Trying to replicate an animation in After Effects of skewed text on a curved path but skewed the same way text on a path in Illustrator can be skewed. Have the project started in Illustrator but cannot get the look in After Effects. I can animate the Illustrator version by doing single step PNGs moving the text one frame at a time, then import into After Effects the PNG sequence, but very time consuming and was wondering if there is a way to do this in After Effects easier. Attached is a short movie of one word on one of three curves (actually the curves are perfect circles)...there will be up to 15 words spread across three lines, so obviously a quicker way would be ideal. The skew in Illustrator is to the baseline of the path. Please don't tell me to use perpendicular in AE because it is not the same.

enter image description here

  • Just to be clear, the example you posted is what you’re trying to achieve in AE?
    – Cai
    Mar 23, 2018 at 22:07
  • Yes, that is correct. Just to be clear, the animation you see here was created in AE from a series of pings (72 to be exact) from Adobe Illustrator where the text was moved along the path one frame at a time. Skewing text in AI makes the text appears as bending as it moves along the path...out of the box that is not how skewed text appears in AE...but it would be nice to be able to do the animation ONLY in AE!
    – percyn21
    Mar 25, 2018 at 20:50

1 Answer 1


I don't think there's a way to align text on a path like that in After Effects (which would have been a lot easier as you'd just be able to offset the text along the path). The easiest way then is probably to create the scrolling effect on a non-distorted straight text layer then separately create the distortion...

  1. Pre-compose your text.

    The width of the pre-comp will translate as the width of the circle it'll be animated across so set that accordingly; the height doesn't matter too much as long as the text is vertically centered within the comp.

    Animate the position of the text to create the scrolling effect.

  2. Use a Warp effect (Effect → Distort → Warp) set to "Arch" at 100 on the pre-comped text.

  3. For the bottom half simply duplicate your text pre-comp, reverse the scrolling (you can simply time-reverse the position keyframes). Then you can apply the same Warp effect but set to -100 so that it arches in the opposite direction.

  4. Loop, render...

  • That looks very close. Both your example and mine deal with a sort of optical illusion. Had not explored the warp factor effect. I'll have to give it a shot and will get back with a future comment.
    – percyn21
    Mar 28, 2018 at 3:03
  • Cai, That is on the money. I just need to add the Mobius cyclinder and masks.
    – percyn21
    Mar 29, 2018 at 15:18
  • @percyn21 great! glad it worked for you
    – Cai
    Mar 29, 2018 at 15:37

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