6 Replies Latest reply on Jul 25, 2017 3:59 AM by jong97933453

    How do I create self-writing text with overlaps?

    jaykeeley

      I've tried having a look around online and searching on here without much luck.
      I'm new to after effects and I've managed to create a basic self-writing text effect from videos online using a path and stroke technique, but there is a problem with using this technique for what I want. The text I am using has overlaps, where there are intersections, meaning that when I stroke through this area it shows chucks at the side of that line of text from the intersecting line (see below)
      haunted.PNG
      I think the solution is to use a variable width stroke, where I can set the width correctly for each part of the path, but I don't seem to be able to find how to do this on CS6. I only seem to be able to define a width for the entire path at the same time

        • 1. Re: How do I create self-writing text with overlaps?
          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          You need to add some animated masks. It is a bit tedious but easily done.

          • 2. Re: How do I create self-writing text with overlaps?
            jaykeeley Level 1

            I take it I just create a mask that adds a bit of text every frame or so using that?

            • 3. Re: How do I create self-writing text with overlaps?
              Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              No, I add a solid and add masks to the solid that fix the overlays and use the solid as a track matte. If you use a a complementary color and set the blend mode to screen you can see through the track matte to help draw the masks. I usually make the animation run slower than I want it then nest the write on effect and use time remapping to set the final speed.

              • 4. Re: How do I create self-writing text with overlaps?
                jaykeeley Level 1

                so I would still use the path/stroke, and just use the solid to block out the problem areas? sorry Rick, I'm really new to this. Thanks for your help! :-)

                • 5. Re: How do I create self-writing text with overlaps?
                  Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Take a close look at this project. It's part of an upcoming tutorial on animating text and masks. Maybe the project will help. It's saved as a CC.

                   

                  Note: Dropbox will probably add a .txt extension to the file so just remove it so it just says ScriptWriteOnText_CC.aep and it should open just fine.

                   

                  The procedure was to create a text layer, then convert the text to a shape, then add a solid with stroke below the shape. I then animated the end of the Stroke with stroke set to On Transparent. I used the shape layer as a track matte to trim the stroke to the exact shape of the text converted to shape layer. I then added and animated the masks on the track matte layer. Each mask was changed to subtract and as I scrubbed through the timeline I added as many masks as I needed to clean up the crossing lines.

                   

                  There are many ways to do this. You could split the layer at the cross over, work the other way around, use Paint, but the idea is always the same and it's tedious, especially if there are a lot of crossing points. You could even create your text layers in Illustrator, convert the text to outlines, then divide up the segments of the letters and sequence them in After Effects.

                   

                  The faster you make the animation the easier it is to hide the crossing problems. For example, it only takes me about 3 seconds to sign my full name and with a signature that is that fast you could get away with a lot.

                  • 6. Re: How do I create self-writing text with overlaps?
                    jong97933453

                    Hi Rick,

                     

                    Thanks for making your project publicly available for download. I've taken a look at it and figured out how to create masks to do the same in my project. I'd love to hear about your entire process though, have you finished the tutorial and is it available somewhere so I can see it?

                     

                    Thanks!