After Effects: Kinetic Typography

Kinetic Typography

A few days ago I was taking a look at my external hardrive and came around some other works. Even though they are not related to what I develop on the website, it is still a thing I have fun doing in my free time. And so, I decided to create an off-topic category and start sharing other things I enjoy doing apart from the 3d visualization. I am going to share as the first work for this category something I did back in 2014. It is called Kinetic Typography and done in After Effects.

To sum it up, is basicaly an animation technique mixing motion and text. You can go from doing what I will be showing to a work presentation. It is the kind of work that comes out in many forms and it all depends on ones goal and creativity. If you search for the words on youtube, I believe you will find it hard to go by 2 works that look the same. For this kinetic typography, instead of making the lyrics vanish, I kept leaving them on the background while building a poster with them. I will show it right way and then go by some of the basics on how it was done.

Kinetic Typography nº1

Song: Apartment – Fall Into Place

Kinetic Typography nº2

Song: Zeds Dead – Collapse (feat. Memorecks)

The making of the videos is divided in 3 main aspects. I will use the typography video nº2 to explain but both videos use exactly the same techniques.


Most of the movement you see in the video is performed by the camera, mixing rotation, zoom and motion as seen in the settings above. The words are basicaly frozen and placed on a plane and the camera does the rest, giving us a third dimensional view of the workspace.

Moving Typography

Even though most of the movement is performed by the camera, there are a few typography moving layers, such as the ones presented above. In this case, the camera is not moving and everything is done by apllying motion to the typography through the position setting, as much as playing with its scale. The scale setting was applied to make the typography feel like it is moving away from you, but what it is actually doing is playing with the typography size.

Mask Layers

memorecks mask 1

The mask is one way of hiding things and making them appear in many ways and shapes. Both of the videos are filled with masks hiding and showing the elements.

memorecks mask 2

If you have not noticed, the layer tab in the camera settings image is full of layers in pairs of the same word. In this example, the “wondering” layer marked as red is a text layer. It is not hidden but with the same color of the background. The blue layer is a rectangle shape layer placed behind the text filled with red. This layer is actually hidden by a mask, marked with yellow borders on the workspace.

Final Results

The easiest way to do this is to prepare the layout first and then apply all the motion to build the video. The way I did it, there was no layout or defined path. It was more like writing the typography and building the video at the same time. I was aware of the space but at the same time I did not want to know were I was going.