I am trying to do a simple type-on effect where a person is texting on a cell phone. there needs to be a way to control the timing of the letters because at some points the girl texting stops, erases, and starts over. I tried a red giant plug-in but when rendering the text disappears and I heard some other friends have the same problem but theyre not really helping me out on how to fix it.
any suggestions on how to fix the problem or a simpler way to do this effect??
there is a text preset called typewriter (just type that in the effects/presets search field) that will type the text in one letter at a time. just apply the preset to the text layer.
to get precise control of the typing, you'll need to modify it a bit and then keyframe in where you want each letter to hit. select the text layer and hit 'u' (the letter u on the keyboard) to reveal the keyframed properties of layer and twirl up and down the range property, then twirl down the advanced property.
by default the properties that you are animating are in percentages, which is difficult to work with for for this effect. so set the 'units' to index. index will be the number of the character from beginning of the line (so the first character is 1, the second is 2 and so forth...). now it will be much easier to keyframe based on the index of the characters.
now you can remove the keyframes from the range selector. set the first keyframe to 0 and then set that keyframe to be a hold keyframe (select keyframe then choose animation>toggle hold keyframe). this will prevent interpolation between keyframes for better precision. now go to the point where the first character needs to appear and set the range value to '1' (which of course will add a new hold keyframe).
keep incrementing the range value timed with each key depress until you're done and it should work out quite well.
for extra credit, you can set up and expression to the range selector that will use layer markers to type each letter on (rather than keyframes).... it would take longer to set up than manually keyframing it, but once you had it set up, you could save it as an animation preset and easily apply it whenever you needed it.
If you need the type to change, what you can do is (after the point in time where she deletes the letters) split the layer. (Edit>Split layer or Ctrl+shift+d on a PC). Then, on the new layer, change the text to be the new text.
AE is an impossible program to master in a short amount of time, but it's a great program. If you really want to learn how to use it, you could start reading Adobe's web-based manual; it's a great thing, as are the tutorials on Andrew Kramer's website videocopilot.net and the books by Chris and Trish Meyer. Ooh, ooh, and Total Training's DVDs. And, of course, the tutorials here on the COW.
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