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Finally, let's do that text ring. And how big was that? The event names were just under 600 pixels around. I will make it a size of, say, 560 or something like that, and again I can adjust these things later. I will come back, twirl up my Shape group, rename this one outer circle, press F2 to deselect so I can start a brand-new shape group. Ellipse tool, same ritual. Click-drag, add Shift, add Command or Ctrl, drag it out to about the size that I want, which was somewhere around here, pretty large.
V to return to my Selection tool, increase the stroke, because I need a fairly wide band to fit text into. Now the next trick is adding that text. Unfortunately, I cannot add text directly to a shape layer. Also, unfortunately I cannot copy any ellipse path and paste it into a mask path on another layer. So I am going to be careful to what I do next. I am going to create a Layer > New > Text. So I have a starting text layer. We need white type. That's fine. Fairly small size. Of course, we can edit all these things later. And next, we need to paste in our text.
I happen to have a document that has all of the words. I will select all, copy, go back to After Effects, double-click my text layer to make sure I have selected it and paste. And I'll press Enter to accept. A little bit hard to see it here against transparency grid. I will turn that off for now. Now you can see all of my words. Next, I need to create a mask path on this text layer that matches that ring I created with the Shape layer. No problem.
I can use the same tool. I will go back to the Ellipse tool. When you have an ordinary layer selected, the Ellipse tool creates a mask on that layer; it does not create a shape. I will center my crosshairs again. 300, 300 is the middle of this composition. Click and start dragging. Use the same modifier keys of Shift to make it a perfect circle, then Command or Ctrl to center it. I am going to drag out my Mask Path to what looks like it's going to be a good baseline against that shape layer that I created, and I can tweak these later on if I need to.
Next, twirl open Text, go to Path Options, say Follow this mask path that I just created, and then fit up to 100% so you can see things better here. Give me a little bit more room to work with. The text right now is upside down and inside my mask path. So I need to reverse my path so that my text is outside. I need to enable Force Alignment so that my text goes all the way around my path. I see even when I do that it's a little bit tight on top of that last pipe symbol there.
So I am going to go ahead and carefully scrub first margin to get a little bit of separation here. I am going to turn off the Mask Path for now. Better see what I'm doing. And put it somewhere around there. Looks like I might have managed to miss that last pipe anyway. No problem, I will double-click the Text layer. I'll right cursor to go the end of the text and add in my pipe character. There we go. Enter to accept. Scrub my first margin to have a good starting point.
If I need to I can change the ellipse size, rescale the path, et cetera, to better center things up. But actually I'm pretty close. I twirl up the layers to clean them up, and I might even pre-compose these so that they're their own group and I can animate them easily as one piece. Pre-compose, move all attributes, outer text ring, no need to open up the new composition. And by the way, I could use text animators to animate on the text, Trim Path operator to animate on the ring. There we go! So yes, you can re-create a lot of what you do in Illustrator directly inside After Effects.
And we do like to create as many elements as we can directly inside After Effects, because they're much more flexible when it comes time later on to edit or animate them.
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