2 Replies Latest reply on Mar 19, 2016 11:51 PM by Alabama1234

    Help with morphing shapes

    Alabama1234 Level 1

      Can anyone help me?
      I'm trying to morph a triangle made in illustrator. I converted it to a shape and applied the procedure shown on the video (link below). I created keyframes for the triangle and circle paths, copied the circle's keyframe and pasted it on the triangle's timeline. However, instead of morphing in the place it is, the triangle moves to a diferent point while morphing. How can I make it stay where it was?

      Video link: T001 Shape Morphing in After Effects CC (Intermediate) - YouTube

        • 1. Re: Help with morphing shapes
          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          So I watched that tutorial and I hate to say this but it's not very good and it isn't teaching you efficient or even proper techniques for doing what needs to be done to run the morphs. His terminology is also not consistent with the real AE terminology. He eventually stumbles into a solution but the technique isn't anything that you would want in your bag o' tricks.


          Here's are some things you should consider with trying to animate paths. First, every closed path has a first vertex. Second, if you are animating the position of the vertices the points are going to move in a straight line from first vertex to first vertex and continue around the path so the direction you drew the path in and the position of the first vertex in the first shape and the second shape must make sense. Let's take changing a square or a circle to a triangle. The square and the circle have 4 points. The triangle has 3. To make things smoothly from square or circle to triangle you'll have to add an additional point to the triangle. The first vertex is the bigger one. Here's the circle as drawn with the Ellipse tool:

          Screen Shot 2016-03-19 at 10.37.02 PM.png

          Here's the triangle:

          Screen Shot 2016-03-19 at 10.36.42 PM.png

          Notice that the first vertex of both is at the top center of the shape. Now here's the square:

          Screen Shot 2016-03-19 at 10.39.41 PM.png

          The First Vertex is in the top right corner.


          If you try and convert the square to a triangle then the top right corner of the square is going to move to the point of the triangle, the bottom right is going to move up, the bottom left is going to move right to match the bottom right corner of the triangle, and the top left corner is going to move down resulting in a very odd distortion in the transition.

          Screen Shot 2016-03-19 at 10.47.59 PM.png

          If you set the bottom left corner of the square as the first vertex then you'd get a different kind of motion:

          Screen Shot 2016-03-19 at 10.51.55 PM.png.

          A smoother transition that looked more normal can be achieved by setting the adding a new point to the square path at the center of the first line and setting that to first vertex:

          Screen Shot 2016-03-19 at 10.59.01 PM.png

          Then adding a couple of points to the sides of the triangle (stroke removed so you can see the points better:

          Screen Shot 2016-03-19 at 11.02.22 PM.png

          Then you would get a transition that looked like this half way through.

          Screen Shot 2016-03-19 at 11.07.38 PM.png

          If the first vertex of the square was not reset to the middle of the top line then you would get this mess and wonder what happened:

          Screen Shot 2016-03-19 at 11.06.07 PM.png

          The reason the triangle is moving is that you don't have your vertices lined up properly because the tutorial didn't teach you what you need to know. Be very suspicious of tutorials and try and vet the authors so you don't go down blind alleys.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Help with morphing shapes
            Alabama1234 Level 1

            First of all, thank you for the very fast and detailed answer. I searched a lot of tutorials, and they all basically told me to do the same thing.
            I saw that one vertex was different and I did understood that it would shape the transition, but couldn't figure out how to change it.
            Thank you very much, I'll try it right now, but it  already makes a lot more sense.