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7 Creative Ways to Animate Text in After Effects


If you are new to Adobe After Effects, you will have lots of new cool techniques, plugins, settings, options, presets, and tools to learn about. In time, you will see there is no end to it, even if you are a professional AE user. Learning creative ways to animate text will help you a lot in creating pleasing, good-looking videos.

With its text animator tool, After Effects enables you to create many ways to add an extra flair to your videos. This is not the only way to create beautiful text animations. In this article, I have prepared 7 creative ways to animate text in After Effects. I will use the basic transform controls, expressions, the animator tool, and presets. So let’s get started.

Animate text in After Effects using basic transform controls & expressions

This is probably the easiest way to animate a text in After Effects. With help from keyframes, you can simply play with rotation, position, anchor point, scale, or opacity to come up with some sort of animation. The trick is to be creative.

I will create two stamp-like animations and I will show you how using expressions can easily change the outcome of your work. 

As you can see, I used 2 expressions together with the basic transform options and created these creative text animations. You can use this method with any type of layer — it doesn’t have to be a text layer. One expression is Wiggle and the other one is Inertial Bounce.

To better control the wiggle animation, I linked a slider control to the expression. Only this way you can create animations like this. On the same page, because of the big inertia of the motion, I had to modify the expression’s parameter.

Animate text in After Effects using the Text Animator Tool & presets 

With the text animator tool and the text presets, you can create text animations in a lot of styles. The tool gives you free control over all the possible parameters, use your imagination and come up with beautiful, creative animations.

On the other hand, the presets give you specific styles of text animations. These are also made with the text tool, so if you want, you can go and modify them.

Wiggle text animation inside After Effects

To make a wiggle text animation inside After Effects, you have to open the text layer options, go to “Animate”, and select “Rotation.”

creative ways to animate text

Go to “Animator 1” and hit “Add”, select “Selector” and click on “wiggly.” 

creative ways to animate text

Open “Animator 1”, select Rotation, and insert a small value, for example, value 9. This will make each character of the text randomly wiggle smoothly. 

Fly-in text animation inside After Effects

The fly-in text animation is perfect for a dynamic intro. I will show how you can use the text tool so you can do such a thing.

To create this animation, first of all, you have to go to the text layer, select animate, and activate Enable “Per Character 3D”. Second, you have to select “Position”, go to “Add”, “Property”, and select “Rotation”.

From now on, I’ll show you a short video with what are the next steps:

You can do this type of animation in many ways, play with the settings and come up with something original by adding more parameters to the “Animator 1“.

Typewriter animation inside After Effects

This type of animation mimics perfectly a type-in writing effect — you can do it using two methods.

Method 1 – using opacity

For the first way, add “Opacity” to the “Animator” and set it to 0. Go to range selector and set the starting and the ending point of the animation with help from keyframes, select “Advanced”, and lower the Smoothness down to 0.

Method 2 – using the Typewriter preset

For the second way, type inside the “Effects & Presets” window the word “Typewriter”. Next, drag the preset over the text, adjust the keyframes how you wish, and that is it.

Text animation presets inside After Effects

All the animations can be accessed through the Animations & Presets window. Open the animations presets folder, then open the text folder to see all text animations presets.

To apply them you can drag and drop the preferred animation or if the layer is selected, double click on the preset and it will apply automatically.

Bullet train animation preset

You can then adjust the speed of the animations by dragging one of the keyframes how you see fit. One of my favorites presets is “Bullet Train”, it creates a blur-in type of animation that catches the eye of the viewer with little effort.

If you choose to, you can preview the animation preset inside Adobe Bridge. Select the layer you want to apply the preset, go to “Animation”, and select “Browse Presets”.

browse presets after effects

A new window will appear, select the text folder, and choose the preset you want. Your animation will appear in the preview window on the right side.

What is left to do is to double click on the preset and it will apply to your layer. I recommend you to go through all of the presets — you must know what tools you have available, right?

Adobe bridge

Handwriting text animation inside After Effects

If you want to create a handwriting type of animation inside After Effects, you must know that there is no quick way to do it.

Using the Pen Tool, you have to draw lines inside the text and then use the Stroke plug-in to animate the unclosed mask to reveal the text. I will show you how in the video below.

In case you deal with thick fonts like this one, you have to pay attention to the margins and the brush thickness — don’t make it too thick or chunks of other characters will appear and it will look bad.


There sure are many other creative ways to animate text in After Effects. Please feel free to let me know what you think of this article in the comment section below and what other creative text animations you came up with.

Also, you can check my article on How to Make 3D Text in After Effects. Here you will see another good example of creative ways to animate text.

Mihai Sessa

Mihai Sessa

After spending 9 years in the post-production studio, Mihai decided to share his insights on video editing and computers.

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