Using the Sequence Text Behavior (Motion 3.0.2 and Earlier)

The Sequence Text behavior allows you to select and apply text Format and Style parameters, such as Position, Color, Scale, or Opacity, and animate those parameters in sequence through the text characters. For example, you can create a sequence in which the text characters fall vertically into place as they scale down, fade in, and rotate. The sequence works by moving a selection area, represented by small white lines, through the characters of the text. You can set the sequence to repeat, change direction, or to randomize. The location of the selection can also be keyframed to customize the direction of the sequence. For example, you can animate the selection to move through half of the text, return to the beginning of the text, then move to the end of the text.

Important: The following description is for the Sequence Text behavior that shipped in Motion versions 3.0.2 and earlier. Motion 4 contains a revised Sequence Text behavior.

Figure. Crawl Left behavior controls in the Behavior tab of the Inspector.

Once you have added and modified the Sequence Text behavior, you can save the behavior to the Library. For information on saving a modified behavior to the Library, see Saving and Sharing Custom Behaviors.

To assign parameters to the Sequence Text behavior
  1. Apply the Sequence Text behavior (from the Text Animation subcategory) to the text.

    In the Canvas, the text bounding box is replaced with the sequence bounding box.

    Figure. Canvas window showing sequence bounding box.

    The Sequence Text HUD also appears and the behavior is added to the text in the Layers tab and Timeline.

    Important: Before any animation can occur, you must explicitly add at least one parameter to the behavior from within the Inspector. Until a parameter is added, adjustments made in the HUD have no effect.

  2. With the Sequence Text behavior selected, display the Behaviors tab in the Inspector.

    The upper area of the Sequence Text controls contains the Add and Remove pop-up menus, which are used to select parameters to add to the behavior, or to remove parameters. The second group of parameters are the Sequence controls, which include options for setting the direction of the animation, whether the animation is applied per character, per word, or per text layer, and so on.

    Figure. Sequence controls in the Behaviors tab of the Inspector.
  3. In the Parameter row, click the Add pop-up menu, choose Format, then choose Scale.

    Figure. Add pop-up menu options in the Behaviors tab of the Inspector.

    The Scale parameter is added to the behavior and is set to 100% by default (which represents the original size of the text).

  4. Set Scale to the largest (or smallest) value you want the text to become in your animation.

    In this example, the Scale value is set to 350%. To enter separate values for the X and Y scale, click the Scale disclosure triangle.

    Note: Often, you can enter values larger than a parameter’s slider allows by typing in the value slider.

    Figure. Inspector window showing value sider with high number.
  5. Click the Play button (or press the Space bar).

    The first character begins at 100%, scales up to 350%, and then scales back down to 100%. The animation sequence moves through the text.

    Figure. Canvas window showing small white lines that represent the selection.

    As the animation sequences through the text, small white lines travel with the animation. These lines represent selection—whatever is in between the two solid white lines is the current selection, and receives the full effect of the animation. The soft line represents the selection falloff, and “leads” the next character into the animation.

  6. Add the Rotation parameter to the Sequence Text behavior by choosing Format > Rotation from the Add pop-up menu (in the Parameter row of the Behaviors tab).

  7. Set Rotation to the largest (or smallest) value you want the text to rotate in your animation. In this example, Rotation is set to 90 degrees.

    The first character begins at 0 degrees, rotates to 90 degrees, and then rotates back to 0 degrees.

    Figure. Canvas window showing animated text.

    The animation—which begins at the default value for any added parameter, animates to the value you specify, then resolves back to the default value—cycles completely through each character because the Select parameter is set to Character by default. When Select is set to Word, each word in the text scales up and down as a single character.

    Figure. Inspector showing Select parameter options.
  8. Click the Select pop-up menu, then choose All.

    All of the text characters begin at 350% scale and 90 degrees rotation simultaneously.

    Note: Make sure that the Map Animation parameter is set to To Entire Object.

    Figure. Canvas window showing all letters animating at once.
  9. In the Parameter row, click the Add pop-up menu, choose Face, then choose Opacity.

    Set the Opacity to the lowest value you want to use in your animation. In this example, Opacity is set to 0% so that the text characters begin completely transparent and fade in to become opaque.

    To create a softer transition between each character, you can adjust the Spread parameter.

To adjust the Spread parameter
  • In the Behaviors tab, drag the Spread slider (or type a number in the value slider).

    This example uses a Spread value of 4.

    Figure. Canvas window showing animated text.