Step 3 We want it to look like the camera is panning across the lyrics, so devise a pleasing composition for the text – make it architectural, beautiful, fun and lively. Now distribute all the textboxes onto different layers by selecting ‘Release to Layers (Sequence)’ from the Layers panel menu. Save the Illustrator file.


Step 4 Inside After Effects, create a new project at the desired output size; we’ve opted for 720 x 576 at 25fps with square pixels. Import your Illustrator file, and ensure you choose the ‘Composition – Retain Layer Sizes’ option. This will create a new text comp that contains all the layers as they were in Illustrator.


Step 5 Import the audio and drag it into the text comp. From this point, keep your compositions at a matching length to avoid audio sync issues. Drag each layer along the timeline so that it appears in sync with the lyrics in the audio. Add subtle animation effects to the text as appropriate. To work with individual letters, right-click on a layer and select ‘Enabled Per-character 3D’ (or you could try 3D flips of whole words in versions of AE prior to CS4).