3 Replies Latest reply on May 12, 2013 7:09 AM by Rick Gerard

    After Effects Shape Animation


      I am creating a simple shape animation where it goes from one shape to another completely different one. I am using the pen tool to make these shapes. I've put keyframes from point A to point B on the Path tab. I am having difficulty trying to draw the second path.


      What I've done is delete all the other points and left the main vertex. I'm trying to draw this second shape but it keeps giving me a closed shape when I want an opened one. If I don't have an opened one, I have to keep on clicking on the line to make more points which is extra work that I know I shouldn't be doing.


      How can I make this an unclosed path so I can draw this shape or is there a better way to do what I'm trying to do?


      Here's some pictures of what I'm trying to do.

      Step 1.jpgStep 2.jpg


      I've tried to search for something like this but all I've been able to find is masking a similiar shape.

        • 1. Re: After Effects Shape Animation
          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          First, you should get a warning when you are animating paths that deleting or adding a point will cause unpredictable results. It's not generally a good idea to delete path points.

          Screen Shot 2013-05-11 at 9.32.19 PM.png

          Checking Preserve Constant Vertex and Feather Count in the General Preferences will help avoid these problems. With this option checked when you delete all but one point it will foul up your animation before that point because now there are no points to preserve. You will end up with one point which does not define a line or a shape.


          If you decide to uncheck Preserve Constant Vertex and Feather Count you can do what you want but you'll have to open the path before you delete the next to the last point. Once a closed path always a closed. This is why you are getting the loop.


          You must have two points to open or close a path. The work around is to open the path before you delete the next to the last point. Do that by selecting the last two points in your shape (or any two points) and right clicking and then select Mask and Shape Path > Closed and uncheck Closed. Then delete the point. Now when you start adding points again you will have an open path.

          Screen Shot 2013-05-11 at 9.36.47 PM.png

          Be aware however, if you have Fill selected then you will get a fill that extends between the points on your path.

          Screen Shot 2013-05-11 at 9.42.54 PM.png

          There's no closed path here but the fill will still render. There's no way around that. I hope this helps you understand editing and animating paths.


          The other option would be to just start another shape layer.

          • 2. Re: After Effects Shape Animation
            Naterdoo1 Level 1

            Thank you so much Rick! I didn't know that you had to select two points to open it.


            I have a couple of questions.


            1. If I don't delete the path points, does that mean I have to move every single one individually? How would that work if I was trying to make a big object into a smaller object?


            1. You said that another option would get to start another shape layer. How would that work?

            • 3. Re: After Effects Shape Animation
              Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              You can select all of the points and then use transform. You can also hold down the Command/Ctrl key with the path tool selected and marquis select multiple text points to animate transform them. Take a look at this short roto sample. You can see how I'm using the marquis tool to select multiple points. When multiple points are selected you can then press Ctrl/Cmnd + T to open up the transform tool and scale or rotate them.