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Freeform Pen tool for After Effects?

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Łukasz Rusinek
Freeform Pen tool for After Effects?
on Oct 7, 2015 at 6:59:39 am

Hi there.

Is there anything that works similar to Photoshop freeform pen tool in After Effects?
I'm looking for the tool, which will allow me to draw paths with a tablet, instead of creating it with a pen tool - piont by point.


I'm using AE CS5


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Kalle Kannisto
Re: Freeform Pen tool for After Effects?
on Oct 7, 2015 at 2:58:00 pm

Not really, but you can easily copy and paste paths drawn that way from Photoshop.


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: Freeform Pen tool for After Effects?
on Oct 8, 2015 at 8:27:33 am

You can draw vector paths in AI using the tablet and then convert that to AE paths.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Łukasz Rusinek
Re: Freeform Pen tool for After Effects?
on Oct 8, 2015 at 9:55:43 am

Thanks, but that's not exactly want I'm looking for.
I know I can copy and paste paths from AI and PS as well. They appear in AE as masks. Since I want them to be shape paths (with fill, strokes etc.) I usually use third party plug in (or script?) called "RD mask to shapes"

But it would be much easier to draw something freehand directly in AE, in the existing 3d composition, made out of 3d shape layers instead of creating the artwork in AI or PS. It would improve my workflow like 100%

I was searching for some third party content or something like this, but haven't found anything yet. I guess I just have to keep doing it point by point:]

If AE would have this feature (and onion skins as well) my dreams would come true.
Anyway thanks for respond guys!


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Kalle Kannisto
Re: Freeform Pen tool for After Effects?
on Oct 8, 2015 at 11:19:08 am
Last Edited By Kalle Kannisto on Oct 8, 2015 at 11:20:39 am

You can copy the AI or PS paths into shape paths as well, at least in the current versions. Obviously it's not the same thing as being able to draw them directly in AE. So: Perhaps you can use AE's built-in Motion Sketch for this purpose, and copy the motion path to a shape layer...? Motion sketch basically creates a path in the "freeform" fashion, (just have to drag an object of some kind around with it). Then you wouldn't have to switch between programs. Haven't tried it, but it should be possible, since AE supposedly can copy from any kind of path to any other kind of path.


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