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Forums Adobe After Effects Expressions 3D swing-in pendulum text

  • 3D swing-in pendulum text

  • Brett Schnacky

    July 30, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Hey all,

    So I’m trying to build a preset for animating 3d text. What I want the text to do, is drop in from the capline in a swinging motion and then swing back and forth at the bottom as it loses ‘momentum.’

    Much like the text on this GE site.

    I’d like the ability to select either line, word, character or character without spaces.

    I know I’m close, I just can’t quite get there. This script from Dan Ebberts is what I’ve been using to get the swinging ‘pendulum’ effect.

    Any help is much appreciated. Thanks!

  • Filip Vandueren

    July 30, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    Check out

    It uses an expressions selector to have a separate Sine wave for each letter/word etc.

  • Brett Schnacky

    July 30, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    Can I get it as a CS3 file?

  • Filip Vandueren

    July 30, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    Damn! Don’t have it on my computer here. Let me figure out the expression again.
    Be back in a few minutes.

  • Brett Schnacky

    July 30, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    No biggie dude. Took your file on a friends computer and made me an animation preset. Works wonderfully! Thanks Much!

  • Filip Vandueren

    July 30, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    Okay, here’s the recipe:

    – Add Text
    – Enable “per character 3D”
    – Add an animator for Anchorpoint, and adjust it so the Letters hang below the anchorpoint.
    – deselect this animator and add a new animator for rotation.
    – set the X-rotation to the start-position (-180° or +120°, whatever you like)
    – add an expression-Selector (you can remove the default range selector)
    – Twirl open AMount and change the expression to this:





    – Now add keyframes to the amount: [0,0,0] and [100,0,0] about 100 frames apart.

    That’s it.

    In the expression you can tweak the parameters swings and timeOffset, I think everything makes sense (swings does not have to be an integer, it will always end straight down)
    You can change ‘based on’ to words or excluding spaces etc. Multiple lines works too, They’ll each rotate around their own baseline, or around the topmost if you change “More Options -> Anchor Point Groupin” to “All”

    You’ll need an extra animator if you want to fade in the letters once at the beginning.

  • Filip Vandueren

    July 30, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    Good to know a CS4 preset works in CS3 ?

  • Shahab Ghanavati

    December 10, 2009 at 3:07 pm


    been working on the exact same thing, but more of a frame by frame approach, which granted is slow. And my knowledge in the whole expressions area is, well lacking to say the least.

    If you have the opportunity to to put a file I would appreciate it, need to learn this cool effect.


  • Shahab Ghanavati

    December 11, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Nevermind, I figured it out…sweet!

  • BrandonBrown

    October 7, 2010 at 12:53 am

    Filip, this is great. Probably one of the most direct and clear explanations of how to put this “move” in your toolbox. Thanks!

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