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Animating Text Along a Path

Making a line of text flow along a path adds an element of fun or surprise to a composition, since we’re used to seeing text in a straight line.

star.jpg ACA Objective 4.2

Flowing Text Along a Path

Creating text on a path requires bringing together multiple elements that might not seem related at first. It’s easy to remember how to create text on a path when you understand how all of the elements fit together.

To flow text along a path:

  1. Select a layer.

  2. Draw a path with any shape tool or the pen tool.

    In After Effects, drawing when a layer is selected creates a mask for the selected layer.

  3. In the Timeline panel, expand the properties for the selected layer to find the Mask property. The Mask property did not exist until you drew a shape with the layer selected.

    The last step is to tell the path to flow the text along the mask.

  4. Expand the Path Options for the selected text layer and choose the name of the mask you just created (Figure 3.9).

    FIGURE 3.9

    Figure 3.9 Choosing a mask name for text to flow along

After you select the mask, several options appear so that you can customize how the text appears on the path. For example, if you wish the text started at a different position along the path, adjust the First Margin option.

You can also continue to use the Character panel to adjust the properties of the characters on the path. For example, you can use the Tracking option in the Character panel to adjust the spacing between letters.

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