Articles, Blog

The Handwriting Effect in After Effects CC

September 4, 2019

hey everybody its premier gal here and
I’m going to be showing you today how to create a handwriting effect inside of
After Effects the key to doing this is choosing a font that looks like
handwriting and that is pretty easy to trace using the pen tool if you use a
very fine font that’s very curvy it will be pretty hard to trace using the pen
tool so I’ve included some links to some handwriting fonts that I would recommend
for producing this effect but let’s not waste any more time and let’s get
started okay so I’m inside of After Effects CC 2017 and the first thing we
have to do is create a new composition by clicking on this icon here create a
new composition I’m going to leave the background color white and leave my
aspect ratio to be a 16 by 9 1920 by 1080 when I hit OK and now you’ll see if
I fit this to window that we have a 16 by 9 canvas and now I just want to add
the font text of the word that I’m going to animate which is gal and I’m using
the font lekker ly one which I’ve left as a link to download in the description
box below so if you just click on the canvas here
and type out the word that you want to produce the handwriting effect with I’m
just going to do gal it does take a bit of time to trace this but once you get
the hang of it you can start to do it more quickly so that’s why I’m going to
use a short word because I don’t want to hold you guys up so you guys want to do
this for yourself so what I’m going to do is just zoom in here a bit zoom in to
about 100% and then you can use the hand tool by hitting H to sort of Center it
you can get a nice view now we’re going to use the pen tool first make sure that
the gal is selected down here and then you’re going to go up and hit the pen
tool you can use G as a shortcut and now we’re just going to trace this word as
if we’re writing it and you’ll have to think about what’s the natural way that
you’re going to write this so for the G we’re going to start up here so we’re
going to just going to create one dot click if you click and hold you can make
it a curved line and then just continue along the path here try to keep it as
centered as possible it takes a while to get used to
it but once you start to get the hang of it you know it’ll be a lot easier to do
as you get more skilled and again see this started a new path we want to make
sure that these are connected so instead what we have to do is command Z and
click on this last dot in order to make sure that it keeps the same path as
you’re tracing this all right so let’s keep going here if you forget to click
and hold you can hit option and click and it creates the curved line again so
I’m just going to go along here and trace this entire gal and you can follow
along with your own work I’m going to pull this up higher because the a in
English we usually start right here and create the a this way so what you want
to do is go up and then start the stroke here and then make it curved again much
work the center as possible and now you can probably see why I recommended using
a font that is not so curvy right and then the L we want to start here for
the L so let’s go up around and let’s start the L stroke here so now that we
have a pretty good path happening here we can always make adjustment after we
apply a stroke on top of this path to do this first we have to go up to effect
and then go to generate and then we’re going to click stroke and you will see
that there’s now this white line that just emerged on top of this path to make
it easier to see let’s change the color of the stroke to like a hot pink color
so now you can more easily see the stroke that was applied so right now we
need to make sure that this stroke is completely covering the font beneath it
so that means we need to change the brush size to be much larger so let’s go
ahead and increase the size of the stroke until we begin to see it covering
the entire width of the font and now you can see we need to make a few more
adjustments here to the path because we still see a little bit of the font here
so let’s see if we can move this around a bit to get it just right that looks
pretty good and now to create the animation of this stroke on top of the
Gal font what we’re going to do is animate the stroke so let’s go ahead and
turn this to zero and let’s hit the keyframe toggle animation next to end
and then let’s pull it forward in time to when we want the animation to finish
and then we’re going to hit 100 so now you can see that over time the stroke is
painting on top of the font right but now we want to get rid of this hot pink
stroke so we just see the font animating so just go here next to paint style and
reveal original image so now we will just see now if we fit to the window
here we will just see animation and now you have an animated
text as if it’s hand-drawn so I hope that you guys found this useful this
video was requested by someone just like you by going to my website and I will see you guys next week


  • Reply Taylor Novotny March 20, 2017 at 2:12 am

    You and Justin Odisho are really making me get back into After Effects! Thank you so much for making this tutorial, it was easy to follow along and used tools that I'm used to using in Photoshop so that was nice

  • Reply Flo & Nord March 20, 2017 at 2:24 am

    Very nice – obviously I don't understand After Effects as much as I thought, as I didn't see that twist at the end coming (Reveal Original). Thanks again. So much to learn.

