I'm trying to animate type for titles that looks like it is flowing in a river or stream. Any tips on how to do it without key framing each character?
I want type to flow from frame right, form a title, hold, then deconstruct and continues to flow out of frame left. Also, I'd like to vary each title slightly and feel organic. The only way I know how to do it would be key framing each character. ouch
It sounds as if this may be a candidate for one of AE's particle systems (of course you don't say what you want to accomplish this in, so I'm assuming AE). It would also be possible in Combustion or Illusion.
Set up your type on individual layers, then assign the layers to the particle system. There are a number of "look" presets, some of which are nice and swirly looking, which could approximate liquid. The trick will be to make the words park. You could also play around with Shatter, which does text nicely, and you would just have to play the clip backwards to get the text to park. Back to the particles: with the particles, you would most likely have to dissolve to the fully formed words, which could be hand animated (a lot less work) to match into the last few frames of the liquid layer.
Also take a look at AE's text animation presets. They are very powerful, in that you can start with something that's close to what you want, then deconstruct it to get exactly what you want. I think that combining the particle system with motion blur will give you close to what you want. Of course you don't say what you want to do this with, so I'm flying blind. Good luck!
Creative Director / Multimedia Specialist
B&S Exhibits and Multimedia