10 Replies Latest reply on Jan 28, 2014 5:37 AM by Paul I O'Neill

    Is there a Text Character Limit?

    tristansummers Level 1

      Hi

      I am trying to make a screen of dots to use as an Alpha channel.

      I want to be able to alter the scale of dots to match the footage underneath, alter the resolution if you will

       

      I was trying shapes and repeaters.

      But the repeater won't take a line and just move it downwards and the sideways offset was too annoying.

       

      I am now trying Text

      I seem to hit a limit of ... I can add in text. Over that it all just disappears.

       

      Why is this?

      Is there a workaround?

       

      Tristan Summers

        • 1. Re: Is there a Text Character Limit?
          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          There is a character limit. A better approach would be to create a solid and then add the Effects>Simulation>CC Ball Action. I used a red solid so you can easily see the effect. Adjust the grid spacing and ball size then use as an Alpha Track Matte. Ball size is a percentage of the grid spacing.

           

          Screen Shot 2011-11-17 at 5.14.23 AM.png

          • 2. Re: Is there a Text Character Limit?
            tristansummers Level 1

            Yes. Thanks. Unfortunately this has a resolution limit also so is inappropriate also, as is a circle and a CCRepetile.Am trying to make a map of the world that can be zoomed into and have different dot resolutions depending on what countries need to be recognisable at different scales.

            • 3. Re: Is there a Text Character Limit?
              Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              tristansummers wrote:

               

              ... .Am trying to make a map of the world that can be zoomed into and have different dot resolutions depending on what countries need to be recognisable at different scales.

              Now I'm really confused. It sounds like you want to create your artwork in Illustrator. A screenshot of a mockup or a still of what you are trying to do would help a lot. If you are pushing into a map then it must be vector art. If the dots were on a layer and created in Illustrator as a pattern then you wouldn't run into the character limit. On the other hand, there's nothing that says all of your dots have to be on the same layer.

               

              I still would like to see a sketch or still of the look you are trying to achieve.

              • 4. Re: Is there a Text Character Limit?
                tristansummers Level 1

                Hi

                Thanks again Rick

                Maybe I should clarify a little.

                I have been using After Effects professionally for well over ten years.

                I am really trying to understand some of the counter intuitive limitations of the program, text suddenly vanishing when it hits half a screen of characters being one of them.

                If you forget about the wider sope of what I am trying to do, and think more of ways to create an editable array of dots.

                Scaling the dot up has to effect the distribution.

                Text seemed like a good idea here, as with auto line spacing I could just animate the font size.

                Ball Action, though useful maxes out at some point as it is a comp scaled effect.

                I think I shall have to build a script but After Effects scripting is a bit too 20th Century and cumbersome for the job.

                Shape layers offer many of the options, just in an equally cumbersome and clunky way.

                I will keep playing.

                I am just after some more detailed insider knowledge on it.

                Tris

                • 5. Re: Is there a Text Character Limit?
                  Dave LaRonde Level 6

                  tristansummers wrote:

                  Scaling the dot up has to effect the distribution.

                  Text seemed like a good idea here, as with auto line spacing I could just animate the font size.

                   

                   

                  If you seek more detailed knowledge of the application, that's one thing.  If you have a job to complete, that's another.  From your description of the animation, simply parenting dots to the map would do the trick.  They could be made either as text layers or imported from Illustrator.

                  • 6. Re: Is there a Text Character Limit?
                    tristansummers Level 1

                    Thanks for the 101 guys.

                     

                    ok. Imagine you have an image you want to pixellate into dots.

                    When zoomed out on a map of the world, a resolution where you can still see the dots and look pleasing will have about 2 dots for Belgium.

                     

                    If I zoom in, or even cut in, to Belgium, because it is Tuesday and my tourist has got there, I want to visually be able to set the resolution of these dots to match the required readability of image.

                     

                    I was just looking for different options. I wanted to do it on a whole globe map, but Ball action is relative to comp size, so making a scaled map produces the same effect.

                    I may be able to scale the image under a ball action adjustment layer.

                     

                    I still can't believe I can't type a whole screen of dots. Or use a repeater just downwards. or bring in a 4000 layer AI file.

                    It would be good to know the limits of the program, some sort of indicator that you are approaching the limts of calculability

                    Anyway thanks.

                    • 7. Re: Is there a Text Character Limit?
                      Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      I wouldn't think you'd need 4000 layers in you .ai file, just one with 4000 dots set to CR...

                       

                      Also, you can set up a shape repeater in only x, then set up another only in y. It looks like this:

                       

                      Screen Shot 2011-11-18 at 8.42.04 AM.png

                      • 8. Re: Is there a Text Character Limit?
                        tristansummers Level 1

                        Thanks Rick

                        Don't know how I missed that one.

                        I am only just getting round to fully exploiting shape layers.

                        All the parenting solutions don't let you scale/animate the distance between dots, but I think the shape hierachy will allow me to build a set of sliders that can make it pretty manipulable.

                        Thanks

                        • 9. Re: Is there a Text Character Limit?
                          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          One more hint... think 3D layers rather than scaling 2D layers. It should be easier. Position the dots layer closer to the camera. When the camera moves in the dots will increase in size faster than the background layer. I think that's the effect you're looking for.

                          • 10. Re: Is there a Text Character Limit?
                            Paul I O'Neill Level 1

                            Hi all, recently came across this same issue myself; late arrival I know to this post: but may help future viewers. The character limit seems to relate to the length of a single word. I wanted to create a binary string to over-fill a 1080 comp. and had the same disappearing text issue. Placing a [space] at the end of each line of text, followed by [shift+return] for a soft-carriage return enables you to fill a paragraph block of a size of your choice. The space at the end of each line shouldn't affect the look of the layer or comp.

                             

                            Cheers,

                             

                            Paul

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