I'm not clear as to what you are describing here and neither does the project help in any way. What do you mean? Slide another text along the script text? Reveal the signature? Please provide more details.
If it's your goal to build the text as if it were being drawn or painted on, most automated approaches don't work too well.
You could do it by animating the path/mask shapes, but that is quite tricky and very time consuming.
Personally, I'd use the Paint tool as a matte, and paint along the strokes of the text to reveal it.
Yes I want the text to reveal following the swirly serifs to the left of the "The" and I am looking for a fast or automated way of doing it, if there is one?
I am looking for a fast or automated way of doing it, if there is one?
No, not really. If there was, someoen would have already become terribly rich by writing a plug-in for it. ;-) There is no way for any algorithm to properly detect the overlaps such as you would get it when writing by hand and because of that, there isn't even a way to easily detect the path. Your best bet is still to manually trace a path, then apply an animated stroke and use that as a matte for your actual text....
Well actually the path is already defined as I turned the text into a shape layer.
Download the file from the link below and check it out. It's more how to make the reveal travel along the path that I'm looking for?
You could try converting the shape layer to masks, apply stroke (stroke all paths), and then animate the completion.
It won't, however, be sequential (as it would be written).
Using the paint strokes as a matte (as mentioned a few times above) would be the way to go.
Steve: there's no point in converting the shape layer to masks in this case. Anything the stroke effect can do, shape layers can do multiplied by 10. Seriously.
When you convert type to a shape layer, each character becomes a shape group (some of them are compound groups, ie multiple groups combined, because of the substractions needed for characters like "a", "e,", p", etc). If you apply the trim paths shape effect in each group, it'll let you animate the stroke start/end behavior. But I don't think it'll do what the original posters wants.
I'm not saying that Shape Layers aren't more versatile.
They absolutely are.
However, I seem to get a different behavior from the Stroke effect as I do from the Trim Paths animation feature.
Maybe I'm applying it improperly?
What you're experiencing is a byproduct of the power of shape layers
It's important to understand that the nature of shape effects (just like Illustrator) is that they don't work on textures (ie, the appearance attributes like stroke) but on the "model" (the paths themselves). So, when you apply Trim Paths on a shape that has a fill attribute, you're going to see how fill is dynamically re-applied as the paths are trimmed. Probably not what you want. If you want to animate stroke (or animate things so that it looks like you're animating stroke), you could duplicate the group, turn off fill, make sure stroke is on, and apply Trim Paths on that duplicate group.
This way of operating is what allows you to have (among a million other things) dynamic stroke cap/join/dash styles as you trim the path, which would be impossible otherwise.
Also, regarding a previous post, Trim paths can work on paths sequentially or simultaneouly. Your choice.
Let me know if this helps, or if it still confusing.