Text animations are (essentially) animating a bunch of different little layers to get their effects. You can't twist and bend one layer to do the same thing as a bunch of litlte layers.
If you have AE version 10 (also known as AE CS5), it comes with FreeForm which does allow you to achieve certain warps in 3d, but I don't know about creating a ribbon. (I don't have CS5 yet.)
What you're looking for is a bit more suited to an actual 3d application.
Thanks for you answer. Yes, I am a 3d person and was trying to avoid doing it in 3ds max to keep it simple . I am also trying to avoid to spend a ton of money on some funky plug-in (that I am sure will be of very good use).
I found a way of doing it beautifully with Echo time (I saw it on a tutorial on creative cow). The problem is that I am doing a little test and it is taking FOREVER to render a 4 sec clip, I mean, it looks like that it might take over an hour. In my final composition I intend to use a dozen ribbons!!
I will have a look at the freeform thing I have CS5) :-)
Thanks for answering!
Perhpas you can use the text animator as a track matte for the layer you want to act as a ribbon? If not, a twist deformer in Max should be fairly easy to engineer. Probably a lot more convincing too...