How to use After Effects Trim Path with an Illustrator Path


Question

I imported my Illustrator file into After Effects. I then turned the Vector layer into a shape layer. I added a trim path to the shape but the trim path does some weird start to end point mask.

Demonstration of my shape

Demonstration of my shape

My shape

my shape

Question: How would I set a trim path that would go from one end of the object to the other (start from the arrow and end at the other dot).

Note: When importing Illustrator files. Make sure each path/object is on a separate layer. When you're ready to import into After Effects, go to file -> import -> file. Make sure to change import as to Composition - Retain Layer Sizes. This will then import each layer so you can "create shape from vector layer" for each illustrator layer.

1
7
5/4/2016 2:04:00 PM

Accepted Answer

You can use a trim path on a shape layer as track matte to achieve a solid and smooth animation without keyframing a mask.

  1. Bring your shape into After Effects:

    enter image description here

  2. Make sure that no layer is selected in your composition and hit G to enable the pen tool
  3. Draw your animation path from the bottom to the end of the shape

    enter image description here

  4. Set the contour width of the new created shape layer to a value which covers the shape below
  5. Set the fill color to None by holding Alt and clicking into the color field
  6. If you roll out the shape layer by clicking on the arrow > button left to the layer's name, there should be a appear another > Add Button in Track Mattes column. Click it to add a Trim Paths property
  7. If Trim Paths is assigned to the shape layer go to your last frame, roll out Trim Paths property and click the stop watch of the end value, this should create a keyframe with a value of 100%.

  8. Go to your first frame and set the end value to 0% to get something like this:

    enter image description here

  9. As last step set the track matte of the solid layer below to Alpha.

    enter image description here

11
9/4/2015 6:40:00 PM

There are direction to paths! Who knew! If you are manually doing drawing the path in AI, follow the direction that you want the animation to work.

Now, for the this piece here I would put a solid on top. Use the pen tool to draw line that follows the your shape (middle not around) and then drop a stroke effect on it. You can then animate that to your liking. There is a way to do this with the path you have but the answer is off the top of my head

EDIT: Here is more of what I am talking about. Drop a shape layer, grab your pen tool. And mask around your shape. and then animate the points. The amount of points will determined by your animating style

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Also set the lay that you are masking to track matte the layer that is animating the mask.


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