I'm trying to replicate a text animation from GreyScaleGorilla (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMMNTaI4wD8&t=2s) but can't find the right way to do it in blender. I tried beveling the text, transforming the text to curve or mesh and applying different modifiers, I even tried animation nodes. But as my nickname suggest I am a noob in blender so I need some guidance here.

Thank you very much.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Have you tried the Build Modifier? Text will have to be a Mesh first. $\endgroup$
    – rob
    Nov 16, 2018 at 11:39
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, but does not work. $\endgroup$
    – Noob2
    Nov 30, 2018 at 5:43

1 Answer 1


Growing Text - Rendered with OpenGL in Blender 2.77a -

Edit dated 3rd Dec. 2018 -

Whilst as you point out this is a trifle complex for your needs, I was remiss in the original answer below, not producing the final effect shown in your Youtube video link.

The original answer deals primarily with a method of 'box masking' to simulate mesh growth without disturbing that mesh and consequently avoiding the tendency to end up with ugly surface streaks.

This added section deals with the final visual effect you were hoping to achieve, albeit seeking a simpler solution.

For those who have watched the video and may be interested in how it might be achieved in Blender, most steps were as described below.

Viz - This new text was also extruded, converted to mesh, and parted to be individual letters, although I don't think the last step was entirely necessary.

The letters' forward and rear faces were removed to another layer so the originals end up as hollow shells. (much as a cylinder without end caps)

These were 'solidified' with that modifier, ready for their removed faces in the other layer to be extruded, coloured black, and used to fill in the hollowed letters.

As for the growth animation of their white exterior, the method described below in the original answer was used again here.


Original post -

This isn't exactly "Noob" territory but it does pretty much 'Write" the text as requested.

Rather than interfere with the text's mesh, I find it less troublesome to leave the text as is and wrap each letter in a similarly shaped 3D "invisibility cloak". (mask)

The mask's end-cap is then progressively moved back with some shape-shifting method made to follow a letter's contours, revealing that part of the mesh that progressively ends up outside the mask.

Mask Z fighting (with it's own surfaces) and shading distortions aren't of concern because of it's invisibility.

OpenGL masking is used here because they can be discriminatory and 3D meshed (bevelled) two essential elements for this effect.

To this end the text is converted to mesh and letters separated to become individual objects.

Within each, a "Curve Path" shaped the same as the letter is added and that bevelled using a square plane curve. (The plane has no face and converted to a curve with ALT-C)

Letter segments or sections are therefore wrapped in a rectangular 'pipe' which is much the same shape as the letter it's concealing. All of the masks are assigned the same Material Slot. (For masking - Diffuse at half, Material --> Transparency --> Alpha set to 0.008, and both Speculars set to zero)

Because these 'pipes' are left as curve-paths, their start "Resolution" slider in the path's Geometry tab, can be keyframed to roll back the pipe's end-cap and progressively reveal letters as though being newly formed or written.

With letters in such close proximity and when viewed at an angle, a mask can end up cutting holes in an adjacent and previously revealed letter.

Some knowledge therefore as to what makes these masks tick is going to be more than a little helpful, particularly in the way their discrimination works as related to the 'age' of objects to be masked. It's what makes them so useful and allows letters already revealed to remain unscathed by 'younger' masks.

Read up on this here ->

How to put a mask into 3d space

If you prefer to use Blender's Internal Render then it's own layer masking or perhaps nodes will have to be employed, along with any post production necessary. Similarly with Chroma Key.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you very much for your reponse but that method does not achive the look I need to get, also it is way complex for the simple effect I want to achieve. There is no easier way to sweep a text object and animate it? In C4D you can do it in 1 minute. $\endgroup$
    – Noob2
    Nov 30, 2018 at 5:40
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You are right of course. I see Blender as I would a manual lathe or other machine. It isn't a commercial product - providing one click solutions. It does however contain a myriad of 'levers, dials and cogs' that give it enormous flexibility that can achieve amazing modelling and video effects. There are people who frequent this site, who also write code for Blender that would probably achieve the result you're after. It was why I waited a few days for something better. Hoping you find a solution... $\endgroup$
    – Edgel3D
    Dec 2, 2018 at 3:39
  • $\begingroup$ I've tried to replace the faulty gif at the top and it loads the new one but dumps a copy of the old one in it's place! I renamed the newy and the same thing happens. $\endgroup$
    – Edgel3D
    Dec 3, 2018 at 9:40

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