Using Behaviors to Animate Text in 3D

Although text has no inherent 3D parameters, a text layer can moved and rotated in 3D space. Simulation behaviors can also influence text characters to move out of their X and Y planes into Z space. The text must be a member of a 3D group to be pulled out of the X and Y planes by a behavior. Additionally, text on an Open Spline path can be manipulated in 3D space.

For example, you can apply an Orbit Around behavior to a text layer and assign a target object that is offset in Z space. With Affect Subobjects selected and all three axes (X, Y, and Z) enabled in the Orbit Around behavior, the text characters circle about the target object in X, Y, and Z space.

When the Face Camera checkbox is selected (in the Text Layout pane), the text characters actively face the camera if the camera or text is rotated.

Tip: When working with text in a 3D project, especially text that moves close to the camera, set the Render Quality in the View pop-up menu or the View pull-down menu to Best before exporting (choose View > Render Quality > Best). Use Normal when working in your project, as Best mode dramatically slows your project’s interactivity. You can also set the Render Quality on export in the Export Options dialog: Choose Export, click Options, then choose Best from the Render Quality pop-up menu. To customize an export, turn off the “Use current project and canvas settings” checkbox.

For more information about 3D effects in Motion, see 3D Compositing.