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Trying to create a dynamic lower third template

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Tom Page
Trying to create a dynamic lower third template
on Aug 23, 2017 at 8:14:01 pm

Hello All!

I'm working on creating an easy to use lower third template for a project I'm working on. The basic idea is I want a thin red line to enter frame from the left, revealing the person's name as it goes. This was easy enough to do using a track matte, but I had to keyframe the path of the line. I'm wondering if there is a way to have the path length dynamically change based on how long the person's name is.

I'm trying to avoid having to re-key for each lower third, partially to save time, and also so that this can be used by folks who don't use After Effects. Ideally they can just type in the new name and it just works.

Here's a gif of the lower third: http://imgur.com/a/q62X1

Any insights you have would be greatly appreciated!


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Steve Bentley
Re: Trying to create a dynamic lower third template
on Aug 23, 2017 at 11:31:38 pm

Can you use expressions? You could poll the length of the name layer and then apply that value to the position of the red bar, assuming that red bar can have one end hanging off the end of the frame width and be as long as the frame is wide.



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Tom Page
Re: Trying to create a dynamic lower third template
on Aug 23, 2017 at 11:46:07 pm

I'm trying to figure out what expression to use. I'm very new to expressions so it can be a little intimidating. Everything I've found online only relates text to a shape's scale, not its X position unfortunately.


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Steve Bentley
Re: Trying to create a dynamic lower third template
on Aug 24, 2017 at 12:46:34 am

What you want is to get is the text's length. If you are using CC2014 or above you can use
myTextShape = thisComp.layer("text").sourceRectAtTime(time,false);
myWidth=myTextShape.width;
myHeight=myTextShape.height
You probably don't need the last line, but you never know.

Then you can position the end of the red bar at text start pos+myWidth-(barlength/2)
This assumes the bar's anchor point is centered.

If you are using a version of AE before 2014 then it's much harder. And thats due to the fact that the spacing between characters differs between all fonts and all characters within a font. (except monospaced fonts). The old version of AE doesn't have the SourceRectatTime class to access.

In pre2014 you can get close by using

myLength= thisComp.layer("text").text.sourceText;

myWidth = myLength.length;


But you wil have to put a multiplier or a slider effect on the next line to account for the differences betweenn characters and even then it won't be perfect.
adjustedWidth = 100 * (myWidth * .175)+ thisComp.layer("sliderLayer").effect("Slider Control")("Slider");



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Tom Page
Re: Trying to create a dynamic lower third template
on Aug 24, 2017 at 12:54:18 am

Thank you for this! Thankfully im on CC 2017. I'll play around when I get home tonight and see what I can make happen. Appreciate your help :)


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Steve Bentley
Re: Trying to create a dynamic lower third template
on Aug 24, 2017 at 12:55:14 am

If you want a crash course in Expressions just search for any post in this forum from Dan Ebberts, he is the master at this stuff.



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