Tutorial 209: Font Weights

Joe Clay | Aug 27, 2020

This is a quick After Effects tutorial for you. I wanted to play around with the new After Effects text expression access and I thought it might be interesting to be able to finally animate font weight with it—rather than having to animate sourceText keyframes. It's like having a value brand variable-width font!

Hopefully this expression access is opened up more in the future. It'd be nice to be able to combine styles in the same text layer. But for now I don't see a way to do that, unless I'm missing something. This seems to be here mainly to help build mogrts for Premiere, which is sad as it's been something a lot of us have wanted in AE for a long time.

Anyway, if you use this technique on anything, hit us up @workbench_tv!

Expression

This expression was built with Texta in mind. You'll probably need to modify the weights array to work with your font. You could even get crazy by skipping around through weights and styles. Or if you feel industrious, you could add a second slider to switch through fonts with similar weights.

Variable Weight
weights = [
    'Thin',
    'Light',
    'Book',
    'Regular',
    'Medium',
    'Bold',
    'Heavy',
    'Black'
];
family = thisProperty.style.font;
family = family.split('-');
select = Math.floor(clamp(effect("Select")("Slider"), 0, weights.length - 1));;
createStyle().setFont(family[0] + '-' + weights[select]);

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Grab the Project Files

Get the project file through our Gumroad Store. This project file contains the After Effects file shown in the tutorial as well as the textures used. There is no legacy version, however, as this was made with the first version of AE to support this type of expression.

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Get the project on Gumroad