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Creating an equilateral triangle

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Matt Bacon
Creating an equilateral triangle
on Jul 6, 2018 at 10:07:56 pm

Hello,

What a Friday afternoon F&$%-around I'm having. I want to (quickly and easily) draw equilateral triangles inside After Effects (no, I don't want to draw triangles in illustrator and copy and paste the path). I want to know the triangle is perfectly equilateral regardless of size. From some terse searching, every tutorial and forum I've found seems to suggest (or outright claim) that the polygon tool reduced to 3 points WILL produce an equilateral triangle... but it does not!?

Am I crazy (pls don't answer that)? Whether I double-click the shape tool or shift-click and draw a polygon, then twirl down and reduce the points to 3, I get the same result: not equilateral.

Proof attached in a screen grab. https://f1.creativecow.net/file/12511/12511_notequilateral.jpg.zip

In this example I want a triangle with all 3 sides all equal to 60 pixels. According to math, an equilateral triangle has a circum-radius (aka the "outer radius" property in a polystar path) of side length divided by the square root of 3; 60/√(3) = 34.64

Am I making some basic error? Can anyone recommend a straight forward way to draw a (perfectly) equilateral triangle. Drawing with the pen tool or copying paths from another program are either imperfect or an annoying extra step.

please help ,

Matt


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Creating an equilateral triangle
on Jul 6, 2018 at 10:56:16 pm

It's pretty easy, actually.

First, set AE to Snap To Grid. I forget where the command's located -- it's been a while. Then turn on the Grid view at the bottom of the comp window.

NOW -- you should see a bunch of little squares and some bolder lines making up bigger squares. Make a solid on which to make a mask.

All you need to do is to think in terms of a bigger square two units on a side. These units can actually be made up of two big squares, three big squares, what have you.

Using the pen tool, click on the bottom-left corner of your bigger square. The pen tool will snap to that spot because you turned on Snap To Grid.
Now click on the bottom-right corner of the bigger square.
Go up to the top of your bigger square -- up two units. Find the mid point of the top, one unit in from either side. Click there -- you've defined the apes of your triangle.
Now go to the bottom-left corner again and click to close your mask. A perfect equilateral triangle.

Now with this mask, you can scale it up using the Free Transform tool, you can copy the mask path into a shape layer, whatever you want.

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


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Matt Bacon
Re: Creating an equilateral triangle
on Jul 16, 2018 at 4:33:30 pm

Thanks Dave,

This technique will be useful moving forward.


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Kalleheikki Kannisto
Re: Creating an equilateral triangle
on Jul 7, 2018 at 7:08:48 am

I don't see the problem. Why do you say that is not an equilateral triangle? All three sides are the same length, 60 pixels. If you are expecting the height to also be 60 pixels, you've misunderstood what an equilateral triangle is.

Kalleheikki Kannisto
Senior Graphic Designer


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Matt Bacon
Re: Creating an equilateral triangle
on Jul 16, 2018 at 4:32:58 pm

Yup. I appreciate your response. I didn't know what I didn't know.


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