> i knew the order of render is M(masks) E(effects) T(transformations). How do shape layers fall into this model?

"Within each raster (non-vector) layer, elements are applied in the following order: masks, effects, transformations, and layer styles. For continuously rasterized vector layers, transformations occur before masks and effects."

(from the

"Render order..." section of After Effects Help)

Shape layers are vector layers, so the order is 1) transformations, 2) masks, 3) effects.

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Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated

putting the 'T' back in 'RTFM' :

After Effects Help on the Web
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