3 Replies Latest reply on Aug 25, 2016 8:47 AM by Rick Gerard

    Pen Tool: how to retrace node


      For example, if I wan to draw




      I would click to create a starting node. Then move right and create another node to form a line.


      Then I would go diagonal up to the left, but then I can't go back pointy part of the arrow to draw a diagonal line to the bottom left.


      Is there a way? Because I want to create an animation of an arrow being drawn using Trim Paths.

        • 1. Re: Pen Tool: how to retrace node
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          Well, to be blunt: You do not seem to understand how this stuff works and your workflow makes absolutely no sense. It's completely irrelevant how you draw the paths. The actual magic is in the operators, their orde and shape grouping. You simply draw the lines separate, group them and apply the Trim Paths to the entire group. Possibly you may also need to use a Merge operator before the trim. I would suggest you read up on this stuff in the help.



          • 2. Re: Pen Tool: how to retrace node
            eggtart_prince Level 1

            Thanks, but it was a request for help on a very simple problem.

            I just want to put this out there in case some beginners also want to do the same thing.


            In order to connect two vertices, neither one of them being your beginning vertex (the first one you created, the double squared one), you have to manually move the vertex you want to join, together.


            So to create ----------->

            will require 5 vertices.


            1st and 2nd should create the straight line.

            3rd should create the top diagonal line.

            4th can be anywhere you want.

            5th should create the bottom diagonal line.


            Then using the selection tool, move the 4th vertex on top of the 2nd.


            Tada! Using Trim paths and making two key frames, first one with 0% end path, and the second with 100% end path, you now have an animation of an arrow being drawn, in one layer.

            • 3. Re: Pen Tool: how to retrace node
              Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Using the pen tool is slightly different than it is in Illustrator or Photoshop. My technique is to select the pen tool (g) then use Alt/Option and Ctrl/Cmnd to modify the pointer. If you are having problems positioning a vertex then you can place it anywhere with the default pen tool then select the point using the Ctrl/Cmnd key as a modifier and move it to a new position, then continue drawing.


              The only problem with snapping or placing one vertex directly on top of another is that it's very difficult to make changes layer.


              My technique would be to draw an arrow on paper first and decide how I would naturally draw it. Then I would probably use two strokes, one for the line and a v shaped stroke as the arrow head. I would start drawing the arrowhead from the point, then return to the top and add the V.


              The other option would be to draw the line then change direction and move the pen back, then down, then up to the point to create a kind of closed head arrow. If you use two paths you can put them in the same shape layer and then add trim paths to complete the animation with just two keyframes and the paths will be trimmed sequentially.


              The other option would be to draw the arrow as a filled shape not with a stroke so you have a nice looking arrow. Then I would add a single stroke to the comp that was wide enough to cover the entire arrow, then apply trim paths to that stroke and use it as a track matte to reveal the arrow. It all depends on the design.

              Like this:

              Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 8.41.08 AM.png

              Or like this:

              Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 8.46.37 AM.png

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