Unlimited AE and Premiere Pro templates, videos & more! Unlimited asset downloads! From $16.50/m

Next lesson playing in 5 seconds

Cancel
  • Overview
  • Transcript

5.2 After Effects Shape Layers: Part 1

Shape layers are super powerful tools for creating graphics and much more. Check out how to use After Effects shape layers in this lesson!

Related Links

1.Introduction
1 lesson, 00:49

1.1
Introduction
00:49

2.Getting Started
5 lessons, 42:55

2.1
What Is After Effects?
09:56

2.2
Main Panels
10:04

2.3
Settings
07:46

2.4
After Effects Tools
08:52

2.5
More AE Tools
06:17

3.Compositions and Layers
3 lessons, 26:35

3.1
After Effects Composition
08:53

3.2
Precomposing
08:10

3.3
After Effects Layer Properties
09:32

4.Keyframes
3 lessons, 25:21

4.1
After Effects Keyframe Basics
06:39

4.2
After Effects Keyframe Easing
10:37

4.3
Spatial Interpolation
08:05

5.Masks, Shape Layers, and Text
5 lessons, 45:36

5.1
Learn How to Mask in After Effects
08:42

5.2
After Effects Shape Layers: Part 1
09:24

5.3
After Effects Shape Layers: Part 2
10:05

5.4
Text in After Effects
07:16

5.5
Text Animation and More
10:09

6.2.5D
2 lessons, 13:42

6.1
What Is 2.5D?
08:37

6.2
More 2.5D
05:05

7.Motion Tracking
4 lessons, 34:04

7.1
Motion Tracking, Camera Tracking, and 3D Text
09:11

7.2
More Motion Tracking
06:15

7.3
Camera Tracking in After Effects
07:35

7.4
3D Text in After Effects
11:03

8.Mattes and Cool Effects
4 lessons, 43:43

8.1
Mattes
10:55

8.2
EFFECTS!
10:50

8.3
MORE EFFECTS!
11:19

8.4
Mind-Blowing Third-Party Effects
10:39

9.Build a Lower Third
2 lessons, 21:35

9.1
How to Make a Lower Third in After Effects
11:01

9.2
Final Touches on the Lower Third
10:34

10.Exporting
1 lesson, 09:11

10.1
Exporting From After Effects
09:11

11.Conclusion
1 lesson, 01:16

11.1
Conclusion
01:16

12.Bonus Lessons
4 lessons, 2:14:00

12.1
How to Make an After Effects Text Animation
29:19

12.2
How to Use After Effects Intro Templates
36:45

12.3
How to Create Handwriting Animation in After Effects
34:01

12.4
How to Create Brush Effects in After Effects
33:55

13.Frequently Asked Questions
8 lessons, 1:34:42

13.1
FAQ Introduction
00:55

13.2
How to Export Video From After Effects
12:26

13.3
How to Export Video From After Effects Using PreRendering
06:44

13.4
How to Mask in After Effects
15:25

13.5
How to Animate Text in After Effects
19:31

13.6
How to Make a GIF in After Effects
13:59

13.7
How to Duplicate Layer in After Effects
20:44

13.8
Conclusion
04:58


5.2 After Effects Shape Layers: Part 1

Shape layers are super powerful tools for creating graphics and much more inside of After Effects. In this lesson, you will see exactly how they work. To follow along in this lesson, open up the shapes.aep file and that'll open up a project with not much in it. And that's because you don't need a whole lot to see what shape layers do. It's not something that you need footage or other assets to do because After Effects generates shape layers all on its own. So let's hop on over to the shape start composition. You'll see there's nothing in here but we're gonna add some shape layers. And there's a couple of different ways to do that like everything else in After Effects. You can right click down here in the blank space in your timeline and you can go to New > Shape Layer. You can also jump up to the menu, go to New > Shape Layer as well. When you create a shape layer using each one of those methods, nothing was actually created except for the shape layer. If you open this up you'll see there's nothing under contents. There's no shapes actually in the shape layer. I don't know if you caught it, but when the shape layer was created, After Effects switched from the selection tool to the rectangle tool automatically. And now if I create a shape with the rectangle tool, it will be added to this shape layer. Now you don't have to create a shape layer like that. A lot of times, what I do is I will just grab, for example, the rectangle tool and before I create the shape, I will make some adjustments to perhaps the fill color and the stroke. Maybe I know I want this to be something with a stroke of around ten. And then you can just click and drag and create the shape just like that. You don't have to create a shape layer first and then add things to it. Once you have created a shape layer, if you look down here, it's created a group, and that group is named Rectangle 1. Inside that group is the actual shape path, and then a stroke and a fill are being applied to that path. And this can be any number of these different shapes here. That can be a rounded rectangle tool, which is really not anything different than a regular rectangle, because you can see right down here I can take this rectangle and I can round it to make it around new rectangle. But it could be, I can create an ellipse, and if you hold Shift, it'll constrain the proportions to make that a circle. And you can confirm that by looking in the ellipse path and see that the circle is actually 