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Free Transform a Shape in AE

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Lee Norton
Free Transform a Shape in AE
on Aug 18, 2013 at 10:38:17 pm

I have a rectangle shape (Shape Layer 1) in my composition and I want to free transform 2 of it's end points. How do I do this?

I have Shape Layer 1 highlighted. Under Layer/Mask and Shape Path - Free Transform is greyed out. Hitting Ctrl-T with Shape Layer 1 highlighted in my timeline doesn't enter Free Transform either. I have been through the AE help also, but I am clearly not understanding something because I can not get this shape to enter Free Transform so I can simply adjust 2 points.

Any help would be appreciated.


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Todd Kopriva
Re: Free Transform a Shape in AE
on Aug 19, 2013 at 12:27:51 am

Show us a screenshot of your Timeline panel with this shape's properties exposed.

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Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
After Effects quality engineering
After Effects team blog
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Lee Norton
Re: Free Transform a Shape in AE
on Aug 19, 2013 at 2:23:51 am



The red rectangle is the shape I was attempting to Free Transform. The above brown rectangle is the shape I instead made in Photoshop and imported in. But I'm guessing I could have stayed in AE if I just knew how to do the transforming.

Thanks in advance for your assistance.


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John Cuevas
Re: Free Transform a Shape in AE
on Aug 19, 2013 at 11:32:42 am

If it were me, I would hand draw the rectangle(use pen tool rather than rectangle tool), then keyframe the path property, like so:

6425_rectangleshape.aep.zip

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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Todd Kopriva
Re: Free Transform a Shape in AE
on Aug 19, 2013 at 3:43:03 pm

You have drawn a parametric shape, not a path-based shape.

Redraw your rectangle with the Rectangle tool, but hold down the Option/Alt key when you draw it this time. That will create a path-based shape.

more information:
http://helpx.adobe.com/after-effects/using/overview-shape-layers-paths-vect...

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Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
After Effects quality engineering
After Effects team blog
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Lee Norton
Re: Free Transform a Shape in AE
on Aug 19, 2013 at 6:38:30 pm

Thanks to both of you! These two tips help immensely.


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John Cuevas
Re: Free Transform a Shape in AE
on Aug 20, 2013 at 1:05:57 pm

Glad to help, particularly since I got to learn something new too.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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Todd Kopriva
Re: Free Transform a Shape in AE
on Dec 14, 2013 at 6:56:11 pm

The After Effects CC (12.2) update makes creating a Bezier path for a shape easier and more discoverable, as well as adding the ability to convert from a parametric path to a Bezier path.

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.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
After Effects quality engineering
After Effects team blog
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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