Text Ramp

Text Ramp

Posted on 30. Apr, 2008 by in After Effects

This quick tip will show you how to apply a Ramp effect to Text Layers while avoiding common problems that appear when doing so.

For those of you who didn’t face the ramp-on-text problem before here’s a brief description. After creating a new Text Layer we get all those handles and layer controls that suggest that the size of the layer is the same Tea Cups With Lids Amber Rings Wholesale Tea Trays Toddler Sleeping Bags as the text itself. The truth is that it isn’t. It seems like After Effects is treating the text as a mask on a solid layer. Therefore when you apply the Ramp effect all the effects controls are relative to your comp size rather than the size of the text. The start and end of the ramp points appear on the top and bottom of the comp instead of on the top and bottom of the text.

Unless you’re planning to do more than one ramped text layer this may not be that much of a trouble. Simply reposition the points to suit your needs. On the other hand if you have a few ramped text layers you need to reposition the ramp points separately for each layer. This can be very annoying, not to mention how messy it gets when you start to animate the Text Layers position.

This quick tip shows you how to build a small preset that will not only fix that problem, but will also allow you to create complex ramps that consist of more than only two colors.

If you may think that using Layer Styles is the right solution than you’re probably right. It works, but it works only in CS3, not to mention the rendering time that is much longer than using the Ramp effect.

This is not a bulletproof solution, but it will get the job done for most of the cases. At least it worked for me more than a couple of times, and that’s why I found this worth sharing.

The font used in this tutorial is called Viper Nora. If you want you can download it from DaFont.com. Click here.

Download: Tutorial project file (After Effects CS3)

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44 Responses to “Text Ramp”

  1. Frank C.

    30. Apr, 2008

    Thanks, Maltaannon. What a great and useful effect. This tutorial has just given me an inspiration on a specific project. Keep these types of tutorials coming.

  2. Guilherme

    30. Apr, 2008

    Thans Maltaannon.
    Best tutoruial!!!
    i from Brazil

  3. CR Chis

    30. Apr, 2008

    Is nice to see you again Maltanoon, it`s hard work with expression, but at the end something works well…

    from costa rica

  4. iori

    30. Apr, 2008

    so nice to find out another two exciting tutorials!
    Keep on good work Maltanoon!

  5. adi resana

    30. Apr, 2008

    terima kasih banget mas…..tutorialnya muanteeb tenan….
    salam dari bali – indonesia

  6. Janus

    30. Apr, 2008

    Great tip, I’ve always had problems with ramps. Oh man, you just saved me so many pre-comps :D

    Thanks alot. Great Tut…

  7. Seth

    30. Apr, 2008


  8. Rob

    01. May, 2008

    He, this is relay great!!! Thanks a lot.

  9. CalvinWood

    01. May, 2008


    i always wanted to apply the gradient to my text,but i had the same problem lie always

  10. JPeacock

    02. May, 2008

    I’m so fed up.. of these brilliant tutorials, so I felt I had to donate. Have a beer or two on me Maltaannon.

  11. Mark

    02. May, 2008

    woooooooo what a tut Genius-M, when more of these types will come, gr8 help for the ramp prob. Thnx a ton.

    take care, mark

  12. hadif

    05. May, 2008

    Wo0o0o0ow Good job !!

  13. Dileep

    06. May, 2008

    i am studying

  14. Dileep

    06. May, 2008

    very nice

  15. Jeff

    09. May, 2008

    Awesome.. I’ve been wanting to figure out how to do this for years. Thank you!!

  16. brandon

    11. May, 2008

    may i just say AWSOME

  17. RC Flash

    12. May, 2008

    Simplesmente demais!!!
    Muito Obrigado, Bom trabalho.

  18. youness

    13. May, 2008

    hi plz help me where can i find your tutorial video ???

  19. Maltaannon

    13. May, 2008

    Just click on the image.

  20. LifesShort

    14. May, 2008

    malt for president

  21. C

    05. Jun, 2008

    This link is bad. Anychance at a fix?


  22. Maltaannon

    06. Jun, 2008

    It should be working now. Sorry for the trouble. It’s because I just moved the site to a new server. Something got lost on the way.

