How to animate text writing itself using the brush tool?


I want to create an animation of text writing itself. The source text comes in as a png image file with transparency.

Most tutorials I find online describe using the pen tool to create a mask made up of a series of bezier lines following the text. You then attach a stroke effect, set a decent stroke width and then keyframe the endpoint.

The problem I found with this method is that the stroke width is fixed, so sometimes too much of the text is unmasked at once, or sometimes not enough. You could keyframe the width but that’d change the brush width for the whole mask all at once, giving undesirable results.

I’ve learned that there’s another way to do this by using the brush tool. With a pressure-sensitive tablet, you can vary the stroke width as you paint on the text. This results in a paint effect with a beginning and endpoint that you can animate using keyframes, giving the same result as the previous method but with much more ease in creating the strokes and which also follow the natural thickening and thinning of the strokes in the original text.

I can’t figure out how to use this method to make my text write itself into existence, however. Anyone have any ideas?


The Paint brush works in the layer panel, create a solid(black) double click the layer to then open the “Layer Panel”, once in that, you can paint your desired 'Stroke" using the pressure sensitivity(white) You would then use that as an alpha Track Matte on your text png layer that would be directly under the solid layer you just created your stroke on. Then, on the solid you made your stroke, if you twirl your layer attributes down, you’ll see under “Effects” you have a paint effect added, under “Brush1”, you then see a “Stroke Options”, and you can find “Start” and “End” which you would animate to reveal in the way you desire.

The challenge here, will be getting your Stroke to match up with the “text png” as you can’t have that visible in the layer panel while you’re painting the stroke, so I don’t know how you’ll be able to get your stroke just right, you might have to copy a path that you create to the “path” of the Brush 1 attribute and play with some of the attributes in the stroke options to get what you want.