Morphing Single Path Shapes

Andrew Pach
A free video tutorial from Andrew Pach
Engaged and Passionate PowerPoint & After Effects instructor
4.6 instructor rating • 24 courses • 312,818 students

Lecture description

This will be an very important lesson in this After Effects course. We will learn how to morph shapes created from single vector paths. We will use a few examples like objects from within After Effects or social icons like Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest.

Learn more from the full course

After Effects Basics - Morphing Shapes in After Effects

Learn After Effects motion graphic animation. After Effects CS6 and CC basics

02:33:14 of on-demand video • Updated November 2021

  • Create an After Effects Morphing Effect
  • Work properly with Paths in Shape Layers
  • Create, edit, keyframe, manipulate Paths
  • Learn to copy work between After Effects and Illustrator
English [Auto] All right. Welcome back. I'm glad to see you in this lesson and let us start working on the morphing. I want to show you several possibilities so we will know how to perform such a morphing and overall work with paths inside of shapes. Let me show you how to begin with the morphing. If you want to start with a shape. Select a shape. If not we need to establish a new shape layer which will have a pad inside. This can be done by clicking on the keyboard or here on the top. Selecting the panel and just drawing random three lines. It can be more. It doesn't really matter because we will morph into a shape instantly. All right. Let me open the shape layer as you see the contents shape and we have as always our path. So this is our primary working area and this is the shape which we will convert into other shapes. There are a couple ways how you can do it. I will start from the most basic one which can teach you a lot of useful things. Let us grab the first icon. Maybe the Facebook icon because it's fairly easy and let me show you the first technique. The first technique is if you have any shape you can drag it over into after effects and you can make them morphing by hand. What I mean by that let me click on the Facebook one. I press T on the keyboard to open up the opacity property and I make the Facebook icon just a little bit less visible so I see the triangle properly. I click on the first shape. I click on the path and I use a keyframe here by clicking on this little stopwatch. The first keyframe has appeared. Consider this little keyframe as it would hold information about what shape we currently have. So I will move one second forward. I click on the path here and by having this two selected I can do this Facebook. I can manually click here to add a new point and I have it right. I click here to add another point and I place it here and I'll continue this work until I have a Facebook icon. This might be a little bit tedious but this is the most simple and proper way to establish a perfect pad from an icon we see above. Here in a moment I'll show you how to make this an hour the pilot. I just want to show you a few principles let me speed up this process a little bit. If you have a little corner here and you need the best your tools to make it rounded you select the left or key until such an icon appears. Once you click here this particular point will have their bezier handles and you can work with them. OK let me continue my clicking and adding another point here and this other point will be here. This is how I would work if I would need to make this by hand. Which is very tedious and hard but it's very properly done. Let me de-select the Facebook icon and let us preview the morphing on the first keyframe we have the triangle. You see those points and on this keyframe we have a ready Morford Facebook icon. While it's not perfectly precise because I wasn't spending much time on it but the idea is conveyed into this technique. I can press space and in a few seconds the shape is becoming more point and this morphing. Now this was very boring and tedious. How to make it better quicker faster and more efficient. We're working inside of after effects. Let me duplicate this shape. I will de-select the old ones. I have a new shape. Let me reposition it on the right and I have here to pad keyframes. I'll delete the Facebook one. Let me deal Facebook one. I have the first keyframe. Here I go to maybe 2 seconds and you can go for example and grab it directly from inside illustrator as I click here and I press control-C. I go back to after effects and by having this pad selected I press Contrave this little icon is appearing directly inside of after effects. Right now it has shift a bit to the right. I can grab it and move it back to where the triangle was what do we have now. We have a morphing with one click. Let me move ahead to the second. Maybe grab the Facebook icon from inside here. Control-C. Go back to after effects control the. And I have the Facebook icon as you have noticed after effects is shifting it to the right again which you can always click on the exect keyframe put it back in position and we have the morphing basically ready such an easy trick you can delete the first keyframe. If you don't want the triangle and right now we are morphing from Twitter instantly to Facebook. Well the Twitter is a bit too small and the Facebook is a bit too big. It would be also fairly simple by having this second layer selected. Maybe delete the old one which I was making by hand. I pressed the key on the keyboard to open up the scale property. I put the keyframe exactly where the previous keyframe is from the path on Twitter and I simply make it a bit bigger. Well because the anchor point is here on the right it is moving to the left while making it bigger. So I need to press y on keyboard to use the pen behind tool or the Anhur point to I shift the anchor point just to be about in the middle of Twitter. And now I can scale it from inside to this position OK. Hit the shape player press you on the keyboard it will reveal all key frames which are set in this particular layer. I will go forward to the Facebook and I don't want this Facebook I can grow. So I simply make the scale back to 100 percent. OK what do we have now. We have a big Twitter icon morphing into a Facebook icon while maintaining its size. I think it should be a bit more on the top that this doesn't really matter. I just press the on the keyboard. So I have the selection. And I move it a bit towards the top. OK do I have the morphing right. Perfect. Right now it looks very good. Now let us go ahead and use the Pinterest icon. Well maybe we want to use another technique now. So I'll go for the interest. I import the dobi Illustrator file and I put it back here as I showed you previously. It's really simple to edit this Pinterest icon into vector. If we have the vector file here you discard layer and go to create shapes from Vector layer boom. And we have the new shape. Well how do we copy information from this shape into the next shape. Well this is very very easy to open up the same content group path and we have this path. Now Sadequee from anywhere you want because now I must remember that this little keyframe holds informations about the shape to form it into an interest. I can so if I Control-C this little keyframe I select this path from the second layer and I paste it here. It to paste the informations about the interests shape here. I just have to again reposition them if you have any troubles with repositioning just hit control or command are to open up the rulers create a little guide for yourself. Just hold here on the side put a few rulers this is about the middle of the morphing I want to perform let me delete the Penders and that's preview what happens. Well OK. I was a bit wrong. The middle was here about here. Let people defect. All right. Facebook is very nice. Pinterest is a bit of but that's no problem. I just click it here. I positioned it properly. I think I will also set the frame for the scale. Just in case maybe the Pinterest is a bit too big and that me preview the effect. Now I press space Well it's going a bit slow. It's morphing a bit weird but that's no problem. Will adjust that in a few moments. All right what do I notice that they are morphing to quick. So what you can do. You can copy this keyframe move forward. Paste this key for from again here and between those keyframes nothing is happening. We have the Facebook icon and only the scale is changing. So we also have to copy the scale into the same exact position. So we have no movement at all and we are ready to go. Let's preview the effect. It's morphing the first time its thing is Facebook it's morphing the second time and we are ready. OK. Right now we have learned how to move from one shape to another. Before you jump into the work on your own I want to show you something really important not only about this morphing but about every motion graphic work and overall graphical design. You will be doing in the future. There is really something important you need to know about the first vortex which will really improve you as a designer to find out what it is. Please head over to the next lesson and stay tuned.