I'm trying to control a text animator on a per-character basis. Take for example, a Tracking animator that keyframes from 150 down to 0. I *believe* that, in prior versions of AE, I was able to use either the Character Offset or Character Value parameter to hide/show each letter in turn. So that, as the letters were coming together ("de-tracking", I guess), they revealed themselves, one by one. A Character Value (Offset?) of 0 showed none (zero) of the letters, Character Value of 1 showed the first letter, Character Value 2 the second, and so on. And you could keyframe, of course, to vary the speed at which each character place (including blanks) was revealed. Maybe something has changed from the version I was able to do that on, but no amount of trial-and-erroring has let me replicate it now (at work, I'm currently on CS6/v11). I'd rather not have to reveal the effect by animating a mask, because it will take a long time and not look as good.
BTW, I have been able to accomplish this per-character reveal, but only when the text randomizes on: By adjusting the Start, End, and Offset, I can have each letter resolve itself (from its random values to its actual value) before the next one does the same. But I can't figure out how to apply this same per-character reveal to any other animated effects.