Text Animation Tutorial: Using After Effects to Put Texts into Action

July 29, 2022

Text Animation Tutorial: Using After Effects to Put Texts into Action

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Text animation is a technique used to add flair and movement to letters, words, sentences, and sometimes whole paragraphs. It is a creative concept with limitless possibilities. The text can be made to move side to side, up and down, recede from view or move along a specific pattern. In most cases, the movement is coded to a replicating pattern, which replays endlessly. The animated text helps increase interest, engagement, and visual appeal, which is mostly lacking in static texts.

There are a variety of programs and plugins that you can use to achieve the desired text effects and patterns. Adobe After Effects is one such program that is popular for its versatility. It is 2.5D animation software that works for creating animation, special visual effects, and compositing. After Effects is considered a storytelling tool that helps create visually appealing motion graphics that can be integrated into any medium to enrich an image, presentation, or mood.

Different Ways to Animate Text In After Effects

After Effects is considered the industry-standard program for visual effects and motion graphics, you will need training and extensive hands-on use to gain proficiency. Some professions who use it include animators, visual designers, video artists, editors and producers, UX professionals, social media professionals, and advertising agencies. This section explains a few ways you can use it in text animation.

Using the Text Animator Tool 

The text animator tool gives you total control over all the possible features, and you only have to use your imagination to add flair to your animations. Open the text layer options > Animate, and a drop-down menu of text animators will appear based on the text properties, which you can use to change the internal features of properties. There are numerous text animators to choose from, and they include;

  • Tracking- This is the overall letter spacing in selected letters.
  • Opacity- ranges from 0 to 100% and is the transparency of a layer or object.
  • Type on – This classic feature replicates someone typing on a screen.
  • Blur –Let’s you control how much Gaussian blur to add to a character. You can explicitly define the horizontal and vertical blur amounts.
  • Skew – This means that the object or text is neither parallel nor at a right angle based on an implied line.
  • Rotation – This is a function to rotate objects and ranges from 0 to 360 degrees.
  • Anchor point – This is the center of all manipulations and is mapped on the adjustable x and y-axis.
  • Position – This feature lets you point precisely where you want to layer the x and y-axis.
  • Scale – It is designed to keep the original ratio of your layer. It is measured by x and y values, representing the width and height.
  • Stroke width –The function allows you to adjust the width of the stroke you have applied to the text layer.
  • Line anchor – The option indicates the alignment racking for each line of text.
  • All transform properties – It is used when you need to create an effect using multiple text animator properties. So, you can select all transform properties instead of applying each property.

Creating Animated Text Using a Path

Path animation is a little more limited compared to other methods. It, however, still has its uses. The techniques involve consolidating multiple elements, which often seem unrelated. It is, however, easy to create animated text on a path once you understand how the various elements complement each other. What is more, this is a creative way of adding an element of fun into your design. There are numerous unique possibilities when animating along the Path. Here is how to go about it.

  • Select a layer
  • Create the Path that the text will move along. You can use a shape tool or a pen tool for this.
  • Click the Text menu and select Path options
  • Change Path to the Mask you just drew
  • Set a Keyframe for First Margin at frame 0. You can lower the value to what suits your Path. When you get to frame 30, change the First Margin value to 0 and apply Easy Ease to the frame.
  • Move to Frame 45, add another Keyframe of similar value and apply Easy Ease as well.
  • This time move to frame 75 and choose a high number for the First Margin value to animate it off the screen.

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Using Presets 

This is considered one of the easiest ways to create animated texts using After Effects. Packed within the After Effects program, are numerous animation presets you can try out to discover the possibilities of text animation. Another benefit of using presets is saving time as they come ready to use. There are free and paid preset options.

Browse and apply the text animation presets under the menu panel ‘Effects and Presets’ or Adobe Bridge. To apply, drag and drop the preferred animation or double click on the preset if a layer is selected. Any of these actions will automatically apply to the preset. Afterward, you can make adjustments like changing the speed of the animation by dragging the Keyframes whichever way you desire.

Storyblocks Curated Text Animation Templates

Storyblocks supports your text animation journey by providing you with access to a wide range of high-quality text templates to use with After Effects. All templates can easily be downloaded and feature unique design styles to meet different needs. By choosing Storyblocks, you get built-in access to all of our content. The templates are easy to use and require minimal technical skills to edit. You are welcome to try us out when looking to add texts, logos, transitions, or other effects made possible with Adobe After Effects program.

Besides the text templates, Storyblocks has a vast and diverse library of products that will bring your story to life. They include stock videos, images, and audio. So you not only get to create advanced texts, but you also get other tools to edit and enhance your video content. Our plans are built to fit your budget through different subscription packages covering big and small businesses.

Elaine Kuckertz

Elaine Kuckertz is the Senior SEO Manager of Storyblocks. She is passionate about learning and growing as the SEO industry changes and is excited about a video-first world. Outside of work, Elaine enjoys being outdoors, painting, and spending time with her dog, Meatloaf.