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Very Basic Pen Tool Operation Question

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Brett PutmanVery Basic Pen Tool Operation Question
by on Jul 1, 2010 at 11:35:15 pm

Dont know why this is happening to me, but I am using the pen tool to create a simple curved line by holding down the left click button and dragging. After this is done, I a then want to make the next line connected to the curved line straight.

Every time I try to do this, I get a crazy curved line.

What do I do to get the next line to be straight instead of curved?

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Dave LaRondeRe: Very Basic Pen Tool Operation Question
by on Jul 2, 2010 at 1:55:42 pm

Ooooh, you're thinkin' that AE works like Photoshop or Illustrator. Surprise! It doesn't!

You can't just draw directly in an AE comp. The Pen Tool is actually used to create masks on a layer or paths on a layer; a path is simply a mask that isn't a closed shape.

You can fake drawing lines in AE by using masks and the Stroke effect, or you can give it a shot with a shape layer. But it would be a pretty fat line if you use a shape layer.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA

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Michael SzalapskiRe: Very Basic Pen Tool Operation Question
by on Jul 2, 2010 at 4:39:57 pm

Dave, I think he just meant he was struggling with how to get the bezier-type curves to do what he wants. Alt-drag on the bezier handle to break the curve and then you can make it a straight line.
More info on bezier drawing here. I would suggest not just reading that page, but also lots of other pages there. It's actually a very useful document with many pages linking to very good (free!) tutorials.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

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