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8 Amazing Tutorials for Animating Text in After Effects

animation text effects after effects tutorials

Photo by Kristian Strand

Whether you’re a seasoned After Effects veteran looking for some new ideas – or a beginner who’s just starting out, tutorials are a great way to see how other or more experienced users are working with the software.

Here, we’ve put together 8 fantastic tutorials from experienced After Effects users – and there’s something for everyone – from aquatic waves and bubbles to timeless cinematic intros…

Learn how to animate text in After Effects and create smooth typography in your videos!

Smooth Text Animation – Avnish Parker

In this tutorial, Avnish Parker shows how to quickly create a handwriting style effect animation. Interestingly, there’s no voiceover – which makes the video easier to follow if English isn’t your first language.

Even if you already know your way around After Effects you might struggle to keep up with Avnish’s pace on this tutorial – so get ready to pause! For most people there’s over an hour’s worth of work here – but the video only runs for 6:38!

Dots to lines to letters – ECAbrams

Although ECAbram’s title is fairly self-explanatory, the ‘dots into lines into letters’ effect looks really cool – and smooth simplicity of the animation makes the end result enormously appealing, whether you’re designing for yourself, or presenting something to a client.

The way that the dots-to-letters animation is created means that there’s no real scope for creating different fonts – but this is a great base-line level technique that you can learn from and build upon.

Revealing text with shapes – Caleb Lancaster

Here, Caleb Lancaster walks us through a great ‘reveal’ animation that’ll work for an endless number of shapes, fonts and colors. It’s a fairly simple process – but that’s exactly what makes it so good. A few people comment that the speed is slightly higher than would be ideal if you’re following it as you work – so be ready to pause.

This is an animation type that really seems to be a hit with a lot of clients – so a great one to add to your toolkit that’ll quickly pay you back for the time it’s taken to learn!

5 Quick Text Effects – SonduckFilm

If you’re only going to watch one tutorial from this list – this one’s great value, as it offers 5 text effects – each fairly easy to get to grips with.

SonduckFilm’s tutorial starts out with a great looking video text example which can be easily adapted to your own videos and font choices. There’s the option of grabbing individual letters of groups of letters here too – so you can quickly make video text sitting over a variety of moving images.

Next up is a warped perspective title that give a great hallucination/glitch kinda feel – followed by an stroke effect animated outline that Sonduck have sitting over a video. The fouth technique results in a ‘liquid’ style effect with some nice flashes of color and the fifth, frankly, is worthy of it’s own lengthy tutorial – as it’s an animated text with a quick overview of some effects that you can put on the video it sits on top of.

Kinetic Typography – Avnish Parker

In Avnish’s second offering on this list, he’s opted for a fairly robotic voiceover – so you might want to stick your headphones on if you’re in an office or a coffee shop!

Kinetic Typography (literally ‘moving text’) title doesn’t quite do this tutorial justice, as the end result is more of a stacked, force-justified set of words of varying height. Avnish’s technique is good for a huge variety of typefaces, shapes and colors too, so you stand to get a lot of value from 12:49 of guide!

It’s worth noting that the use of English is slightly off in a couple of instances – but it’s no big deal, since the video is walking you through the steps at the same time.

Smooth and Elegant Text Animation – Dope Motions

Here, the guys behind Dope Motions have created a fantastic animation that’ll suit anything from a crisp and clean corporate site – right through to YouTube intro animations.

As one of the longest tutorials on this list, there’s plenty of detail – and you’re talked through virtually every button press and mouse click, which is handy if you’re not 100% familiar with some of the functions that more advanced tutorials talk about as second nature!

The techniques here will just as easily fit with your choice of shapes, typefaces and color palette, meaning endless results when you’ve mastered this walkthrough…

Liquid Water Text Reveal – Pregardt

If your idea of fun is finally mastering wave warp matte masking – then put on your seatbelt – because Pregardt walks you through this and more during this detailed 12:05 tutorial.

The tutorial actually illustrates a series of excellent techniques that you’ll learn individually and then bring together for the overall effect. Even standing alone, creating the waveforms and bubble effects are well worth spending your time getting to grips with – they can then be layered through your choice of typefaces and shapes.

Cinematic Trailer Title Sequence – Design Pilot

There’s a timeless class and elegance to phased-in bold white text over a black background – a format that’s been used in Hollywood for the best part of 100 years now. As such, it’s a must-have in any After Effects user’s arsenal – and Design Pilot do an excellent job of talking you through exactly how to create textbook cinematic text here.

The tutorial starts with two text layers, one with fill – then another with stroke. The Cascade preset then creates a rotating animation for letters – followed by a linear wipe for the final reveal. Each technique is a useful addition to your skillset – so it’s well worth taking your time to get to grips with everything that features through the 12:35 tutorial…

What about you?

How did you get on following the tutorials from this list? Have you got a tutorial request? Or your own tutorial you think should have featured here? We’d love to hear from you!

Read next: Motion Tracking Tutorials for After Effects


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