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Centering anchor point on 121 Illustrator layers

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Joe Rodgers
Centering anchor point on 121 Illustrator layers
on Jan 29, 2018 at 10:30:52 pm

I have an illustrator file with 121 individual squares that I want to animate in AE but I need each individual square to have its anchor point centered exactly on the square itself, NOT in the center of the composition itself. So, I am trying to animate each square to scale up or down from its center point without having to go in and place each anchor point manually, which would not only be meticulous but near impossible to place perfectly without doing a lot of calculations.

Is there a way to prep this in Illustrator before importing or is this something that can be done in AE, quickly and properly?


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Centering anchor point on 121 Illustrator layers
on Jan 29, 2018 at 11:11:19 pm

There are two ways to import an Illustrator file with LAYERS -- not just paths, but layers, which is something AI folks don't often use -- into After Effects. As a comp and as a comp retaining layer sizes.

I think the second one does what you want, but it's no big deal to import the file both ways and just use the one that does the trick for you. Just delete the import that doesn't work for you. You're not affecting the AI file, you're just cleaning up your AE project a bit.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Joe Rodgers
Re: Centering anchor point on 121 Illustrator layers
on Jan 29, 2018 at 11:24:45 pm

There it is, that did the trick, thanks!


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Walter Soyka
Re: Centering anchor point on 121 Illustrator layers
on Jan 30, 2018 at 12:07:06 am

Dave's suggestion to import as a comp and retain layer sizes is the way to go.

Just in case you didn't know, though, there's a very useful little feature that snuck its way into Ae without much fanfare a few years back: Center Anchor Point in Layer Content. Press Ctrl+Alt+Home on Windows or Cmd+Opt+Home on macOS. It works great on shape layers, text layers, and masks, too.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Joe Rodgers
Re: Centering anchor point on 121 Illustrator layers
on Jan 30, 2018 at 10:22:43 pm

That is another very useful nugget, thanks!


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