Watch the Advanced Text Properties Video

Total running time: 8:02

Storybuilder enables you to manipulate the content of text placeholders in many varied ways.

All text placeholder cards Look like this:

Working With Advanced Options

Click the pencil icon to open the advanced text properties panel.

This panel allows to build complex text layouts with parts being static or dynamic, in different fonts or colors, and formatted in different ways.

  • The line in the middle of the panel, between +ADD BEFORE and +ADD AFTER, is the main text.
  • The panel in the screenshot was not made to be data driven, therefore this line is defined as text, as written at the beginning of the line, and not a parameter.
  • Each line of text can be either a static text, like you see now, or dynamic, driven by a parameter, like you can see in the image below.
  • To change a line from static to dynamic user the left most drop-down menu for the line.

Default Text Style

The top row shows the default stylistic choices made in After Effects, and saved in the IDM file. From left to right these are:

  • Font (TTF and OTF files supported)
  • Text size
  • Minimum font size (more about this below)
  • Text color
  • Horizontal alignment
  • Vertical alignment
  • Text direction

You can change any of these traits and that will change how the text is rendered.

Bounding Box Wrapping Behavior

As the text changes from render to render, the flow of the text inside the placeholder's bounding box can be adjusted manually and needs to be automatic. The bounding box was created by the After Effects artist when creating the text layer. It defines an area the text should "live" in. If you want the bounding box to be different, changes are needed in After Effects, and a new IDM needs to be exported.
There are three options you can use to pre-determine how the text flows in the bounding box:

  • Shrink - if the text is wider than the bounding box, the font size shrinks to fit. If you turn on the breakline option as well, font size shrinks to fit bounding box height instead of width.
    You can set a minimum font size so when shrink is on, it won't reduce the font size below this value. This means the text might leave the bounding box.
  • Breakline - when the text reaches bounding box width, the text breaks to another line at the last space. If there is no space (one long word) there is no line break.
  • Truncate - if the text is too long this shortens the amount of text by replacing the last visible space with an ellipsis (…). If you don't want to use an ellipsis use any other text string, for example: [more].

Using a combination of these you can ensure text never leaves the bounding box, if you don't want it to.

The following are examples of the wrapping behaviors. Each box is a bounding box. The alignment is Left and Top for all placeholder.

Rich Text

The bottom part of the panel let's you build up a complex text layout from several individual text parts. Each part can have different sylistic traits, overriding the defaults defined at the top of the panel:

  • Click +ADD BEFORE or +ADD AFTER to add more text parts to your text layout.
  • Each part can either be data driven by a parameter or be static text.
  • You can override stylistic traits such as font, color, highlight color, underline, strikethrough, scale and baseline shift.
  • Scale and baseline shift are a precentage of the font size at the top of the panel. If that font size is 96 and you set your font size to 0.5 the font size for that part is 48. If shrink is on, all font sizes will be reduced keeping a constant relationship.
  • For parameter driven parts you can also setup formatting. Read more about formatting here.
  • For parameter driven parts you can and should define a fallback default value. Learn more about default values here.
  • Finally, for parameter driven parts you can also use mapping. Read more about mapping to a properties file here.

Look at this example, where the name and the dollar amount are data driven:

The text properties that generate this complex text layout are as follows:

Notice that there are fallback default values for both data driven text parts, in case the data isn't sent. These are "There" for the name. And "10" for the dollar amount.

Changing Fonts With Fallbacks and Parameters

Sometimes the font you have is not sufficient to display all the characters needed. Fonts are like that. Almost none of them hold all the characters and symbols in all the languages known to humans world wide. To create a better chance for video generation to succeed use Font Settings.

You use Font Settings in three ways:

  1. Create a list of fallback fonts. If a character does not exist in the first font, the second font is searched. If the character does not exist there, the third font, and so on.
  2. Use a parameter to choose a font. The parameter can be the language, for example, if known.
  3. Combining the two options means using the parameter first. If a character is missing in the font chosen by the parameter, the fallback list is used instead.

To set this up you use the Font Settings option in the font drop-down menu. Here are step-by-step instructions:

  1. In a font drop-down menu, click Font Settings. This can be in the main font drop-down menu, or any of the lower level, rich text font drop-down menus.
  2. In the Font Settings panel that opens there are two checkboxes for the two options discussed above. The first checkbox makes the list you create below a fallback list. The second checkbox makes that list a parameter driven list. Leaving both checkboxes ticked makes the list double up as both options.
  3. With both checkboxes ticked, choose or create a parameter from the parameter drop-down menu, for example: Language.
  4. In the first line of the list write the value of the parameter that will drive the choice of the first font. For example: "en", for English.
  5. Click the Browse button and choose the font you would like to be used when this value is sent.
  6. Click the Add New Line button and repeat the above steps as many time as needed for the various languages you have.
  7. If you would like to use another font without a language value, enter a value that doesn't exist in the value text field, and choose that font. In the example below I used the value "fallback1". The value "fallback1" will never be sent when generating a video, so this font will only be used as a fallback font.
  8. Arrange the list in the order you would like the fallback to work. If a character in the Greek language is missing, which of the fonts should be searched next? Maybe the fallback font mentioned in the previous step should be first? Maybe a different font. It's up to you. Arrange the list in the order that makes sense to you.
  9. Use the Save Font Settings text field to give your font settings a name.
  10. Finally, click OK to save your work.
  11. If you would like to use this setup for other parts of the text in the placeholder or in other text placeholders, you can access your saved preset directly through the font selection drop-down menu.