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Importing formatted text into After Effects

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Dave AdamsImporting formatted text into After Effects
by on Aug 5, 2016 at 3:17:58 am

Hi everyone,

I have a client that wants me to create a scrolling text template for them that they can import PDF or DOC text into, but retaining all the colour info and text formatting once inside AE. The only way I've been able to do it was to create one big long image from the PDF in PhotoShop and bringing that in as an image. The problem is they have many 30-40 page documents they want to import.

Does anyone know of a solution to this? Is there a way to copy formatted text from a Word document and paste it into AE?

Dave


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Kalle KannistoRe: Importing formatted text into After Effects
by on Aug 5, 2016 at 12:27:16 pm

I'm afraid you're stuck with the image import method. I would look into how to automate the scrolling instead so that you can export the PDF as individual pages and bring them in as layers that automatically align one after the other with an expression, thus obviating the necessity to create one long PDF and image. Then you would animate the first page and all other would follow. That should a a simple position expression based on layer index and a multiplier.


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Dave AdamsRe: Importing formatted text into After Effects
by on Aug 5, 2016 at 2:25:14 pm

I like the idea of using an expression. I don't suppose you could point me in the right direction as to where I might find out how to do that could you? I'm pretty new to expressions.


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Kalle KannistoRe: Importing formatted text into After Effects
by on Aug 5, 2016 at 3:34:04 pm
Last Edited By Kalle Kannisto on Aug 5, 2016 at 3:44:26 pm

This should work, as long as all the pages are the same height. Make sure the first page is the top layer of the consecutive pages, and call the first page layer "page 1". Use this for the position for all other pages. You can copy the position property once you've put it on one of the layers, select the rest of the pages and paste. Now you can animate the whole lot by animating the first page position.

firstpage=thisComp.layer("page 1");
offset = firstpage.height*firstpage.scale[0]/100*(thisLayer.index-firstpage.index);
firstpage.position+[0,offset]


If you want less offset than the height of the entire page, you can either replace "firstpage.height*firstpage.scale[0]/100" with a fixed value or put that part in parenthesis and subtract a number from it.


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Dave AdamsRe: Importing formatted text into After Effects
by on Aug 5, 2016 at 5:17:10 pm

You're amazing! Thanks so much. It all makes sense too. I ended up tweaking the offset as the pages were too far apart due to margins in the PDF. I then used the index parameter to apply a change to the others (as they were still too far apart). It ended up looking like this:

firstpage=thisComp.layer("page 1");
offset = 650*(index-1);
firstpage.position+[0,offset]

All I had to do then was parent them all to a null object that scrolled over time at a speed defined by a layer slider! So simple and I think I learnt something.

This forum is so good. Thanks again for your help.


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Kalle KannistoRe: Importing formatted text into After Effects
by on Aug 5, 2016 at 8:11:56 pm

You're welcome. Actually you only need to parent the first page, the rest will automatically follow, their position is "parented" to the first page through the expression.

Kalleheikki Kannisto
Senior Graphic Designer


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