Working with Shape Layers, Strokes, and Paths
let's talk a bit more about shape layers. So I have this new composition. I'm gonna take my rectangle tool and I'll just create this rectangle in the middle, I can align it if I want align align, we've seen some of these options before, but if we drop down under contents and under rectangle, you can see that there's more intricate stroke and fill options. Here's where you can change the color. So if we want to change the color down here, we can and you can see that it's changing up here. Another thing you can do though is drop the opacity of this individual shape. So why would you do that if you want to create a more intricate shape, it might not make sense to have a bunch of different shape layers, but rather to create your entire shape right here, Under this one layer. Now I can go in with my rectangle tool, let me just click contents to get out of the rectangle one and say we want to create a house so we can add a door right here if we want, we can change the color of that door, We ...
could add a roof if we want and we can use the pen tool to do that because using the pen tool, we're still creating shapes in this layer and let's make sure that our opacity is up for these two. So let's go under the capacity for the roof. You know, this is just really quick stuff. It's not the best house ever, but you can see that now instead of having a bunch of different shape layers, we've created this basic house all within this one layer. And what does that mean? Well we can control it all at one time. We can make it grow or shrink. We can move it around, we can rotate it rather than rotating every single individual layer and repeating to move this entire house all at once. Another option that you'll see is the stroke option. And to really see this clearly. I'm going to delete this layer and then I'm just going to take my pen tool and then I'm just going to create a simple snake shape. So I'm just going to click click and I'm also going to drag while I click so that I get a curve in my shape so you can see that curve. If I didn't click and drag, I just get a straight shape with sharp edges. So I want to undo that. I'm just going to click click click now, you'll see that this doesn't look like a snake and that's because it's using a fill but it doesn't have a stroke. The stroke is what happens along the edge of your shape and you don't have to complete a shape if you don't want to. So if I want to I can go into the fill options and we could turn off our fill and now up here we can turn on our stroke. Okay, that's cool. But snakes or well if we wanted to create a snake, they don't have these sharp edges where their head or tail is, it's kind of rounded. So we can go into our contents down to our shape one and then into stroke one and we can change the end of this stroke. So that's where this line cap is. Change that from. But cap to round cap so you have now a rounded edge. What if we want a dotted line? We can do that with the stroke down here we have dashes, click the plus button to create dashes and then play with these dash settings to create larger or smaller dashes and you can see if there's they're really small then it ends up being coming one line. But if you want them smaller you just have to decrease the stroke with. Now you start to see the little dots so that's kind of cool too, click plus again and you can adjust the gap in between the dots and this could create some sort of neat animation if you want by animating, you can animate the offset. So let's click the stopwatch icon for the offset at zero seconds and then go up to 1.5 seconds and then just move it forward a little bit and now let's play through and you have this sort of motion going through Cool way to create sort of a wave effect. You can also animate the different points in a shape and that's the path. So let's close down stroke and bring open the path. So here, if we click the stopwatch next to path yeah, tells after effects that at this point we want all of these points that we've set. It's hard to see but we have 1234, we want them to be right there. Let's go forward to a little under a second. Now let's take these points and move them around. You'll notice that if I just click right now and drag one, the whole path moves. And that's because both the path one and path down here are selected just uncheck that and click path up here, you don't want this path selected. You want just this path once elected. Now we can move these points up and down. So now between here we have this motion and if we wanted to go back to where it was originally, let's just copy and paste this first key frame and now we have this sort of wave effect kind of weird, right? You can even go into this point right here, let's make sure we're just on path one select the point and we can play around with the way the curve works by choosing the handles for each point and extending them, rotating them, moving them around. Weird. Huh? So this is how you can create some really organic, intricate motion with after effects. And that's all just using a single shape layer a stroke, adding some dashes and using a path animation. In the next lesson, we're going to learn about layer styles.