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Write-On Text Expression

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malcolm ricci
Write-On Text Expression
on Apr 9, 2020 at 12:37:48 pm

Hey guys,

I know that you could emulate a hand-writing effect in after effects using the 'stroke' effect and masking paths, but is there any way that this could be done automatically via some kind of text animation preset or expression?

The reason I'm asking is that I would like to set up the expression on a text layer and then have the possibility of changing the text itself inside of that layer via data input by the customer, with After Effects adjusting the effect/masks paths/ whatever is needed to have the same effect applied on the new text data input.

I've done some research but can't seem to find anything, not even sure if this is possible in the first place, but thought there might be some kind of work around with alpha mattes and after effects realising where the font pixels are maybe?

Not sure if this makes sense, but any feedback would be highly appreciated.

Thanks :)


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Andrei Popa
Re: Write-On Text Expression
on Apr 9, 2020 at 8:24:16 pm

You can't do that. Not because you can't find the pixels, but because you can't tell AE what to do on crosses. Imagine having E. It does not know where to start, where to interrupt and where to start again.

I have, for sale(see signature), several fonts automated by script to do this. Some also have a Premiere Pro version.

Andrei
My Envato portfolio.


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malcolm ricci
Re: Write-On Text Expression
on Apr 13, 2020 at 3:00:09 pm

Thanks for the reply Andrei.

I've actually come across some of your work on Envato before and liked quite a few of them ☺

The reason why I haven't purchased any of them or anything similar to them is that I thought that you would have to have some kind of script for the text input, but since the text is going to be updated remotely, the after effects render engine on the remote server can't have any scripts installed on it before hand, which I believe would result in this not working properly.

Not sure if I've explained myself well. If not let me know.

Thanks,


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Tomas Bumbulevičius
Re: Write-On Text Expression
on Apr 13, 2020 at 9:34:54 pm

Hey Malcolm, from what you said above, I guess running a script, even with purchased license, wouldn't be a possibility for you to use, due to GUI. Unless, Andrei could prepare some sort of 'non-gui' option for an extra charge? On a different note, if remote server uses not only aerender, running a script before producing a render would be possible, requiring proper implementation into a workflow (which you would need anyways)

The question here is also about how you want it to work. Based on what I understand, you would prefer using already installed handwriting fonts on a machine, and just reveal those texts in similar to write-on effect (assuming, you would hand-pick handwriting fonts only) . Is this correct?

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malcolm ricci
Re: Write-On Text Expression
on Apr 14, 2020 at 8:24:08 am

Hey Tomas,

Thanks for your reply.

So essentially yes, I'm assuming that a custom script/expression would need to be created whereby all of this could be done remotely.

With regard to having AE running on a remote server, we are trying to avoid this as much as possible and simply have the render engine running, mainly due to the logistics involved.

I believe the most probable solution is that the animated shape (font) layers would already be uploaded within the project and an expression could link each text 'letter' typed remotely to it's corresponding animated font. This is basically what scripts such as Font Manager are doing, but I assume that this could also be done via expressions. I'm just not there yet with regard to expression knowledge, so I am still researching and trying to find the right expression combination. Probably something related to if/else statements.

The issue here would then be that kerning, spacing, line adjustment, and anything else related to type design would then have to also be incorporated into the expression (just as they are in scripts such as Font Manager), so I'm assuming that if this is even at all possible via expressions, it would have to be one beast of an expression.

If I haven't explained myself well enough let me know.

Either way, thanks for the input guys, I hope that I could come to bottom of this some way or other, as I truly believe that it may be possible.

Cheers.


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Andrei Popa
Re: Write-On Text Expression
on Apr 14, 2020 at 8:48:32 am

It's doable. Mostly the way you said it. Make all the letters individual comps in your project. Then make some dummy comps that link to the letters. These dummy comps would have expression to link to different letter, according to the input text.

And not a very beast expression if you limit yourself to 20-40 characters. This is basically what i have done with my PPro version of my scripts(since there was no PPro scripting when I released them).

You will have to save the bounds of the letters . And kerning, if your font requires to. Most of the handwritten fonts I came across don't use kerning, or if they do, it's almost negligible.

I still think you will spend quite some time collecting the font data and designing the animations, but if you plan to use it a lot, I'd say it's worth the effort.

If you plan to out-source your work for a project like this, you can contact me at andrei@audaciousleap.com

Andrei
My Envato portfolio.


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malcolm ricci
Re: Write-On Text Expression
on Apr 14, 2020 at 9:58:40 am

Thanks for the feedback Andrei.

At the moment this is something I'm planning to learn so that I could apply it when the right project comes along, so it isn't really urgent per se and as things stand I'll try and figure it out. Thanks for the offer though.

I am currently scouring through many posts and feeds on Creative Cow and saving bits and pieces here and there, so I could hopefully come up with a solution.

If I do not figure it out by the time a job on these lines comes along then I'll get in touch, so thanks for reaching out.

Cheers guys :)


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