Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files
      7m 28s
    6. Exploring modeling in CINEMA 4D Lite
      8m 8s
    7. Applying deformers
      5m 59s
    8. Understanding materials
      7m 32s
    9. Lighting your scene
      8m 14s
    10. Looking at detailed materials
      7m 51s
    11. Animating in CINEMA 4D Lite
      6m 51s
    12. Animating cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite
      5m 45s
    13. Working with CINEWARE
      9m 38s
    14. Render settings and the multipass workflow
      8m 38s
  11. 23m 35s
    1. Rendering with Adobe Media Encoder
      4m 45s
    2. Recommended settings for rendering graphics
      10m 21s
    3. Creating presets in the Render Queue
      4m 0s
    4. Prerendering with Import and Replace Usage
      3m 18s
    5. Working smarter: One render, multiple outputs
      1m 11s
  12. 29m 3s
    1. Creating type animators
      8m 52s
    2. Creating and animating type on a path
      5m 32s
    3. Animating shape layers
      8m 45s
    4. Animating brushstrokes with Paint
      5m 54s
  13. 23m 31s
    1. Retiming with Time Remapping
      8m 56s
    2. Retiming footage with Timewarp
      9m 10s
    3. Smoothing shaky camera footage with Warp Stabilizer VFX
      5m 25s
  14. 16m 6s
    1. Getting started with Keylight NEW
      8m 43s
    2. Refining your key with Keylight NEW
      3m 42s
    3. Cleaning up keys with masks NEW
      3m 41s
  15. 26m 47s
    1. Rotoscoping with paths
      6m 47s
    2. Introducing the Roto Brush
      5m 58s
    3. Refining the Roto Brush
      6m 12s
    4. Using the Refine Edge tool
      7m 50s
  16. 27m 13s
    1. Creating a single point track
      7m 38s
    2. Applying motion with Warp Stabilizer VFX
      4m 29s
    3. Warp Stabilizer VFX: Reversible Stabilization workflow
      7m 47s
    4. Solving cameras
      7m 19s
  17. 6m 30s
    1. Archiving your projects
      3m 50s
    2. Removing unused footage
      1m 25s
    3. Moving compositions between projects
      1m 15s
  18. 2m 24s
    1. What's next? NEW
      2m 24s

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