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Basic text rotation problem

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Frazer Ash
Basic text rotation problem
on Feb 11, 2015 at 11:58:18 am

I'm sure this is so basic and I'm going to kick myself when I finally find out what the issue is. That said, I'm new to AE so still finding my feet...

I'm trying to do a very basic text animation where each letter of a word swings into view one after the other, like a series of closing doors. The letters should be invisible at first and full front on by the end. I had the animated set as follows right now:

Animated: Rotation
Y axis: start: -90, end 0.0
3D Characters enabled
Anchor point grouping: character
Range: start - 0%, end - 100%

The animation itself is working as it should. What's driving me nuts is that at the start point, when each character should be invisible, some remain at a visible angle, i.e, not all at -90 degrees. I've tried adjusting the grouping alignments of the characters but this doesn't make a difference. Herre's a screen grab showing the beginning state of the animation and the various layer attributes:

Some enlightenment of what I'm doing wrong here would be majorly appreciated.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Basic text rotation problem
on Feb 11, 2015 at 4:34:25 pm

Well, the characters are in 3D space. AE sees them from the center of the comp. Go play with some Venetian blinds to see something similar to your situation.

Personally, Id make the animation as fast as possible and just cut to it as it begins. I think it would look okay. Speed covers a multitude of sins.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA

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Kevin Camp
Re: Basic text rotation problem
on Feb 11, 2015 at 5:05:51 pm

you could also add an opacity animator.

i'd try adding it to your existing animator (so it uses the same range/offset keyframes and animator properties) then just set that opacity value to zero and see if that works well enough (it usually does, but it depends on how fast the flip is).

if it's not quite how you want it, then you'll need to add it as a separate animator and tweak the various animator properties to get the timing to match the rotation the way you want it.

there may also be a way to do it with an expression on the opacity animator that simply hides the letter when it faces away from the camera. it would be a tricky expression using the per-character animators (beyond me), but you could ask for help on the ae expression forum. the basics for the expression is here:

but that would need to get worked into an expression control for the opacity text animator, and that's where it gets beyond me.

Kevin Camp
Art Director

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Frazer Ash
Re: Basic text rotation problem
on Feb 11, 2015 at 5:11:32 pm
Last Edited By Frazer Ash on Feb 11, 2015 at 5:16:07 pm

Thanks guys.

Speed does seem to be the next best thing. I had assumed that using per-character 3D would mean each character received its own unique xyz axis - which they do, of course, just not quite how I imagined - they're still wrapped in the 3d block of the entire word.

Yes, I keyframed opacity as well (still a ways of from dipping my toes into getting into expressions!), in conjunction with a speed increase and it's pretty much got me where I wanted to be. Not exactly, but that's probably more a question of me know what I was going for - it's doubtful the end viewer would even register it.

Anyhow, thanks for taking to time.


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Daniel Waldron
Re: Basic text rotation problem
on Feb 11, 2015 at 5:45:11 pm

If it's only the 6 or 7 letters you are animating in this way, you could put each letter on a separate layer and trim each to right when the animation begins. That way they'll be invisible in 3D space until it's their turn to animate in. This is a little more work obviously, but may be a good work around for a short segment.

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Robert Bracken
Re: Basic text rotation problem
on Aug 4, 2017 at 1:33:28 pm

FYI I found it in After Effects CC 2017 under Text-3D Text- 3D Basic Rotate Y Cascade

or you can search for "Rot" and it'll be in there somewhere. Just a suggestion.
Now I'm having trouble with making it shiney.

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