3 Replies Latest reply on Jan 27, 2017 8:26 AM by kathrineg

# Morphing one shape into another - never takes the simplest route

I am trying to morph one shape into another in After Effects.

To do this, I have created a rectangle shape layer, converted it to bezier paths and added a keyframe where I want the morphing to begin.

Then I created a circle shape layer, converted it to bezier paths and added a keyframe. Then I copied the circle keyframe, and pasted it onto the path of the rectangle where I wanted the morphing to end.

This does achieve the desired shape morph but the path that the morph takes to get there is complicated. Instead of the rectangle's corners just becoming more rounded until it becomes the circle, the shape rotates and the anchor points move to further anchor points.

Is there any way to control the middle morphing method?

Here are a few screenshots of the white shape on a black background that I'm trying to morph. Note that in the middle, you can see how it is rotating.

• ###### 1. Re: Morphing one shape into another - never takes the simplest route

There are four vertices on your square.  There are four vertices on your circle... but the circle's vertices are 90 degrees away from the square's vertices.  Rotate the circle vertices 90 degrees and life gets better.

• ###### 2. Re: Morphing one shape into another - never takes the simplest route

When you animate a path the vertices (points) always try and take the shortest straight path to the new position. It's as simple as that.

If you want to morph a square smoothly in a circle you need to add a vertex at the center of each side, then add a vertex at 45º, 135º, 225º, and 315º and then set the first vertex to the same position, like top center for each path.

There is a tool in AE to help with this and it works sometimes on some shapes. You can find it in the window menu. It's called Mask Interpolation.

To do more complex shapes the only real solution is to decide how long you want the transition to take and then use the blend and expand and release to layers feature in Illustrator to create an animation there. You have complete control over the artwork and can do things that are just not possible trying to animate a path in After Effects. Take a quick look at these mini tutorials that I did on the technique. They may give you some ideas: