Information Library

Dynamic layer options

Text layers

A dynamic text layer can be any text layer in After Effects as long as it is point-text and not bound by a textbox. (if you want to make a paragraph textbox dynamic, please convert it to point-text first by selecting the layer, right-clicking the highlighted text in your preview window with the text tool and select “convert to point-text”).

Open text or predefined text:
Dynamic text layers can be configured to reflect any textual value a linked parameter contains, or change its content based on predefined values. In our platform, the first option would create an open text field, where the 2nd option would give you a choice through a dropdown menu or radio buttons.

To create an open text field, add your text layer as a dynamic layer. Add a dynamic rule for changing text, and link that rule to a parameter without adding predefined values for that parameter. The text layer will now reflect whatever the parameter value is. This can be a name, a word or a whole paragraph of text.

To create a pre-defined text field, add your text layer as a dynamic layer. Add a dynamic rule for changing text, and link that rule to a parameter. Add multiple predefined values to that parameter, and define what text the text layer should display when these values are selected in the text-layer dynamic rule window.

Prepend and/or append text: 
Prepending or appending text allows you to add text before or after your dynamic text value. A simple example of this would be a welcome message that shows a dynamic first name but is prepended by the word “Hello”. In this case, the dynamic text field would read “Hello Firstname” - or more realistically something like “Hello John”.

Maybe your text continues after this opening on the next line. A comma after the first name would make the transition better, and you can do this by appending text. In this case, we append a comma.

The dynamic text layer should now reflect the following: “Hello Firstname,” - or “Hello John,”.This makes the dynamic text more usable in bigger textual environments. The prepended or appended text can in turn also be made dynamic. Select your prepend or append text and add a dynamic rule as you would with a regular dynamic layer. Now you get the same options as regular dynamic text, being able to set it as an open text field or predefined text field. In the following example, we want the prepend text to be predefined dynamic based on gender and append again with a comma.

The original dynamic element will be Lastname.

The prepend textual element is linked to the parameter Gender which has two values in this case - male and female. We set the prepend text up to reflect “Dear mister ” when the value is male and to show “Dear madam ” when it is female. Note that we add a space after this message, otherwise it would be directly against the Lastname.

In case Gender is Male, the text layer would read “Dear mister Lastname,”.In case Gender is Female, the text layer would read “Dear madam Lastname,”.

Add vertical and/or horizontal alignment:

Adding alignment determines which way your dynamic text layer behaves when more text is added. This is especially important for dynamic layers that are expected to receive longer lines of text or multiple lines of text. With this function, you can select alignment on the horizontal axis or on the vertical axis. IMPORTANT: using these tools will also set behaviour for scaling. Make sure to set both horizontal and vertical alignment before finalizing.

Horizontal alignment:

For the horizontal axis, you can choose between left alignment, center alignment, and right alignment, the same way you could through the AE interface with the difference that your text should stay in place using it through the Storyteq Extension. This allows for adjustments in the final phase more easily without the need to reposition layers again. Think about how your text should grow/shrink when the contents change and adjust accordingly.

Horizontal alignment also changes the way the layer scales when needed. The left alignment will make sure the layer scales from the left, making sure your left side will stay in place. Center will be scaled from the middle, ensuring your text stays in the middle, and right will scale from the right, making sure the right side of your text stays in the same position.

Vertical alignment:

For the vertical axis, you can choose between top alignment, center alignment, and bottom alignment. Top alignment behaves a lot like the standard configuration, where new lines appear below the original line of text, and text is scaled from the top position making sure the top stays in the same place.

The center alignment makes the text move up when new lines appear to keep the middle of your paragraph in the same position. Scaling will also happen from the middle of your vertical height, making sure the middle stays in place.

The bottom alignment will make the text move up when new lines appear, making sure the bottom of your paragraph stays in the same position. The same goes for scaling, which is done from the bottom in this case.

This also affects the point your text layer scales from when scaling is required, so please make sure to use these functions, even if your layer appears to be set up correctly already.

Add scaling:

Scaling can be added to text layers, defining the maximum height or width your text layer may become and scaling it down when needed. You do this by clicking the “Add scaling” button in the dynamic rule section of your text layer. This will make a rectangle appear around your text layer, which is the same size as your current text. This makes the text shrink if its contents become larger than its current text. You can adjust the maximum height and width of your scaling boundaries from the interface of the Storyteq Extension. 

When using the scaling functionality, please make sure you have set horizontal and vertical alignment correctly using those features from within the Storyteq Extension.

The position of the scaling rectangle is of no use for our systems, but you are allowed to move the rectangle around to more precisely set the maximum width and height. Please do not change anything else on the layer itself.

The rectangle is set as a guiding layer, and therefore won't be rendered into your final video. Please leave the rectangle intact.

