Is there a relatively easy way to link a text animation to an effect? Not a text-animation property, but an effect from the Effects panel, such as "Bulge"? That way I can control which characters or words the "Bulge" actually affects using the range selector?
Or does it require a more manual effort of adjustment layers, masks, and keframing? I hope someone can tell me so I don't spend too much time barking up the wrong tree if it's not possible.
To do it with expressions, the expressions for Bulge's radius and center would have to be able to figure out which part of the text is selected and where that text is located. I don't think you can get at enought info for that.