Animating paragraph text in After Effects

Throughout my motion design work I’ve animated a fair few paragraphs for explainer and social media videos - much like the example you see here for trivago:

motion design for trivago

Although simple on the surface, the technique to produce the effect has a tendency to be quite fiddly and laborious, here’s the usual process:

  1. 1. Create the paragraph
  2. 2. Apply the animation (usually through a text animator)
  3. 3. Duplicate the paragraph layer for each line
  4. 4. For each duplication, the text from the other lines needs to be removed.
  5. 5. Reposition each line to match with the original paragraph spacing
  6. 6. Create a new shape layer & draw a rectangle to match the size of the text on line 1
  7. 7. Set the track matte of line 1 to the shape layer
  8. 8. (repeat 6 & 7 for each line)</li>

Any changes to the paragraph text once all this has been set up can result in having to change the matte sizes, moving the position of each element, all sorts of issues can arise.

Repeating this process 10 or 20 times throughout a video is enough to send a motion designer round the bend!

That’s why I created the telegram script to help automate the process! Now, whenever I have a paragraph that needs animating in After Effects, I can simply click a button and Telegram will separate it out for me, apply a matte if I need it, and even include a control null to help re-position the whole paragraph should I need to.

Plus, if there’s any significant changes to the paragraph, I can now just delete what’s been created, edit the text, and click the button again! I can’t tell you how much time this script has saved!

Check out the Telegram After Effects Script over on Loop!

Filed under:

Rewilding the planet with freelance animation and motion design

We've only got one planet, and right now it needs all the help it can get. Climate change and biodiversity loss are massive challenges that we need to tackle head on.

That's why, for every freelance animation project over £1000 a donation of 1% of the total budget will be made to the World Land Trust, on your behalf.

The money will go towards WLT's "buy an acre" programme; buying up and protecting vital habitats around the world, and helping fight against climate change.

Any motion design projects under £1000 will have a tree planted on your behalf.

Acres saved so far:

Thanks to my wonderful clients and the animations we've produced, enough money has been donated to save around:

17.5 Acres of vital habitats around the world.

Just think, your animated explainer video or logo animation could also be helping fight the climate crisis!

If you're interested in some freelance animation work and saving the planet, get in touch and let's chat!