Shapeshifting Typography With Art Text

Shapeshifting typography is a relatively new design trend. It refers to a design trend and technique where text elements undergo dynamic transformations, altering their visual appearance. Unlike traditional static typography, which remains consistent, shapeshifting typography allows words and letters to morph, transition, or animate, creating a visually dynamic and engaging effect.

Shapeshifting typography gained popularity due to its dynamic and expressive nature. It infuses life into visually static words, providing an innovative approach to typographic design.

So, how do you go about creating shapeshifting typography? That’s what will be covered in this article, with a focus on the Art Text software.

Melting text effects, as a sample of shapeshifting typography.

Text Distortions

Text distortions in Art Text are customizable effects that transform font shapes beyond standard typeface options. Users can effortlessly wear out text edges, create random gaps in the text body, partially obscure the text, and more.

Combining multiple text distortions can help achieve a shapeshifting effect, where text edges are distorted to form a smooth wave.

Font displacement effect distorts text to simulate clay typography.

Geometry Transformations

Geometry transformations in Art Text allow users to bend text in various ways. Typically, this type of transformation is applied to entire words or phrases, enabling the creation of bent, wavy text, or text that follows a semi-circle.

Art Text offers a versatile set of 20 geometric transformations, each based on a distinct pattern, along with an additional 4 spline transformations designed to freely distort text along adjustable curves. Simply curve splines by dragging spline handles to achieve the desired effect.

3D Text Shapeshifting

When working with 3D text, Art Text offers various transformation presets specifically designed for 3D. Unlike 2D transformations, 3D geometry transformations do not have spline-based presets. One intriguing preset transformation allows users to individually rotate letters within a word in 3D along the Y-axis, enabling the creation of captivating 3D typography graphics.

Another method of creating shapeshifting effects in 3D typography is by utilizing Bump Mapping, which brings volume to texture details. When creating animations, try altering the Bump Map strength parameter to achieve dynamic text surface.

3D text with shape transformation and bump map on texture surface.

Art Text Distortion Effects Explained

The Displacement Distortion

The Displacement effect resembles viewing an object through frosted glass, with its patterns based on textures you select for the distortion. This displacement can help create wavy edges on letters giving the entire word a nice shapeshifting effect.

The Side Displacement Distortion

Similarly, the Side Displacement effect distorts objects on a specified side, differing from the standard Displacement effect. Its patterns are also texture-based.

The Roundness Effect

The Roundness effect uniformly rounds all corners of an object.

The Brush Distortion

The Brush effect imparts a three-dimensional appearance to objects, akin to applying shading materials. Its patterns derive from textures.

The Outer Distortion

The Outer effect mainly affects the area surrounding an object, with settings that can preserve letter outlines for readability. Its patterns are texture-dependent.

The Erosion Distortion

Erosion renders object parts transparent, akin to a mask, with customizable settings for distinct output compared to Mask. Its patterns are texture-driven.

The Mask Distortion

Mask allows the application of a mask to an object.

The Blur Distortion

Blur facilitates blurring the entire object or specific parts, with textures defining the areas to be blurred.

Text Animation

When text shape changes are animated, shapeshifting typography truly comes alive. With the Art Text animation panel, you can set up animation frames featuring various text shape states. The program then seamlessly transitions between these keyframes, creating smooth and dynamic shapeshifting animations. Experimenting with different keyframe transition settings allows you to achieve the precise animation effect you desire.

Shapeshifting text effect creates illusion text animation.


Whether you opt for creating wave shaped text, distort edges, or add surface bumps in 3D text the possibilities for shapeshifting typography are endless. By combining different distortion effects with geometric transformations and a dash of creativity, designers can craft captivating and dynamic text compositions that captivate audiences and elevate visual communication to a new level.

As designers continue to explore and innovate, shapeshifting typography holds promise as a frequently used technique in the future.

Text distortion effects applied to craft grunge typography in Art Text.
Published in February 2024
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