  • Reply Sophie Louise Stein March 20, 2017 at 3:15 am

    Amazing! Thank you! Just finished doing this on my project and I managed to do it on my original tiny font. You were right though it took ages but I'm happy with how it turned out 😊 thanks so much for your help!!

  • Reply Cris Garcia 6 March 20, 2017 at 3:26 am

    This is amazing. takes a lot of practice

  • Reply ACHIEVE FILM MAKERS March 20, 2017 at 3:32 am

    Simply super

  • Reply ACHIEVE FILM MAKERS March 20, 2017 at 3:36 am

    Iam your new subscriber check it out

  • Reply RoyTecTips March 20, 2017 at 9:38 am

    you are looking lovely ☺

  • Reply Austin Sabado March 20, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    love your tutorial!

  • Reply Pirol Carter Studios TV May 1, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    Muchas Gracias Gal!!!

  • Reply Paula Arango May 19, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    OMG!!! After 10 videos (or more) on how to do this, FINALLY I was able to, thank you soooooooo much for such a great video, easy, straight to the point. Keep it up :)!

  • Reply Josh Ladgrove June 20, 2017 at 3:57 am

    Brilliant, thank-you!

  • Reply The Triple A June 29, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    Thanks, but can this be done in a 3D space? let's say I have a tracked footage that I want to put text in the scene, or it just have to be 2D?

  • Reply Bridget Miles July 4, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    I literally cannot explain how exciting it was, as a total newb to AE, to make this work! Thank you so much!!

  • Reply Chris Gape July 5, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    Wanted to see how you overcome parts of the ext that overlap, as in an ampersand or a squiggly letter as it reveals.

  • Reply TheVancouverJatt July 7, 2017 at 5:34 am

    Thank you so much!!

  • Reply Kevin L. Houghton July 15, 2017 at 5:17 am

    Most excellent! Well Done!

  • Reply Ian Acree July 22, 2017 at 5:52 am

    Hi there! Working with a font that is a little thicker in some areas than others, wondering if you could give some advice on the best way to tackle this. Keep up the great work!

  • Reply Troy Lewis August 1, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    Nice clear and concise but its better to separate the individual letters on different layers with longer titles

  • Reply Wayward Hangout August 21, 2017 at 2:20 am


  • Reply Prithvi Malhotra September 5, 2017 at 6:33 am

    Awesome video but how can I make it smooth and import it to premiere pro?

  • Reply _ September 7, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    Your video was much more helpful and in depth! Thank you!

  • Reply Evan Sabourin September 21, 2017 at 10:54 pm


  • Reply Toni Nikolić September 29, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    Can someone help me please, i have Intel i7 amd gpu gxt 840 and all program lag, crash and ……. Its hard to work, can someone help me please

  • Reply Azad Entertainment October 3, 2017 at 5:11 am

    Great tute.

  • Reply erginex October 28, 2017 at 4:10 am

    can not work!

  • Reply Delgado Maggi November 1, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    Thank you!

  • Reply alex kane December 19, 2017 at 4:19 am

    Youre the best! thanks

  • Reply Kevin King February 22, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    Please reply I really need ur help….I tried this but the stroke cannot fill the word…… Even when the stroke is at 200….. I need to give this work done by few days….. Please please please help me….

  • Reply angelicsjin March 11, 2018 at 9:45 am

    mine keeps having a red mask

  • Reply Premiere Gal April 7, 2018 at 1:27 am

    If you need some Handwriting effects or templates
    here is what I recommend:

  • Reply Literally Shane Davis June 6, 2018 at 4:14 pm

    Always so clear and easy to follow! thank you 🙂

  • Reply Kenny Vert June 7, 2018 at 5:37 am

    Thank you!!

  • Reply Kalim Hammouche July 4, 2018 at 9:41 pm

    You make easy after effect with your tutorials.
    Great ! I'll make it 🙂

  • Reply Sly Cullen July 16, 2018 at 10:41 pm

    Awesome Tutorial, I used this to finish an animation I did for my father's book company as a 50th birthday present, a lot simpler than I had imagined and taught well 🙂

  • Reply Asjid July 19, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    Your camera?

  • Reply rossco54 July 25, 2018 at 11:49 pm

    Thank you! You got a new sub today. Great video.

