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Animating Variable typefaces

Community Beginner ,
Nov 07, 2018 Nov 07, 2018

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Hi,

I'm working on a project with many variable typefaces, I'm trying to showcase their ability to change and  to adapt by animating them through their axis of variability.

How would you suggest I can key frame the typeface from one extreme of variability to another? Right now all I can do is move the slider and screen record in illustrator, as only illustrator and photoshop are capable of adjusting variable typefaces.

Any tips or advice?

Heres a link to what I'm trying to describe.

Dropbox - variable animate.mov

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LEGEND , Nov 07, 2018 Nov 07, 2018

You would have to convert them to outlines and copy&paste the  various states into different keyframes of mask and shape paths with all the possible downsides this might have like inconsistent "morphing" dur to path changing point count and shape in crooked ways.

Mylenium

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LEGEND ,
Nov 07, 2018 Nov 07, 2018

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You would have to convert them to outlines and copy&paste the  various states into different keyframes of mask and shape paths with all the possible downsides this might have like inconsistent "morphing" dur to path changing point count and shape in crooked ways.

Mylenium

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Community Expert ,
Nov 08, 2018 Nov 08, 2018

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I agree with Mylenium that the only truly smooth way to do it would be to approximate it by animating mask paths, with potentially inaccurate results.

I think you may have a better option doing screen recordings.  If you can stand the time, record each letter you need individually and then piece them together in After Effects.  Use time remapping to keyframe the changes.  You can even rig up expression based sliders to universally control the change over many letters, words or lines.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 08, 2018 Nov 08, 2018

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thanks for the reply guys, so it looks like I'm just down work arounds. no way of doing it natively:(

Some variable typefaces offer up to 15,000 options on the variability slider, can you think of a way of me being  able automate the text increments for different pages of a document. Almost like creating a flip book of jpegs and each one has a different variable of the typeface. Rather than me making new page and subtly adjusting the typeface by 0.01 for each page? appreciate the help

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LEGEND ,
Nov 08, 2018 Nov 08, 2018

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Unlikely that you will be able to mimic the actual logic of variable typefaces. They use specific adaptive algorithms to determine which parameters are allowed to change in any given context. A simple font size change can do that since it may affect kerning, leading and hinting. that's the crux of those "intelligent" fonts. You might be able to do it for a bunch of letters by connecting the mask paths to Nulls via expressions, rigging effects to e.g. vary the thickness with fake strokes and possibly additional wipes just as of course you could re-create parts of the logic using text animators, but frankly anything beyond a simple headline/ line text sample would entail so much work, you'd be at it for weeks to even simulate a fraction of the possible variations.

Mylenium

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New Here ,
Oct 27, 2021 Oct 27, 2021

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I am very sad that you can't do anything about keyframing designspace locations of variable fonts on a timeline. 

I have no idea what adobe is thinking, but I wish they would do something about this now that we are five years past the adoption of this technology by every browser, where keyframing is trivial.

 

Besides the obvious benefits of dancing baloney and etc., a variable font can replace gigabytes of data that would otherwise be stored by the frame, as your only alternative is.

 

Apple is also to blame, not yet enabling keyframing designspace locations of variable fonts in its animation capabilities. Their original plans for this technology included the addition of a "font track" in QuickTime, with the ability to define a variation  of the type over a video, enabling not only animation by variation for contrast with background and simplified localization, including changes to type treatment depending on which script is required for subtitles, captions or other type in video.

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New Here ,
Feb 26, 2024 Feb 26, 2024

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Well, I'm not the one to encourage to leave Adobe and I might be a little late, but I found an app that can animate variable fonts. It is Called Cavalry

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