View Full Version : Animating text along a path

08-08-2003, 12:01 PM
I'm wondering how best to animate some (quite a lot) of 3d text, so that it seems to flow along an arbitrary path passing the camera as it goes.

I have created the text in Illustrator and imported it as a single EPS into LW, giving me a single LW object that I can bevel and texture in LW.

But I can't work out how to make this text flow along a path. I can make a path, deform the text using bones to fit the path, and then move the camera along the path so it passes the text.

What is the best way of getting the text to flow along a path? I have tried keyframing the position and rotation of a number of bones parented to the text, but the text behaves rather strangely halfway between these bones.

(I have also tried doing this in Boris Red, but it doesn't allow a completely arbitrary 3D path as far as I can see. Digital Fusion allows a flow along a path, but the text is 2D.)

Any ideas?



08-08-2003, 01:41 PM
Would the Serpent Plugin work?

08-09-2003, 02:02 PM
Thanks for the suggestion. I went and had a look at Serpent. Apart from it having the most minimalist user interface imaginable ("how can this little UI achieve what it does?") it doesn't really allow you to control the exact path followed by the object, so wasn't suitable for accurate (and repeated) text placement.

Some searching on that together with other posts eventually led me to this tutorial - http://www.md-arts.com/MorphSkelegons_Modeler.htm,
which put me on the right track.

The secret is to morph the text from the start location (off screen as it were) to the final one (again probably off screen), with bones between the two to bend it all. Provided the actual motion is always increasing in one direction (like always towards positive z) then you can place bones along the morphing direction and - ping - the morphed object will be pulled to them in a consistent way, leading to nice smooth motion.

The more closely you need the path to match an exact predetermined path, the greater the number of bones needed.

Works like a charm (I use only 3 or 4 bones to achieve what I need),


08-12-2003, 04:53 PM
Check out Shift Spline transform here.


you just need to make sure your text is modeled along the z and all of it is set in the negative z in modeler.

08-12-2003, 11:06 PM
Wow I like it!

02-24-2004, 03:11 PM
I'm using Spline Control to make text animate along a path and works great but my text has big artifacts where the geometry isn't dense enough. I've tripled the text and still have the problem. I don't want to make the text to heavy....any pointers or ideas on this?


02-24-2004, 05:31 PM
text often ends in bad meshes, lot of tiny triangles and other stuff, you can clean this or maybe it helps to make all surfaces doublesided.

02-24-2004, 05:34 PM
Hunter, either you create you fly-in for muslim or it comes from the wrong side^^

02-24-2004, 09:18 PM
I'm wondering how did hunter get his text to look so great.........hey hunter.....how did you get your text to look so great huh!:)

02-25-2004, 10:05 AM
You're taking me back to August so... :)
I think it is basically because I used a pretty basic font. It was done in medeler. Nothing to special. Here's the file so you can take a look.