In this article I’m going to show you how to make a quick glowing hot metal text effect in After Effects.
Create The Raw Text
To start we’ll create some text in a new 12 second 720p comp. I’ve used the font REZ at 500px. This also has a 27px stroke applied in the Character panel to bulk out the text. This is set to the same color as the fill.
Next up, duplicate the text layer Command-D (Ctrl on PC) and change the fill and stroke to black and reduce the stroke to 15px. You should get something like this.
Now I’m going to connect the black (top) text to the bottom text by Option-Clicking on the stopwatch for Source Text and pick whipping it to the Source Text of the bottom layer.
This will mean if I change the text on the bottom layer the top one will change as well like so.
Now I’ll pre comp both these text layers into a new comp (Shift-Command-C) and name it Text.
To make the hot parts I’ll drag the ‘Text’ comp into a new empty comp which I’ll name Text Hot Area. I’ll add a new Solid and apply some Fractal Noise to it.
Here are my settings.
I’ve animated the Evolution by adding a keyframe at the start at 0 degrees and then one at the end of the comp for 3 rotations. This will make the pattern of the noise evolve over time.
I’ll then set the Track Matte of the text layer to Luma Matte. This will make the stroke outline only appear where the bright spots of the Fractal Noise are.
I’ll also add a Fast Blur to the fractal Noise layer to smooth it out a bit.
In a new comp called ‘Metal Text’ I’ve got a metal texture that I got from CGTextures which I’ve imported. I’ll place this under my original ‘Text’ comp that I dragged in from the Project window.
I’ll set the Track Matte of the texture layer to Alpha Matte to clip the texture to the text.
Lastly I’ll make a new comp and drag in the ‘Metal Text’ comp and apply a Bevel Alpha effect to give it some highlights.
So now I’ll drag in the ‘Text Hot Area’ comp in and apply some effects. First I have a Tint to color it a hot orange. A Glow and a tiny bit of Vector Blur. I’ll then duplicate the layer.
To the top layer I’ll add a Simple Choker to make it slightly thinner and change my Tint to a yellow color. Finally I’ll increase the Vector Blur a bit to 9px. I’ll also set both these layers to Add. This will give a nice hot glowing effect.
If I change the word in the original ‘Text’ comp you can see it all updates nicely as all the other comps are referencing it.
Here you can see how the glow changes with the Fractal Noise.
That’s it really! Pretty simple. All you need to do is place it inside a ‘hot’ looking scene!
Here’s a quick example of the 'hot' text in action.
For the past 20 years Toby has worked as a professional guitarist, programmer and producer. Clients include Sir Paul McCartney, George Michael, Shirley Bassey, Yusuf Islam, Giles Martin as well as the London 2012 Olympic Ceremonies. He has also worked extensively in TV, Advertising and Film. As well as composing himself he has also worked alongside many composers like David Arnold, Clint Mansell and Simon Franglen on many major film releases. An expert in synthesis and sound design Toby has also lectured for Apple on their Logic Pro music software which he has used since its days on the Atari. He has also worked as an educator for the International Guitar Foundation and the Brighton Institute of Modern Music teaching guitar. In his spare time (of which there is very little) he moonlights as a motion graphics artist specialising in Cinema 4D and After Effects.