Join Ian Robinson for an in-depth discussion in this video Efficient type animation in After Effects, part of After Effects Guru: Working with Vectors.
Animating type inside of After Effects is a pretty straightforward process, especially if you use type animators. But of course you can also use traditional animation techniques, like masking if you want to actually create something a little bit more complex. That's what we're going to do in this animation. We'll create a base animation for our vector map text, and then we'll actually use the arrow as a mask to control the reveal of that animated text. So let's get started. So let's start by selecting layer two. Before we start animation, just scrub through the timeline to see the timing of everything else.
And as you can see, everything is kind of timed right at the beginning of the project. So let's just stick with that and do the same thing here with our animated vector layer. So with layer 2 selected, let's move our current time indicator to frame 0. Now I can go up under Animation and choose Animate Text, and let's choose Scale. I want my text to start extraordinarily large and then get smaller. So, I'm going to go ahead and crank up the scale to about 300%.
That's going to make my text extraordinarily large. Now, if open up the range selector options here, if I go ahead and crank through my end setting or my start setting, you can see I can clearly control exactly how this element is going to appear. Now I want it to start at 300%, and then once nothing is selected it'll be set back to its normal value.
So, with everything selected, it's set up at 300%. I'd like to add a fade at the beginning of this as well. So let's go up under the Add > Option here, for Animator 1, and go to Property > Opacity. Let's go ahead and change that opacity down to zero. Now, when we scrub through, notice it's actually going to fade as it's scaling; and this is exactly what I want. Now, this looks pretty cool, but here's let's go ahead and leave the start setting at 15% or actually no.
Let's crank it up to 14%. Okay? Now, if we look at the alpha channel, you can see I've got a whole bunch of other things happening that I'm not necessarily seeing, because I've got this going on over a black background. Now, if I got back to my RGB values, what I want to do is ensure that this text is only inside of the arrow. So let's start by animating the text and then we'll actually add the mask for the animated text. So let's start by changing the start value to zero and add a key frame.
And let's move down to one second. And we'll change the start value up to 100%. Now with the text animated, we can go ahead and animate the appearance of our arrow. I'll go ahead and collapse layer two here, and then select layer three, our shape one layer. This is our arrow layer. And while we're here, let's go ahead and just rename that layer arrow. Okay, now we'll animate backwards. Let's move to one second here and press Option+Shift+P or Alt+Shift+P on Windows to automatically add a position key frame. Then we can just click and drag on x value, drag it back to a negative value, to drag it all the way off the left side of the screen.
Now the arrow's going to slide into the screen. And as you can see, our text is actually already resolved before our arrow gets there. So let's move our text layer to start a little bit further down the timeline so we can see some of this action happening as the arrow slides into the scene. Okay, this is looking pretty good. Now, all we need to do is add a mask for our texts. So let's select Layer Three, press Cmd+D, or Ctrl+D on Windows to duplicate, and position it over Layer Three.
With Layer Three selected, go to your Track Mask and change the setting from None to an Alpha Mask. Now that text is only appearing inside that arrow. So, we've got our animation and our arrow sliding in, we are relatively good to go. Now obviously, for a final animation, you'll want to look at polishing your key frames, adding some ease, and making some minute adjustments. But I think you can see how quickly you can animate your text inside of After Effects just using custom text animators.
Now, like I said, you can always stylize your text animations a little bit more by using traditional animation techniques, such as animated matte reveals like we did with our arrow.
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- Analyzing how vectors behave across the Adobe Creative Cloud
- Animating titles from Photoshop
- Creating custom type from Illustrator
- Importing and copying vectors from Illustrator into After Effects
- Animating with shape layers
- Timing animation vectors