Not sure what you are having difficulty with. Draw the shape layer path, apply a Trim Paths modifier from the "Add" flyout menu, set the path's cap options - it realyl is as simple as that. Naturally, of course there will always be situations requiring additional masking when those trim paths overlap unfavorably... Otherwise it's really just a lot of work setting it up and keyframing...
Thank you for your reply.
I know it sounds easy and I apologise if I'm missing something here but I'm still struggling. I want to animate the fill not the stroke (dont want a stroke at all), which is what I think you were explaining because of the cap options which I think only apply to strokes. (?)
This is what I'm trying to do, I did this manually masking, and it's a mess because of all the extra masks I had to add to edges etc
But as you can see on that particular letter I want one line to come in from the left and one above, and to fill the letter like a "snake" sortve movement
Can I still achieve this with the way you explained? the closest I could get was filling the shape up using trim paths but the fill wouldnt "flow" like a snake to fill the letter, it would come in at some random angle and "fan" to fill it up if this makes sense and the only way I could get close to doing what I need was keyframing the start/end along with the degree of the fill over and over and it seemed way too tedious for it to be the way.
Don't try this on a single layer. Break up your text into separate layers. It's pretty easy to do in Illustrator. You can even mask individual letter segments in AE. Make the descender (the thing that looks like a J) one part, the curved part of the G another part. Then position a white solid over the top of each section of your letter, set the blend mode of the solid to multiply so you can see the letter beneath, then use the pen tool to draw an open mask path to go over the section below. Add a stroke wide enough to cover the letter. Create a small square solid that's wide enough to cover the width of the letter, copy the mask path by setting a mask path keyframe, set a position keyframe for the small square solid, paste to give motion to the small square solid, set the small square solid auto orient to the path, adjust the anchor point to of the small square solid to about in X, pre-compose the solid with the animated mask and use that for a track matte for your letter section.
EZ as pie if you don't try and do it all on one layer.
Here's what it looks like:
Rick thank you! I was actually just experimenting with the idea of seperating the parts of the letters and applying transitions to them and noticed I was definitely going in a good direction but you have just laid it all out for me step by step. Definitely looks like I'd be best planning this out in Illustrator and then working the animation instead of trying to figure them out together. Extremely grateful!