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Is it possible to animate kerning of text on a motion path?

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Mike Imam
Is it possible to animate kerning of text on a motion path?
on Aug 23, 2012 at 9:01:25 pm

Hey all,

I was wondering if it would be possible to animate the kerning of my text characters while moving them on a motion path in AE CS5. Here's the context:

I have a sentence worth of words onscreen visually flowing out of an actor's mouth. He has a pause between his first word and the rest of the sentence. I'd like for the first word to come out in sync with how he's speaking it, on the same motion path that I have the following words on, but once they've exited the mouth I'd like them to eventually meet and look like a complete sentence as opposed to a sentence with a giant gap in the middle.

Any idea how to do this? I tried the "animate" properties of my text layer but that only seems to work by making an instant change from gap to no gap no matter how far I separate the keyframes. I noticed these are "square" keyframes on my timeline which makes me think they don't operate like normal ones. I can't seem to locate a specific kerning option to animate but maybe it's buried somewhere? Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks!


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Kevin Camp
Re: Is it possible to animate kerning of text on a motion path?
on Aug 23, 2012 at 10:11:51 pm

i'm imagining that you have your sentence on a curved path, and that the words move along the that path by animating the path margins...

if so, the only way i can think of to try to get this to work with a single text layer, is to use a text animator for the tracking (in the text layer's 'text' property, click the animate menu arrow and add a tracking animator).

then twirl down the animator properties to get to range selector>advanced. set th 'units' to index (rather than percentage), then set the range 'start' value to the character number of the last lettet in the first word and set the 'end' to one more than the start (this would be the 'space' between the first two words).

ex: This is my sentence.

the start index value would be 4 and the end would be 5. this would now allow my to effect the trakcing of only that one space between "This" and "is".

now if you adjsust the tracking property of the animator, the space between the first two words should be effected.

then you can keyframe the tracking value for that animator to time with the read... it's not exactly how text animators are normally used, and it may be tricky to control this way, but i think it would work.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Vishesh Arora
Re: Is it possible to animate kerning of text on a motion path?
on Aug 24, 2012 at 7:30:28 am

Mr. Camp
Great TIp. It works..!! I was not aware of that trick.

Vishesh Arora
VFX and Motion Graphics Artist

http://digieffects.wordpress.com


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Mike Imam
Re: Is it possible to animate kerning of text on a motion path?
on Aug 27, 2012 at 2:08:07 pm

Amazing - Kevin, this is exactly what I needed. Thanks a mil. Works great!


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