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How can I create an animated path for text that is a composition?

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Stephanie Johnson
How can I create an animated path for text that is a composition?
on Apr 17, 2012 at 12:38:29 pm

(First, I'm still very new to After Effects CS5.)

I'm practicing skills, putting together a piece that includes a lot of text animated on a path with corners and curves. I love it, looks great.

Now, I have some text that has video inside of it. To create that, I ended up with a composition.

My question, how can I create a path for my text that is a composition? My pen tool wants to create a shape instead of a path, it's blue instead of yellow and I don't have the same options. I can't figure it out. I can obviously move it with my transform options, but it won't move along those curves and corners.

What am I missing? What do I need to do? Help!

I appreciate any help.


Stephanie Johnson


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John Cuevas
Re: How can I create an animated path for text that is a composition?
on Apr 18, 2012 at 11:41:52 am

I'm not fully understanding the problem. Just to be clear you have a composition with video in it, you have text over that video and you are using the text as a track matte for the video, creating text with video in it.

You bring this composition into a new project and want to animate it, but are just creating shape layers? Is your precomped video-text layer selected, or any layer selected? That's usually the reason I create shape layers when I did not intend to do that.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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Stephanie Johnson
Re: How can I create an animated path for text that is a composition?
on Apr 18, 2012 at 2:04:38 pm

Unfortunately, I'm not totally understanding the problem either, but I think you have the gist. I have a video layer and a text layer on top and selected "alpha matte" on the video layer. The resulting composition gave me the effect I wanted.

I've added that composition to another composition (forget the shape thing, I now see what happened). With the pen tool, I can create what I think (looks like) a "path" but I do not have the "path options". I tried using "position" under "transform", but that just moves everything including the "path".

Is there anyway to move text that is a composition on a "path" like you can move a regular text?

Thank you for your help.


Stephanie Johnson


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John Cuevas
Re: How can I create an animated path for text that is a composition?
on Apr 18, 2012 at 2:40:46 pm

Use the pen tool and create your path. You can create it on your layer, or a solid, doesn't matter, but I think it will be easier if you create it on a layer that is the same size as your composition(so creating it on a solid will probably be best).

Now twirl down the mask properties or just press "M". Click on "Mask Path" so it's highlighted and press "cntl + c" to copy the mask path. Now select the layer you want to move and open the position property, select position and press "cntl + v" to paste the path into position.

You can paste the path into anything that has can accept a path, including text animators. The keyframes that are pasted are roving, but can change them by selecting them all, right clicking on one and uncheck roving.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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Stephanie Johnson
Re: How can I create an animated path for text that is a composition?
on Apr 18, 2012 at 9:33:26 pm

It's closer. The text composition is moving along the path, but it is staying horizontal. It is not turning with the path. When the path turns vertical, the text stays horizontal. (does that make sense?)

I tried copying and pasting a path from one of my other text layers. The same thing happened, the text composition stayed horizontal.


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John Cuevas
Re: How can I create an animated path for text that is a composition?
on Apr 19, 2012 at 2:44:19 am

Being that it's a precomp your text is going to move as a group. If you had used path options within the text you can have 1 letter turn, followed by another and another as they all navigate the path. I made a quick example project to show the difference:

4001_textexamplecs5.aep.zip

To get the text precomp to turn though, press "cntl + alt + o" and change auto orientation to "Orient Along Path"



Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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Stephanie Johnson
Re: How can I create an animated path for text that is a composition?
on Apr 21, 2012 at 3:58:33 pm

Success!

I ended up going back and re-doing my "video in text" comp. With my text as a text layer, I was able draw the path I wanted and then put the video back in. Then I was able to put the resulting comp into my main composition. I thought I had tried that earlier, but obviously I didn't.

John, thank you for all of your help. I appreciate all of your time, talent and experience you have given to help me through this. I have learned a lot.

Thank you again.


Stephanie Johnson


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