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After Effects Video Tutorial: Self Resizing Lower Thirds

Caleb Ward

Names come in all different lengths, so why shouldn’t your lower thirds? Learn how to create a self resizing lower third in After Effects in this video tutorial.

One of the coolest parts about the integration between After Effects and Premiere is the ability to edit text templates in Premiere without having to export them out of After Effects. However, you might be surprised to hear that text templates can utilize expressions in addition to text and keyframes.

In the following video tutorial After Effects master Evan Abrams shows us how to use expressions in text templates to automatically scale lower third boxes to match the text length. The tutorial covers:

  • Linking Text Inputs to Scale
  • Title and Action Safe Breakdowns
  • Using the Dynamic Link to Create AE Templates
  • Using Monospaced Fonts
  • Defining Template Compositions

If you are completely unfamiliar with the text template workflow between After Effects and Premiere check out our ‘How to Create Live Text Templates’ post.

You can download the project files for this After Effects template by going to Evan Abrams’ website.

This video was first shared by Evan Abrams on his website ECAbrams.com. Thanks for sharing Evan!

Here are the expressions from this tutorial:

temp = thisComp.layer(“TEXT”).text.sourceText;
L = temp.length;
x =100 * (L * .9);
[250+x, value[1]]

temp = content(“Rectangle 1″).content(“Rectangle Path 1″).size[0];
[temp/2, 0]

This technique won’t work with any font on your computer. In order for this specific tutorial to work you need to have a monospaced font. There are a number of places where you can find Monospaced fonts online. Here are a few resources:

  1. Monospaced Fonts – 1001Fonts
  2. Samples of Monospace Fonts – Wikipedia
  3. Monospace Fonts – FontSquirrel

Want to learn more about expressions in After Effects? Check out the After Effects section of the PremiumBeat blow where you can find hundreds of articles and tutorials dedicated to helping you become a better After Effects artist. While you’re there check out Evan Abrams’ author page where you can find more exclusive tutorials by Evan.

Do you have any tips for creating auto-scaling templates? Share in the comments below.

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