The ProShow Blog

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Creative Tip: Using Text Layers and Tilt to Create 3D Text Animation


In ProShow Producer 6 we introduced Text Layers in order to give you new creative possibilities with text. In contrast with captions, one of the obvious benefits of a text layer is to put them above or below other layers in your slide. But having an actual layer with text also means that you can use layer-only features like masking, blur, and tilt in ways that weren’t possible in previous versions. Today I’m going to show you a cool effect that utilizes text layers and tilt to simulate 3D motion on text. Although there are technically a lot of steps, this effect should only take a few minutes to set up.

Initial Slide Setup

  1. Add a new blank slide to a show, which you can do by pressing the Alt+B shortcut.
  2. Change the slide time to 5 seconds, and change the transition time(s) to zero seconds.
  3. Double click on the slide to open Slide Options.
  4. Click on the [+] button at the top of the layers list on the left side of slide options and choose “Add Solid Color”. In this example I’m going to be leaving the solid color layer as white and leaving the resolution as 1280×720.

Creating Your Text Layer

  1. Click on the [+] button on the top of the Captions list on the left slide of slide options to create a new caption. Enter your text in the Selected Caption Text box on the right. I’ll be using “2015” as my text.
  2. I’m going to be changing the Font to Impact, the size to 120 and setting the color to white (the same color as the solid color layer we created earlier).
  3. Check the “Outline” checkbox, then click the “Set” button to set the outline color. I’m going to be choosing a medium grey by entering 100, 100, 100 in the numeric RGB fields.
  4. Lastly, right click the caption in the Captions list on the right and choose “Convert to Layer”.

Adding Animation to Your Text Layer

  1. With Layer 1 selected in the Layers list, click on the Effects tab at the top.
  2. On Keyframe 1, set the Black Point to 100%.
  3. Move Keyframe 2 to 0.5 seconds, either by dragging it or by right clicking the keyframe and choosing “Set Time For This Keyframe”.
  4. Double click on the keyframe timeline at ~1.5 seconds to create Keyframe 3. On this keyframe set the Vertical Tilt to -10 and the Horizontal Tilt to 20.
  5. Double click on the keyframe timeline at ~4.5 seconds to create Keyframe 4.
  6. Double click on the keyframe timeline at 5 seconds (the end of the timeline) to create Keyframe 5. On this keyframe set the Black Point to 100%.

Creating the Text Layer’s Shadow

  1. Right click on Layer 1 in the layers list (the newly-created Text Layer), and choose Duplicate Layer.
  2. Select Layer 2 in the layers list (the duplicate text layer you just created).
  3. Go to the Text Settings tab. Change the text color from white to grey (100,100,100 RGB values).
  4. Uncheck the Outline option.
  5. Go to the Text Effects tab. With Keyframe 1 selected, right click on the grey color box and choose “Copy Color to All Keyframes on This Text Layer”.
  6. Go to the Effects tab. On Keyframes 3, 4, and 5, change the Pan from [0, 0] to [2, 2].

And that’s the full effect. When you’re done, it should look similar to what you see below. Feel free to change up the colors as you see fit, although I think the white-and-grey combo works pretty well. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below.


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Alex is the Product Technology Manager at Photodex. He is an avid music fan and spends his free time going to concerts, perusing record stores, and archiving his ever-growing collection of music videos.