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How do I convert a parametic shape to a bezier path?

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Eric Carl
How do I convert a parametic shape to a bezier path?
on Apr 1, 2012 at 5:30:05 am

I'm looking for a way to convert a parametic shape to a bezier path so that I can edit the individual anchor points of the shape. For example, if I draw a rectangle shape using the rectangle tool, I'd like to then convert that rectangle to a bezier path and modify its anchor points. Is there a way to do this? Thanks!



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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: How do I convert a parametic shape to a bezier path?
on Apr 1, 2012 at 7:21:31 am

If you draw a rectangle using the rectangle tool it does not seem that you can change the points, but you can if you use the Pen tool to draw a rectangle and then change the points.
You can use the Convert Point tool (under the Pen tool menu) to break the point or convert to bezier.
I think you are referring to the points on the path and not the anchor point, which is the center from where all your transformation properties start when the values are changed.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Todd Kopriva
Re: How do I convert a parametic shape to a bezier path?
on Apr 1, 2012 at 5:48:25 pm

Tudor, if you hold Alt (Option on Mac OS) while drawing using the shape tool, you get a bezier path, not a parametric shape.

To Eric's question: There is no way built into After Effects to do a conversion after you have already created the parametric shape.

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Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
product manager, professional video software
After Effects Help & Support
Premiere Pro Help & Support
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Eric Carl
Re: How do I convert a parametic shape to a bezier path?
on Apr 1, 2012 at 6:34:03 pm

Thanks Todd, holding down Option while drawing the shape works great. Good to know!



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Todd Kopriva
Re: How do I convert a parametic shape to a bezier path?
on Dec 14, 2013 at 6:50:24 pm

The After Effects CC (12.2) update makes creating a Bezier path for a shape layer easier and more discoverable.

option for creating shape layers based on Bezier paths:

When a shape tool (Rectangle, Rounded Rectangle, Polygon, Star, or Ellipse tool) is active, you can use the new Bezier Path option in the Tools panel to create a new shape based on a Bezier path, as opposed to the default of creating a new shape based on a parametric path. Holding the Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS) key while drawing a shape causes the opposite behavior—i.e., if the Bezier Path option is enabled, holding the Alt or Option key causes the shape tool to create a parametric path; if the Bezier Path option is disabled, holding the Alt or Option key causes the shape tool to create a Bezier path.

command for converting a parametric shape layer path to a Bezier path:

You can convert a parametric path to a Bezier path after the parametric path has already been created by context-clicking (right-clicking or Control-clicking on Mac OS) the property group for the parametric path (e.g., Rectangle Path 1) and choosing the Convert To Bezier Path command from the context menu. If the parametric path is animated (keyframed), the converted Bezier path is a static path based on the parametric path at the current time; keyframes are lost.

IMPORTANT: When you use the Convert To Bezier Path command to convert a parametric shape path to a Bezier shape path, the Bezier path that is created does not animate well (i.e., interpolation between paths behaves strangely and unpredictably). This is related to path direction and how transformations are stored. For now, you should not use these converted paths for animated paths (interpolation between paths); but, if you do want to try, you may be able to work around the issues by reversing the path before conversion.

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Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
After Effects quality engineering
After Effects team blog
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Eric Carl
Re: How do I convert a parametic shape to a bezier path?
on Dec 14, 2013 at 10:37:37 pm

This is great! I love that this is added. It's a small feature but makes vector editing just a bit more friendly.



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Amelia Haam
Re: How do I convert a parametic shape to a bezier path?
on Jan 24, 2016 at 10:47:16 am

thank you for your reply. BUT if not CC,(i'm using cs6), is there any other way not to re'draw with key?


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