In our digital age, there’s something extra special about the handwritten touch – and adding animated text over footage can really make it feel personal. Illustrator Jessica Jansen (@layeringcontrast) shows you how to make it look like you’ve spent hours editing your videos (when it really takes a matter of minutes). Check out her Adobe Premiere Pro tutorial below.

What you'll need

Create your project

Click New Project, name it and click OK. Then create a new sequence. Select the New Item icon in the Project panel followed by Sequence, opting for the DSLR 108p25 presets.

Import your work

Select File > Import and choose the image/video you’d like to overlay with the animated text. Then drag this from the Project panel onto your first layer – V1 in your Timeline.

Create your type layer

Click Graphics > New layer > Text and you’ll see a text layer appear over your background image/video. Under Text in Effect Controls, you can centre it, resize it and choose your font. A handwritten font like ‘Rollerscript’ works best for this effect. You can now type your chosen text straight into the design. The Effect Controls is also where you can change the Position and Scale.

Prepare the Brush tool

Click the layer you want to work with, hit Effects and type in ‘Write on’ until it appears in the search results below, then drag this effect onto the text layer. In the Project panel, change the colour to something bright so you can see what you’re doing – and make the Brush Size a little bigger than the thickness of the type you want to animate. Adjust the Brush Hardness to ‘100%’, the Stroke Length to ‘5 seconds’ and the rest you can leave as they are.

Start animating

Click Brush Position and then in the tool panel below, choose the Selection tool. The bright dot on your image/video is the brush tool you’ve just created. Using your curser, drag this to the beginning of the first letter, where you want the animation to start. Click the Toggle Animation, next to Brush Position in Effect Controls – that’s your first keyframe created. Go one frame forward and drag the dot a little further along the letter, then release to create your next frame. Repeat this until you’ve reached the end of the text. 

Tip: Follow the letters as you would write them with a pen.

Add your finishing touches

Go back to the Effect Controls and, under Paint Style, change On Original Image to Reveal Original Image. Pull your Playhead back to the start on your Timeline and see how it looks by hitting play. You can adjust the Stroke Length in the Effect Controls if you’d like it to animate faster or slower. Love what you see? Export it by clicking File > Export > Media.

Download my practice assets







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