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Mar 7, 2013 3:05 PM

Hello, I'm going through Chris Meyer's video course on being an AE apprentice and have spent over an hour on the following issue.


Here is what I know.


I know I am trying to create a shape layer, not a mask, to create a frame to surround the video of the green field on the attached screenshot.  Therefore, I pressed "F2" to make sure I am doing so.


I want to define the borders of this picture frame by using the pen tool to draw a path on the layer entitled "Windy Peak".


I have highlighted that layer in my timeline.


This video was pasted on to a placeholder shape that I had created using Command Option "/" on my Mac.


I do have limited use of the pen tool, because it displays properly when I hover it above the borders of the video to be framed.


But I lack access to the toolbar controls I want to complete my assignment.


For example, I would like to create a gradient to define the internal coloration of this frame, but I have no use of the eyedropper when I click on the Color Picker.


Also, I am unable to access or manipulate any of the standard fill or stroke options for use of my pen.


This is what I know.  


Thanks for your help!   Matt


Screen shot 2013-03-07 at 2.39.18 PM.png


Message was edited by: Matt Dubuque to add the fact that the video had been pasted on to a placeholder shape image by pressing Command Option "/" on my Mac.

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 7, 2013 6:19 PM   in reply to Matt Dubuque

    You seem to have changed your workspace to not show the Tools panel, which is where the Pen tool and related controls are.


    Choose the Standard workspace to get the Tools panel. If you've altered the Standard workspace, reset it. Instructions for choosing and resetting workspaces are here in After Effects Help.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 7, 2013 6:26 PM   in reply to Matt Dubuque

    I don't see a tool bar at all in your screenshot. G will select the pen tool. Hovering over a vertex will switch the pen tool to remove point. Holding down the Alt/Option key will give you the convert point tool when you hover over a vertex. Holding down the Cmnd/Ctrl key will give you the direct selection option.


    To reset your workspace and return the Tool Bar go to Workspace > Reset Work Space

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 8, 2013 8:06 AM   in reply to Matt Dubuque

    You are creating a mask path not a shape layer using stroke. Deselect everything in the timeline window. Select the pen tool, set stroke width, color, fill if you want and start setting points in the comp window. A new shape layer will be created using your path as a shape. This is completely different than a mask which has no fill or stroke properties.

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