  23. warriortree

    26. Jun, 2008

    You can also just apply the ramp to the text and precompose it. Then you can move the new precomp around just fine without the ramp movng.

  24. Maltaannon

    26. Jun, 2008

    Seems like you’ve missed the point of the tutorial, which was avoiding precomping. If you have just one or two text layers thats probably easier, but imagine having ten.

  25. Sakthis

    10. Jul, 2008

    I like your tutorials, but can you do it a bit slowly so we can exactly see whats happening? Sorry, but I don’t get some of those parts too. Can you find a way for my problems?

  26. Hector

    06. Aug, 2008

    where i can download that preset?

  27. mexa

    08. Aug, 2008

    super tutorial

  28. CristalCube

    25. Aug, 2008

    Thanks for this tutorial George.

    Greetings. CC³.

  29. Fred

    15. Jan, 2009

    Have a way to do that BUT follow the rotation too?

  30. Dani J

    13. Feb, 2009

    This was very helpful! Thank you!!

  31. Almeida

    16. Feb, 2009

    Ei Maltaanoon!
    Thanks for all those stuffs! That helps a LOT!
    Where is the TEXT RAMP script, I couldn´t find it!!!!
    Please, can you send me by mail?
    Arigatô and sayonara!

  32. Taylor

    01. Mar, 2009

    I have a problem. It wants me to install a file called Shine and others, where do I download them? Also there are several more so I was wondering where I could get all the installments that you have.

  33. Taylor

    01. Mar, 2009

    Sorry, but one last thing. For the FFX files what do I do with them I can’t put it directly in Adobe After Effects or it will say the file is not supported. What do I do?

  34. Maltaannon

    02. Mar, 2009

    FFX are preset files. You need to put them in you After Effects Preset directory. For Windows default location is: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe After Effects CS3\Support Files\Presets

  35. Matt

    31. Aug, 2009

    This seems to work great if the text layer is not a 3D layer. When I apply this to a 3D text layer that is animating in z space, the gradient does not stick with the text and becomes statically positioned separate from the text. (Same initial problem at the beginning of this tutorial) This problem also occurs when the text is precomped because the continuously rasterize needs to be on. Is there anyway for this to work with 3D text layers?


  36. Jane

    01. Jul, 2010

    Great!!!! Thanks!!!

  37. Vijayakumar

    03. Oct, 2010

    superb Tutorials……

    Thank YOU!!!

  38. Adrian

    08. Oct, 2010

    I can not find ceTextRamp effect in my Effects and Presets. The same problem on a previous tutorial. Should I download this effects?

    Thank you

  39. AlennoisE

    24. Oct, 2010

    If i use Sure Target or if i rotate camera .. the ramp is not pinned any more… solution maybe? or im doing something wrong?

  40. AliennoisE

    25. Oct, 2010

    Found a Better Solution…—-> Can be used in 3D; With Sure Target;Camera rotate.
    1. Create “Text Layer”, Make it 3D.
    2. Create New Solid—apply ramp to it, Make it 3D
    3. Make sure The “Text Layer” is Placed above the “Ramp Layer”.
    4. Set Ramp Layer –> TrkMat –> Luma Matte “Text Layer”.
    5. Pick whip the position of Ramp Layer “parent” to the position of “Text Layer”. I guess thats it..

    Hope it helps someone. cheers!

  41. Eric

    11. Feb, 2011

    I found a far easier solution.

    In the both the “start of ramp” and “end of ramp” type this:

    transform.position + value

    After that, move the start of ramp and end of ramp to wherever you like, and it will always follow the layer’s position. It doesn’t, however, work with scale and rotation.

  42. Luiz

    26. Feb, 2011

    just precomp the text and aply ramp
    and them apply colorama on the precomp…
    to use it in 3d just do the same thing… and check box for 3d
    dumn tutorial if i were u i would delete these one…
    by the way the site is really helpful…

  43. Alejandro

    24. Aug, 2011

    Thanks you Maltaannon. Realy Helpfull.
    Kip on tracking mother tracker!!!
    Saludos de Argentina!!!