I want to create an After Effects project where the camera flies through 2,000 names. Is it possible to do this as a "batch" or something, rather than have to create that many keyframes manually? Is there a way to cut and paste the text from another app, like Excel?
Here's a way of doing it, a bit tricky though. You need to create a texture layer for particles (sprite) in Particular, that will contain all 2000 names. Create a comp 2000 frames long, that is big enough to accommodate the longest name in its width- use 12point text. Export the Excel to a text file. Make sure that each name is on it's own line of text. Copy and paste that file on a text layer in AE. Space the lines of text so that only one name is seen in the first frame. Set keyframe on Y axis. Go to last frame and move up on Y axis the text to frame the last name only. Precomp that and use as sprite texture layer - you have different ways of applying the texture- takes all frames sequentially or random... fit to your needs. Now you need to setup the particles to emit in one line or however you need to have them appear to the camera.
This is a nice little script that will allow you to create multiple comps from a spreadsheet. When done you can then drop them into a master comp sequentially. and than use particular as stated by ted.