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Aligning simple text, not so simple?

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Adam Lewen
Aligning simple text, not so simple?
on Mar 30, 2019 at 9:45:07 pm
Last Edited By Adam Lewen on Mar 30, 2019 at 9:46:35 pm

Hi there
I have what seems as a simple task, but i'm trying to find a way, and thought asking here might, as usual, help.
I need to create a couple of dozen "from-to date animations" simple ones as seen here





My question is - what would be a simple solution to have the line always aligned to the center?!
Right now the MONTHS are aligned to the RIGHT
and the YEARS to the LEFT
Simple text layers with keyframes with a MATTE layer to show them...

Hope I am clear.... (at the end of the example the "February 1987" is more on the left side to to my setup...)

I assume a different approach is needed here... Thank you so much!


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Aligning simple text, not so simple?
on Mar 31, 2019 at 1:45:39 am
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on Mar 31, 2019 at 2:02:23 am

I'd look for a tutorial for an odometer and modify the work to fit your objectives. This should be pretty easy.

And this would be REALLY easy -- make a Months comp and a Years comp. In the Months comp, just make a single text layer with all the months, one below the other. Same thing goes for the years. Change the two comps' vertical dimensions to show just one month and one year. Animate each layer's vertical position. Nest the two comps in a final, master comp and you're pretty much done.


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


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Adam Lewen
Re: Aligning simple text, not so simple?
on Mar 31, 2019 at 11:30:30 am

Hey Dave
Thanks for the reply!
An odometer is indeed a nice idea, but I'm less concerned about the LOOK more about the technical side of always aligning to the middle. For example, MAY 1911 jumping to NOVEMBER 1938 would need to be set to the middle...
You wrote "Animate each layer's vertical position. Nest the two comps in a final, master comp and you're pretty much done."
And I am looking for, I guess a piece of script direction that will help me not animating manually a couple of dozen short comps. I also prefer if the comps would stay simple (2 text layers and a matte layer).
I might end up doing it manually, but thought of asking here ☺
Thanks for the reply!


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Aligning simple text, not so simple?
on Mar 31, 2019 at 6:14:39 pm

I don't know if you want to waste time waiting for someone to mention a script that may or may not exist.
] You can probably crack out a couple dozen of the babies in an afternoon once you have one working right using keyframes.

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


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Tomas Bumbulevičius
Re: Aligning simple text, not so simple?
on Mar 31, 2019 at 8:16:50 pm

Hey Adam,

can you specify the following:
1. How many date lines there will be overall?
2. Will they update up from A to B to C, etc, or each date will be individual comp, A to B dates only?

The problem with the alignment you mention, is that technically, the date would move towards the right as well, introducing a jump. Do you want this to happen? I think it would look not good.

Find out more:
After Effects Tutorials: motion design, expressions, scripting.


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Adam Lewen
Re: Aligning simple text, not so simple?
on Apr 1, 2019 at 4:07:27 pm

Hey Dave - Not wasting my time at all, I did what I needed, but asking here helped me numerous times to better understand for future needs. Sometimes the answer was simple and /or fast and helped me for the same project...

Tomas, thanks for the reply!
Answering your questions:
1. In my specific situation, over all MONTHS = 12 YEARS = from 1960 - 2019 (59 Years)
2. Each date will be an individual comp, A to B dates only

As for the alignment problem - Yes I completely understand - similar to what is seen on different 'running numbers' alignment...If it will be an automatic alignment it would look jumpy. Manual work can definitely smooth things out:)

Thanks for the thought guys!


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