How to Create Wiggly Text and Animations (Line Boil Effect)
Line Boil Effect Tutorial.jpg

After Effects shows you how to create a line cooked effect for text and animation. Tutorial includes free presetting!

This tutorial shows you how to create a line-boil effect in After Effects. We're also going to explore some useful uses for this effect and how to make your own pipe boiling preset.

Ready for the tutorial? Let's go! Be sure to download the free project file and preset!


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What is a line boil animation?

Line boiling is a visible effect that occurs when frames of animation are not perfectly aligned. It almost gives the animation a "bubbly" quality, hence the term "cook". This is common with hand-drawn or painted animation. However, we can add our own line-boil effect to existing animation and text in After Effects to give them a handmade feel.

Visual examples with and without line boil effect.

Check out Jason Boone's tutorial on creating hand-drawn line cooking animation if you want to learn more about creating this effect manually.

Create a line boil in After Effects

First create a new one Setting level over your animation. Next, apply the effect Turbulent shift. This is the core effect with which we create our line cooking. The two effect settings we need to adjust are these quantity and size the shift.

Line boil effect: turbulent shiftApply the Turbulent Displace Effect.

For the quantityI recommend setting this between 5 and 10. For the sizeI propose between 20th and 60. (For animation, lower values ​​usually look better. For exaggerated movements, I usually just use higher values ​​with text.)

Animate the line boil

Now we need to animate the line to cook. For that we need them Turbulent shift Effect that changes randomly at a frame rate that we set. These random changes create the appearance of a line cook in our animation. Switch to Evolution options for the turbulent displacement effect. Then, Hold down the Alt key and click on the stopwatch symbol for Random seed. (Hold the Option and click on a Mac.)

Line Boil Effect: Random SeedHold the Alt key and click the stopwatch icon for Random Seed.

This will open the expression options for the Random Seed Effect. We are going to enter an expression that will change the random seed effect to a random value at a fixed frame rate. Let's say we want our line cooking to change four times per second. In addition, the random seed should be a random value between 0 and 100. To do this, we enter this expression for the "random seeds" setting:

posterizeTime (4); random (100)

Now the Turbulent Displace effect changes randomly four times per second, which creates the illusion of a line-boil effect on our animation.

Line boil effect: Line boil at 4 fpsLine-boil effect with 4 frames per second.

We can easily change the frame rate of the line boil effect by changing the numeric value for Posterize Time in our expression. Let's say we want a faster line boil with twelve frames per second. All we have to do is enter a value of 12 Instead of 4th in our expression like this:

posterizeTime (12); random (100)

The result is a much faster line-boil effect for our animation.

Line boil effect: Line boil at 4 fpsLine-boil effect with 12 frames per second.

Easier use of the line boil

We can make animating the line boil easier by adding a controller for the line boil frame rate. To do this, use a Slider to the attitude Layer. Choose Slider and press Enter to rename it Line Boil Frame Rate. Then mark the numerical value with the mouse Posterize Time in expression.

Line Boil Effect: Posterize TimeMark the numerical value in brackets after posterizeTime.

Then click and drag the Pick whip for the Random seed Setting on the Slider. This will connect the two.

Line Boil Effect: Linking the slider controlUse the whip selection to link the expression to the slider.

Now you can simply set the Line Boil Frame Rate with the slider instead of having to manually enter it into the printout.

Create the line boil preset

After the printout and slider controls are set up, we can save everything as a preset. (This makes it easy to drag and drop the effect onto anything we'll need in the future.) First, press and hold CTRL and choose the Line Boil Frame Rate and the Turbulent shift Effects.

Line Boil Effect: Choice of both effectsHold down the CTRL key and select the Turbulent Displace and Line Boil Frame Rate effects.

With both effects still selected, make sure you have those Effects & presets Panel open. Then click on the little one Post-it note symbol in the lower corner. This allows you to name and save the preset.

Line Boil Effect: Create the presetWith both effects selected, click the little sticky note icon in the corner of Effects and Presets.

You can now search for the line boiling preset in the Effects & Presets section.

Line boil effect: Line boil presetAfter saving, find the Line Boil preset in the Effects & Presets panel.

Drag the preset directly onto graphics or adjustment layers for an instant line cooker look.

Line Boil Effect: Use the presetDrag and drop the preset onto text and graphics to create a line cooker look.

Interested in the royalty-free tracks we made this video with? Listen again:

For more information on creating graphics and animations, see the following articles:


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