I have a text animation (animated letters) in AFX with an "outline" font (that has no fill). There has to be a way to fill the inside of the font somehow? Are there any workarounds? I know I could manually "paint" behind the text, but that's no option since it should be animated (sure, I could keyframe).

I could duplicate the animated text layer, add a stroke big enough. But how can I "matte" out the "overfill"? Is there an effect in AFX to take an alpha matte just from the "outside" of a layer? That would solve this issue..

1 Answer 1


Wow. This is actually pretty tricky. I can't think of an easy, perfect solution. But here are some workarounds:

  1. Do your text in illustrator first, so you can manipulate the paths to create fills before bringing them into AE.
  2. You can right click on the text and choose create -> Create Shapes from Text or Create Masks from text, then manipulate the paths/masks to create fills. Tedious, but effective.
  3. This would be a bit more work, so I wouldn't suggest it unless you are going to have this same problem a lot. But you could use the font to create a new font in illustrator.
  4. Sometimes the same font exists that isn't an outline. If you could find the match, you could pair them up.
  5. This magic wand preset looks like it could be useful:

Since you mentioned that you need to do animated letters, pretty much all of these solutions would require you to break the text's characters down to individual letters. There are a couple of 'name your own price' scripts on aescripts.com that might be helpful. One is called 'Decompose Text' which helps to break the characters out to their own layers and the other is called 'Rift' which helps to offset the layers or keyframes depending on what type of animations you are doing.

  • 1
    Thanks. Since the animation has to be the actual text animation inside AFX (so text still should be editable etc), unfortunately doesn't work. I "solved" it with the "paint bucket" effect now, but still is too much manual work of course. As written previously, there has to be a matte effect that takes just the OUTSIDE of a layer? Or a plugin or something?
    – sigug
    May 19, 2022 at 12:00
  • Yeah. Not often I get stumped these days. But this one has done it. Good luck!
    – Clif
    May 20, 2022 at 15:30

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