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Replacing text with images?

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Stephen Daniels
Replacing text with images?
on Jul 7, 2019 at 9:56:05 pm

This is what I am working with:
I have 26 letters, in 26 comps, each comp named simply after the letter, A is "A", B is "B", etc. These letters (comps) are animated (bulbs chasing). I'm willing to render comps to footage if that works better, but for this example, I'm going to stick to comps.

What I would like to happen:
I want to type out the word and have the text replace with the comps. I have nearly 100 lower thirds to create using these letters, and I'm very much trying to not have to drag each letter onto a new comp, one at a time.

Best Case Scenario: I have a simple text string in my lower third comp that I can type into and, voila, animated letters appear and I'm off to the races.
Possible Compromise: I have numerous "placeholder" layers in my lower third comp that when I change the name of the layer, it pulls in that comp to replace it. So, the layer name is "A," and I see the letter A where that comp is aligned. If I change the comp name to "B," the letter B appears in the place of the A.
Making the Possible Compromise a Best Case Scenario: Each layer inside my lower third comp reference the corresponding letter place in the lower third's comp name. When I rename the lower third comp, each layer in the lower third comp is updated to reflect it's place in the title.

Thoughts? Thanks so much for input and your time.


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Tomas Bumbulevičius
Re: Replacing text with images?
on Jul 8, 2019 at 9:53:08 am

Hey Stephen, nice problem breakdown - something to learn from for everyone.

Few questions to get this going:
1. Letter comps - are they all the same height/width?
2. Letters width in comps - do they have different widths? (think about 'I' vs 'W' ).
3. Is text caps sensitive?
4. Is font in lower thirds might be changed at some point?
5. Are you familiar with scripting / extendscript?


This will cover the overall background further.

Find out more:
After Effects Tutorials: motion design, expressions, scripting.
Boxer - Dynamic Text Boxes Template with a Live Preview


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Stephen Daniels
Re: Replacing text with images?
on Jul 8, 2019 at 4:51:36 pm

Hi Tomas -

Thank you for your response! And thank you for your compliment.

To answer your questions:
1. Letter comps - are they all the same height/width?
Yes, each comp is 1920x1080. The letter is centered in each comp. Each letter only takes up about 500px in height, the width is variable.

2. Letters width in comps - do they have different widths? (think about 'I' vs 'W' ).
Sadly, yes, letters are not monospaced.

3. Is text caps sensitive?
All letters are caps. There are no lower case letters.

4. Is font in lower thirds might be changed at some point?
The font will not change.

5. Are you familiar with scripting / extendscript?
I'm familiar with some scripting. By no means am I an expert, but I can get my way around.

If what I'm asking for is suuuper complicated and requires Dr. Strange and Scarlet Witch to team up and make some magic to get this to work, I don't want to waste anyone's time. Nonetheless, thank you for your time and thoughts.


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Filip Vandueren
Re: Replacing text with images?
on Jul 9, 2019 at 2:19:29 pm

Hi Stephen,

if animating typefaces is something you plan on doing more often, it might be worth checking out this plugin:

https://aescripts.com/font-manager/

the folks at animography.net have tried to make a kind of standard way to do this, and the plugin seems to handle kerning and everything



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