Tip #989: Add Character – Distress Your 3D Text

… for Apple Motion

Tip #989: Add Character – Distress Your 3D Text

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Text doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, distressed text is often more compelling.

Plain 3D text (top), distressed text (middle) and the distress menu.

Topic $TipTopic

Nothing adds character to text like making it look worse. A lot worse. A hidden feature in Motion makes “distressing” your text simple and fun. Let me show you how this works.

NOTE: This option is only available for 3D text, but that doesn’t mean your text needs to look 3D.

To apply distress:

  • Create a 3D text clip.
  • Select Inspector > Text and scroll down until you see the Material section.
  • Below the Material section, select Options:Basic > Add Layer > Distress.
  • From the Distress menu, choose an effect (see screen shot).
  • In the settings for that option, select different looks from the Type menu. Drag sliders and watch what happens.


You can apply as many different “distresses” as you want. The screen shot shows three applied to the text: Wrinkles, Dents and Stains.

Like many 3D text effects, you need to play with these to see what works best for your project. And, yes, these settings will travel to FCP X if you are creating templates.

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