To add text, select the Text tool (the “T”) in the Tools window and click anywhere on the Composition. To change the text style, there is a Character panel (shown below) that is very similar to the one in Adobe Photoshop.
Now in the timeline, we can expand the text layer options by clicking on the triangle to the left of the colored square (red, in the image below).
Under Transform, we see that we have four options for animating our text: Position, Scale, Rotation, and Opacity. To use any of these options, we click on the stopwatch on the left, and that sets a keyframe. In the timeline, keyframes are signified by a diamond shape, for example, in the image below.
After you have set a keyframe, drag the Current Time Indicator – the vertical red line in the timeline – to whatever time you’d like in the timeline. Now you can move the text to wherever you would like it to move to at this time. You can then drag the Current Time Indicator again and move it again, and so on.
The image below shows my composition for the first three keyframes shown above. You can modify the vector paths to move in a straight line, or manipulate the curves.
Dropping In Text
If you’d like to drop in letters one-by-one, go to the Timeline panel at the bottom and under the text layer you will see a row that says “Text” and then “Animate” on the right. Click on “Animate” and select “Position.” A new row called “Animator 1” will appear, and you can see in the image below.
Click on the stopwatch next to Start, then move the Current Time Indicator to the desired time on the timeline and scroll the 0% next to Start to 100%. These percentages designated the start and end of what is included in the text-dropping effect, so you can change those to whatever you like if you do not want the whole text to drop in.
Then you can manipulate the position of the starting keyframe, such as placing it outside of the composition window.
You can also have each word drop in separately by expanding Advanced under Range Selector 1, and changing the option “Based On” from “Character” to “Words.”
Cascading text will look like the image below when in action.
Click on “Animate” again, but this time, select “Scale.” Scale it up however large you want the text to cascade from. Then go to “Add” which is on the same row as Animator 1, and select Property > Fill Color > RGB, and change the color from the default red.
Under Range Selector in the layer panel, expand the Advanced section. It should look like what you see in the image below. Go to Shapes, and I am going to use Ramp Up.
We will be using Offset, not Position, to set keyframes this time. Set the initial Start to 0% and End to 33% and click on the stopwatch next to Offset. Then move to wherever you want the animation to finish and set Offset to 100%.
If you want to throw an opacity change in there, too, go back to Add on the same row as Animator 1 and select Property > Opacity, and set it to 0%.
In addition, you can also modify the angle from which the text cascades. You can add an Anchor Point by going to Add > Property > Anchor Point. Select some point in the middle of your animation. Next to the Anchor Point layer in your layer panel, the two values signify x-position and y-position respectively. By changing these values, you can modify the position from which the text cascades.
For a text reflection effect, expand the Transform section in your text layer and change Scale from 100.0, 100.0% to 100.0, -100.0%. Then move it so that it is directly underneath the original text, like below.
Putting it all together: