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  • Quick text anagram animation?

  • Owain Street

    April 25, 2005 at 12:24 pm


    Just wondering if there was a plugin for AFX which could quickly and with minimum effort animate the order of text. For example to create an animation in which text which might start as Rich Cliffard becomes Cliff Richard (most would be far more complex than this though!!!). I could animate each character indivdually but with the amount I have to do that would be pretty tedious! Anyone know of a quick fix? Much obliged…..

    Owain Street

    Motion Graphics Designer 422 Manchester – England

  • Bobby Walker II

    April 25, 2005 at 3:09 pm

    Hey Owain,

    The plug in set Text Anarchy from Digital Anarchy does this. The particular plug in is Text Hacker.


    bobby walker ii
    broadcast video COW

    G5 2.5GHZ DP,2.5 RAM, AJA IO LA, Medea G-Raid,FCP HD

  • Dan Ebberts

    April 25, 2005 at 3:14 pm

    What kind of animation are you talking about? Do you want the characters to move to their correct locations, or just appear there?


  • Paul Carlin

    April 26, 2005 at 12:47 am

    After Effects has powerful text animation built-in with presets allready made… hundreds of them… including what you are looking for.

    Read the HELP file for thumbnail examples of each.

    Open the Presets Tool Palette and drop the preset onto a text layer.

  • Owain Street

    April 26, 2005 at 8:20 am

    Hi Dan,

    Although the suggestion made by Bobby Walker ii – to use Text Hacker – is a possibility it’s not quite how I envisaged it working . I would really like the letters to move into position by moving along the x axis. To slide from their ‘jumbled up’ start point to their correct position….

    Thanks for responding!


    Motion Graphics Designer 422 Manchester – England

  • Dan Ebberts

    April 26, 2005 at 2:25 pm

    I think you could do this with an expression selector applied to a text layer, but you’d probably have to use a mono-spaced font. The expression would have to know the final destination of each character (i.e. in your Rich Cliffard/Cliff Richard example, which “i” ends up where?) and the move order (unless everything is moving at once) and whether the characters are moving at a constant speed (pixels per second) or a fixed time. Stuff like that. It’s not trivial, but it’s doable.


  • Filip Vandueren

    April 27, 2005 at 3:20 am

    I haven’t been experimenting with the textSelector motionscripts, so I prepared a motionscript using one layer per letter:

    there’s a hidden text-layer that has keyframes for sourceText with the different phrases. Just the duplicate the letter layer as much as you need it.
    the first layer in the comp is a null that has a few controls: text-tracking, text-center, and the amount of hopping over each other.

    It renders extremely slow though, so be sure to convert the expression to keyframes as soon as possible. Especially Motion Blur is a disaster.

    there are probably numerous bugs, (for instance, as sooon as you throw away the “ANAGRAMS”-layer or delete all of it’s keyframes, you get tons of errors.
    And there’s probably sopme way to speed it up a bit?

    download the project file:


  • Filip Vandueren

    April 27, 2005 at 12:11 pm

    Why not, a version with 3d-hopping.

    I baked the expression at 10fps before switching on motion-blur, ofcourse this time the letters are 3d-layers and there’s a slight variation in their position expression.


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