6 Replies Latest reply on Feb 8, 2017 5:25 AM by Rick Gerard

    How to animate text - Fall in › Explode

    jordang71239565 Level 1

      New Main comp.00_00_26_11.Still001.jpgScreen Shot 2017-01-24 at 21.51.08.png

      Basically I'm in the middle of an animation project, but I'm still learning about AfterEffects' in-built text animation features (which I love), and I need some help.


      (The effect I'm going for is intentionally lame, it's just to accentuate what a person in some footage is saying.)

      The girl says 'We have some BIG NEWS.'

      ...then she follows immediately by repeating the 'big news' part, just more quietly.


      I want to animate BIG NEWS falling in as she says the words. The 'impact' of the words will shake the screen slightly.

      Because it's meant to be silly, I'm just going to use the explosion preset from Adobe Bridge (sometimes less effort is funnier).

      Through the 'explosion', the smaller big news will emerge as if it charged through the bigger words and sent the letters scattering.


      The thing I'm stuck with essentially - as dumb as it sounds - is how do I best animate the BIG NEWS falling in and exploding on the same text layer.

      The workaround option is probably just to divide the BIG NEWS layer with the explosion on it so it's in two layers which meet, remove the explosion from one and make sure it is first in the timeline, then cut the words up so they're also on two different layers, make sure they're aligned with the explosion words and then just do a simple position animation, making them fall in.


      But I'm 2000% sure I can do it as an additional animator in the explosion layer, so I don't need loads of separate layers.

      How do I do it? (remember it has to be timed with the words as she says them)

        • 1. Re: How to animate text - Fall in › Explode
          Dave LaRonde Level 6

          After it falls in, split the layer.  Used the Shatter effect for the explosion.  It's dead simple.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: How to animate text - Fall in › Explode
            jordang71239565 Level 1

            I appreciate the response but if you read the whole question you'll see that what you described is exactly what I'm trying to avoid doing.


            How do I keep all the text animations in one layer.

            • 3. Re: How to animate text - Fall in › Explode
              Dave LaRonde Level 6

              Um, you don't.  AE involves layers, typically a lot of them.  If you're afraid of layers, you're afraid of AE.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: How to animate text - Fall in › Explode
                Kevin-Monahan Adobe Employee

                Hi jordang,

                Did you ever solve this issue? Let us know how you pulled it off.



                • 5. Re: How to animate text - Fall in › Explode
                  jordang71239565 Level 1

                  I appreciate it Dave but nope. The point wasn't to get this done quickly and simply, I want to learn about the intricacies of text-animation. Anyone can split a layer - or more cleverly - make an easy to destroy pre-comp.


                  The point is that I want to learn how animate words coming down individually in time with the person speaking all within one text layer. In a text layer with a position animator set to 'Words' so that the words come down together, how do I make the words come down when I want them to without having separate layers.


                  This was how I solved it, but I wasn't happy. Dave you answer so many questions, you don't even properly read the question anymore.



                  Screen Shot 2017-02-08 at 10.14.39.png

                  • 6. Re: How to animate text - Fall in › Explode
                    Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    Shatter is a simulation effect that uses a bunch of forces that need to be animated to adjust the timing and look. Dave gave you a simple way to do it without taking the time to learn how to use all of the dozens of controls in Shatter to accomplish your task. Splitting a layer does not cost you anything or make the project more complicated. Trying to do everything in one layer is often the least efficient and most complicated and difficult to produce an effect.


                    If you want to animate words individually in a single layer then you need to read up on text animators. If you want to do a bunch of things to a single text layer you may need to add more than one text animator. Text animators can give you control of individual letters, or words, or lines. You can even enable individual 3D effects for each letter, but again, you have to take the time to learn how to use text animators. The easiest way to get started with text animators is to type animate text in the search help field at the top right corner of AE. The help files are very good. The next step is to start experimenting with the text animation presets. Apply one that does something like you want to do in the first part and then select the text layer and press the U key twice to reveal all modified properties in the layer. Start playing around with the controls and options. Then move the CTI (current time indicator) down the timeline and add a second text animator and do the same thing. That's the only way you are going to get a handle on animating text in AE.