Global settings applicable to dynamic text layers:
Visibility on/off:

This layer type can be shown or hidden depending on parameters by manipulating the layer’s opacity. This can be set to 0, or to use the value given by you based on a predefined parameter. Add a dynamic rule to show/hide the layer and setup accordingly.

Images

A dynamic image can be any layer whose source is an image file. Images can do several things in a dynamic video template. The most important feature is to dynamically replace the image with a different image, but they can also be used with some global settings.

To dynamically replace an image with another image, you just have to add the image layer as a dynamic element. No further action is required. To do this you will need to have an image placeholder in place and have all animations, masks, or other effects correctly applied to that image. Note that any image that will be replacing this placeholder will have the exact same dimensions. Please think of your dimensions before importing your placeholder. If you are working in a 1080p timeline, it is advised to use image placeholders of around the same dimensions. Importing a 4k image or larger does not make much sense, and will negatively affect your render time and setup process. 

When images are used in this way, we will convert any uploaded images to the dimensions of your placeholder. If these do not have the exact same dimensions, we will upscale/downscale the uploaded image automatically. 

If the aspect ratio of the uploaded image is different from the placeholder image, we can do two things. 

Option 1: Image fit
This will try to fit the image into the dimensions of the placeholder image, without losing any piece of the uploaded image, but will result in possible transparent areas.

Option 2: image fill

This will scale the uploaded image up until all parts of the placeholder image have been filled. This will result in no transparent parts of the image, but you will lose some parts of the uploaded image.

You will have to set this option while configuring the template.

Global settings applicable to dynamic text layers:
Visibility on/off:

This layer type can be shown or hidden depending on parameters by manipulating the layer’s opacity. This can be set to 0, or to use the value given by you based on a predefined parameter. Add a dynamic rule to show/hide the layer and setup accordingly.

Video

A dynamic video can be any layer whose source is a video file. Dynamic videos can do several things in a dynamic video template. The most important feature is to dynamically replace the video with a different video, but they can also be used with some global settings.

To dynamically replace a video with another video, you just have to add the video layer as a dynamic element. No further action is required. To do this you will need to have a video placeholder in place and have all animations, masks, or other effects correctly applied to that video. Note that any image that will be replacing this placeholder will have the exact same dimensions. Please think of your dimensions before importing your placeholder. If you are working in a 1080p timeline, it is advised to use image placeholders of around the same dimensions. Importing a 4k image or larger does not make much sense, and will negatively affect your render time and setup process. 

When images are used in this way, we will convert any uploaded images to the dimensions of your placeholder. If these do not have the exact same dimensions, we will upscale/downscale the uploaded image automatically. 

If the aspect ratio of the uploaded image is different from the placeholder image, we can do two things. 

Option 1: Image fit

This will try to fit the image into the dimensions of the placeholder image, without losing any piece of the uploaded image, but will result in possible transparent areas.

Option 2: image fill

This will scale the uploaded image up until all parts of the placeholder image have been filled. This will result in no transparent parts of the image, but you will lose some parts of the uploaded image.

You will have to set this option while configuring the template.

Global settings applicable to dynamic text layers:

Visibility on/off:

This layer type can be shown or hidden depending on parameters by manipulating the layer’s opacity. This can be set to 0, or to use the value given by you based on a predefined parameter. Add a dynamic rule to show/hide the layer and setup accordingly.

Audio

A dynamic audio file can be any layer whose source is an audio file. Dynamic audio layers can be played/muted depending on parameters, or can be replaced entirely by replacing the source audio file by a different audio file. 

To dynamically replace an audio file with another audio file, you just have to add the audio layer as a dynamic element. No further action is required. 

To dynamically play/mute an audio layer, add the audio layer as a dynamic element. Then proceed to link it to a parameter that has one or more predefined values. You can then set up the behavior of the audio layer when the parameter is equal to one of the defined values. 

Shapes

Shapes can have some of our global effects applied to them. Here are our current supported options:

Visibility on/off:

This layer type can be shown or hidden depending on parameters by manipulating the layer’s opacity. This can be set to 0, or to use the value given by you based on a predefined parameter. Add a dynamic rule to show/hide the layer and setup accordingly.

Color:

This layer type supports dynamic color. Add color as a dynamic rule and link it to a parameter. If no predefined values are set it will accept any hex code value and change the color accordingly. If you want to use predefined colors - when you only want users to pick from a predetermined color scheme - you can add predefined values and set a hex code for each value. The user will only be able to select your values, like “red” or “blue” instead of having to input hex codes. This is often more user friendly.

Compositions

We can manipulate compositions much like AV-layers in AE and are therefore treated like video files with slightly less functionality. We are not able to replace a composition’s source by another file, so only the following options are available to compositions:

Visibility on/off:

This layer type can be shown or hidden depending on parameters by manipulating the layer’s opacity. This can be set to 0, or to use the value given by you based on a predefined parameter. Add a dynamic rule to show/hide the layer and setup accordingly.

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