842 by 842 Then delete that, you can also create a polygon. Now you may notice when you do this, that it doesn't act like the other shapes when you create it. When you are using the rectangle tool, you're defining the top left corner when you start to click and drag, all the way to the bottom right corner, and it's the same thing with an ellipse. However, When you create a polygon or a star, when you click and drag, it actually creates from the center out. So it can be a little bit confusing to position those when you're first creating them unless you know that. Now, when you hold Shift, you will lock either the star or the polygon to a perpendicular orientation to your composition. Without that you can rotate it however you want. And also, as you're creating this, if you scroll your mouse wheel, you can add more sides, or subtract sides all the way down to three. Same thing happens when you're creating a star. You can add more and more points to your star until you finally release. And I'll just delete this first shape that I created there. But after you have created it, you can jump into the poly star path and you can make all kinds of modifications here. To the rotation to the radius, the outer radius, the roundness, and you can come up with some really wild and fantastic shapes using these basic parametric shapes. Now parametric shapes are shapes that are generated from a set of coordinates or it's basically using some math to define the geometry of the shape. For example, If you go back to a rectangle and you look underneath the rectangle path, we can define its width and the height. Which is oftentimes very helpful for getting these very precisely sized. As you saw earlier with the ellipse, you can define its height and width as well. And the reason why I want to differentiate these as parametric shapes is because that's not the only type of shape layer that you can create. You can create a shape layer using these shapes that is not a parametric shape by holding Alt as you click and drag. And when you do that, it looks very similar. This looks like a rectangle and indeed it is. But if you drill down and you look at the actual path that's being generated, it's just labeled path and that's because this is not a parametric shape and you can see we don't have controls over the height and width like you did previously. And so if you were to modify this by switching back to the selection tool, you can grab one of these points here, And you can make changes to this that will make it not a rectangle. So this is not a rectangle anymore. Some kind of four-sided polygon. Where you can't do that when you create these parametric shapes just by clicking and dragging. This will always be a rectangle, unless you modify it in some other way. But this path that's generated here is always a rectangle, you can't change that. And I also want to show you that you can create a shape with the pen tool with nothing selected. You can just click or click and drag to create curves, and you can create very elaborate shapes And with these, you can animate your paths. So you can animate your shape here from this sort of blob to, well, something different. Like that. It's not fantastic, but you can do lots of interesting things with paths and a little bit of creativity. I'm just gonna delete that here, and before we wrap this lesson up, I just wanna show you that all of the things that you can adjust here, the fill properties and the stroke properties, you can also adjust down here, and there's even more options. So for example, on the stroke here you can animate the stroke with the opacity basically anything with a stop watch you can animate. But you also have other options, things like the line cap which you won't see on a closed path like this. If you create an open path or an open shape, something that hasn't been closed, I'll just turn off the invisibility for the rectangle here for a second. Jump down to the stroke and then I can change the line cap from a butt cap to a round cap to a projecting cap which goes a little bit past the end here. But a round cap creates a nice rounded edge there and a butt cap. Gonna delete this shape, jump back to the rectangle. You can also change the line join and this effects what happens to the corners of your shapes. So right now, by default it's set to minor join, you can set this to round join, which makes this nice rounded corner here, or you can set it to bevel join. If you drill down Fill you have a whole bunch of options here, and you don't have to use just a solid color fill. Up here in the Fill Options, we can change this to gradient fill. In this particular case, it's a linear gradient, and if I switch back to the Selection Tool, I can modify this linear gradient, Or I can change it to a radial gradient. And all of these options are now available in the layer properties here in my rectangle group right here. There's more to explore with shape layers and that's coming up in the next lesson.

Back to the top