  • Reply ALİ CAN ŞİŞMANLAR August 29, 2018 at 11:07 am

    Until I fallowed you my teacher. : )

  • Reply ALİ CAN ŞİŞMANLAR August 31, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    Thank you new my teacher.

  • Reply Andre Agustinus September 12, 2018 at 8:06 am

    Thx for u, now i can make birthday words animated in my video…. keep a good work

  • Reply Yu-jin Lee September 12, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    My text is a flatten image. Can I still animated it with the same process.

  • Reply Kathleen Burgess October 28, 2018 at 9:15 pm

    This was so helpful !!!! Thank you!! Amazing video 🙌🏼

  • Reply Miguel Verdades October 31, 2018 at 8:17 pm

    Thank you so much! This helps a ton!

  • Reply Killer Tracks November 16, 2018 at 7:23 pm

    Hi Premiere Gal, we love your videos and thanks for all the awesome tips!

  • Reply Leah NYC November 29, 2018 at 10:20 pm

    Very satisfying. Great tutorial. Thank you!!! Would you say that this is the tech used at this point — a vid about the collab btwn NYTimes (with its ginormous photo archive) and google? The collab was announced in fall 2018…

  • Reply Kenan M December 7, 2018 at 4:43 pm


  • Reply Cesar V January 5, 2019 at 12:37 am

    Is there a way to hold the animation? For example, can you animate the G and A, wait for two seconds, then animate the L? Keep up the great work!

  • Reply sidhi kundalini January 12, 2019 at 11:45 am

    I love tutorials

  • Reply Siddharth S. Mohapatra January 26, 2019 at 6:24 am

    thanks gal

  • Reply Sweet Sour Travel February 10, 2019 at 11:52 am

    Thanks. By now the best tutorial about this effect. Keep it simple.

  • Reply Geoscience Imaging February 17, 2019 at 1:02 am

    What do you do to cross a T, dot an i, or otherwise deal with letters that require multiple strokes?

  • Reply MrPelafio March 5, 2019 at 5:27 pm

    Super helpful

  • Reply Patrick March 15, 2019 at 9:45 pm

    Thank you!! Amazing 🙂

  • Reply Jiali Bao March 20, 2019 at 8:52 am

    Hi! Can I track words from a picture?

  • Reply lee March 25, 2019 at 9:07 pm

    FINALLY! A woman! Thank you for your awesomeness!

  • Reply kiwiberrybom March 26, 2019 at 11:54 pm

    How do you get rid of the large awkward blocks that appear, for instance, in the ending stroke of the G?
    I ran into this problem because I was using a script font with varying widths, so it drew in the larger width of text as the stroke went on and I see that it also happened in the video.

  • Reply game1414 April 12, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    Thanks for this video. Really helpful

  • Reply Jeff Camp May 10, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    Trying to decide if she left in the two goodbyes audio mistake at the end on purpose to see who stayed till the end or if it was an editing mistake on a tutorial channel all about editing lol

  • Reply davidAll5 May 20, 2019 at 11:33 am

    excellent, thank you

  • Reply ezeQ Vargas May 23, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    Thank you!!!

  • Reply Josueth Acevedo June 8, 2019 at 1:34 am

    Tnks 4 the tutorial!

  • Reply Riley Andersen July 7, 2019 at 8:15 pm

    thanks so much for putting this together!

  • Reply Sizzlemonkey Productions July 21, 2019 at 1:26 am

    Thank you. Thank you very much for your time in creating an awesome video. You were clear, succinct, professional, well spoken and poised…best tutorial video I have seen on youTube in a long time…oh yeah…very informative and educational…well done!!!!

  • Reply It's a Rik Life July 29, 2019 at 5:17 am

    This was the most concise and to-the-point tutorial I've seen for this effect. Thank you!

  • Reply Akash Sarkar July 30, 2019 at 8:02 pm

    u traced outside of text but while u turn on reveal original image we can see only font

  • Reply Murray Brady August 16, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    This video is great – but I'm wondering how I would go about doing exactly this but with the 'scribble' effect on the text. As far as I can see it's not possible like this, because the scribble effect needs the text-to-path function, and so cant use the path we make in this video. But surely this can be done in After Effects?

    Can anyone help?

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