8 Replies Latest reply on Jun 26, 2014 5:18 AM by Jon-M-Spear

    Hiding a non-breaking hyphen

    Jon-M-Spear Level 4

      I'm updating an edit from 2009 and cannot fathom how I managed to make a hyphen not show.  d-oh!


      I have applied a modified text animation "fly out by words" preset to a string of words.  These fly towards camera in apparent 3D.  Hyphenated words will stay grouped.  Those not hyphenated will animate independently. 


      In 2009 I found a way of concealing the hyphen so the joined words appear unhyphenated.  AE will not permit me to select no fill to both outline and fill, and I cannot adjust transparency to a single character. 


      Help!  I cannot recall how I did this 5 yeas ago.


      I would also like to add a depth of field effect to the camera so that the text flies into focus.  The issue is that this is a 2D effect creating the allusion of 3D - so the text reminds in one plane.  Any bright ideas of how to fake DoF would be welcome.


      Thanks in advance.



        • 1. Re: Hiding a non-breaking hyphen
          Dave LaRonde Level 6

          I'd check for altered character spacing.  If you change the character spacing on the proper character, one big run-on word takes on the appearance of two words.  It's dead simple.

          • 3. Re: Hiding a non-breaking hyphen
            Jon-M-Spear Level 4

            Thanks Dave.  OF COURSE!  It was so obvious.  I think it needed someone who hadn't been sitting staring at it for hours to take a dispassionate view.


            Don't suppose you know how I can fake DoF when the 3D text effect is not utilizing the camera?

            • 4. Re: Hiding a non-breaking hyphen
              Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              To enable Depth of Field you need to add a camera. You don't have to animate it, just add it. There's nothing to it.


              If you want to fake it you can add an expression to the blur radius of something like Camera Lens Blur. If your expression divides the Z position of the layer by some factor then the farther away the layer is from Z = 0, the  more blurry it gets. Throw in an if statement to fix the problem that happens when you get negative numbers and you've got something like this:

              z = position[2];

              iris = 4;

              if (z >= 0)  {

                   b = z/iris}


              b = z/iris * -1

              z is the position of the layer in Z

              iris is something like the aperture of the lens. 4 seems to give some nice results when the layer moves about 500 pixels in Z. Iris works like the aperture on a camera 4 gives a shallow depth of field 16 gives a deeper depth of field just like a camera lens.

              The if statement says if Z is greater than or equal to zero then divide the z value by the iris value, but if the z value is not greater than or equal to zero, in other words, divide the z position by the iris value and then multiply that number by negative one to turn it to a positive value.


              EZ PZ. You could class up this expression by adding an Expression Control Slider and making iris = effect("iris")("Slider");

              If you use a slider you will have to be careful to not set the slider to zero or animate the value to zero of you'll get a divide by zero error. You could also fix that by modifying the expression with an if statement.


              Here's an animation preset from my collection:  fakeDOF.ffx

              • 5. Re: Hiding a non-breaking hyphen
                Jon-M-Spear Level 4

                Rick.  I already have cameras, and DoF is enabled.


                The issue is that this pseudo 3D text animation is achieved by randomly increasing the text size of individual words as they "expand" outwards and increase in size.  In fact it remains a 2D layer, so each word remains the an identical distance from the camera.  Therefore traditional DoF has no affect.


                For the same reason, a lens blur will blur parts of the same plane, even those words which appear to be nearer the camera - which isn't the same effect as true DoF.


                I suppose that what I'm trying to create is a true 3-dimensional comp of tracking a camera through pre-placed words.  I was hoping that the text animation preset would same time!

                • 6. Re: Re: Hiding a non-breaking hyphen
                  Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Faking 3D using scale or text size may give you somewhat of a fake 3D effect but it would be better if you enabled Per Character 3D and animated the Z position of the text animator instead of using scale. Your DOF will now work.


                  I'm confused when thou say you randomly increase the text size of the individual words because you can scale individual words or characters but you cannot animate the font size. If you are animating scale then you can use the expression with a slight change if you want to fake depth of field on a 2D layer based on scale. You just need to change the definition of z by referencing scale and make 100% scale the focus point by subtracting the scale value from 100. The expression would look like this:


                  z = 100 - scale[0];

                  iris = 4;

                  if (z >= 0)  {

                      b = z/iris}


                  b = z/iris * -1


                  Unfortunately this would not work by tying scale to a text animator scale property or apply the expression to the blur available as a text animator so blurring individual words as they scale or move in z will not work.


                  All in all it would be much easier just to enable per character 3D.

                  • 7. Re: Re: Hiding a non-breaking hyphen
                    Jon-M-Spear Level 4

                    Thanks Rick. You're right, font size isn't animated.  I was careless in my wording.


                    I didn't realise that Per Character 3D added DoF capability.  Thanks for the info.

                    • 8. Re: Hiding a non-breaking hyphen
                      Jon-M-Spear Level 4

                      Thanks for the heads up on that one Rick. 


                      I wasn't fully grasping the full nuances of 3D text until this recent reworking of an old project.


                      I now feel rather more in control - not needing to rely upon text presets.