Traced Text Animation

Create "jumpy" text with Photoshop layers

You don't have much budget but you want something eye-catching in your video.

A good trick to make interesting text with a zany informality is to trace layer over layer in your favorite graphic app and sequence the images in your video.

You'll create a 15-second spot with video and animated text.

This is an example.



  1. Develop your story. You probably don't need more than a thumbnail layout, but you need to show where your text will be displayed. You should write a script for you audio.
  2. Shoot the video, following your layout to accommodate the text. For spoken audio capture the voice on an external mic.
  3. Create hand-drawn text in layers; Photoshop and Illustrator are good for this. A fast way to do this is to create the text with the type tool and trace over it on new layers, using the Wacom tablet, or mouse.
  4. Two or three layers is usually enough to create a wiggly effect.

Edit the video

  1. Import your live video and audio; After Effects is recommended.
  2. Import the animated text layers. This could be a Photoshop video, or layers that you sequence in the video editor.
  3. If you sequence the layers in the video editor, nesting the sequence into the video composition will give you more control over the text.
  4. Get it sychronized and polished.
  5. Render a final video as a Quicktime with the Animation or a 422 codec and drop it into the AVA Classes>Dropoff>animated_text folder.