Today, we’ll take a look at how to create an electrical pulsing text reveal in After Effects using mostly built-in effects. The technique is fairly simple and with minor effort, you can create some awesome transitions for your logos, type, or graphics. Since the effects are masks driven, you have full manual control over the paths of the electricity and everything can be shaped by you. As an optional effect, I used my Dojo Glitch v2 script which you can get for free on the site.
Trapcode 3D Stroke
In this tutorial, we opted to use the built-in Stroke effect as opposed to using Trapcode 3D Stroke, but if you have the plugin, I’d suggest you use it for the taper controls and extra settings. The results will be very similar, but I find Trapcode 3D Stroke to yield slightly better results. Plus with Trapcode 3D Stroke, you get integrated 3D that will react with your camera, as opposed to faking it with the 2D Stroke effect.
Since we’re converting our text layers to masks, the whole text isn’t quite ‘procedural’ as we’d like it to be, although the whole effect does stay intact. I didn’t explain it in the video, but you can replace the text without redoing the whole animation by creating new masks of your new text using the same “Convert Text to Mask” command. Delete all the old masks from all the solids, then paste your new text’s masks onto all the solids and you’ll find that all the animation is still procedural. That is because we’re applying all the effects to the solids, so changing the masks within the solids doesn’t break our animation at all.
Overall, the technique used to achieve this electrical text is very simple. If you want to get fancy, you can actually play around with the mask paths to get interesting electrical movements around your logo or text. If you guys have any questions or comments, feel free to let me know in the comments section below.