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Convert a shape path to a mask path

Explorer ,
Feb 05, 2016 Feb 05, 2016

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This is a question which has been asked before, but as far as I can see, hasn't been answered satisfactorily.

So i have a rectangle that I have drawn in a shape layer, and I want to stroke this using the stroke effect, as I need to scale the shape and I've found that the standard stroke within a shape layer scales when you transform the layer

But, with it being a shape path, and a parametric shape path at that, I can't copy/paste that shape as a mask.

At this point, @Todd_Kopriva  

usually pops up to copy/paste the following:



"command for converting a parametric shape layer path to a Bezier path:

You can convert a parametric path to a Bezier path after the parametric path has already been created by context-clicking (right-clicking or Control-clicking on Mac OS) the property group for the parametric path (e.g., Rectangle Path 1) and choosing the Convert To Bezier Path command from the context menu. If the parametric path is animated (keyframed), the converted Bezier path is a static path based on the parametric path at the current time; keyframes are lost."

Which does indeed convert the path, as far as I can see, but unfortunately that does not seem to help me move that path into a mask layers

Any ideas?


PS does anyone else have a really weird issue with this forum where you'll be writing a response and suddenly find your karat/cursor has jumped up a couple of lines and you've type half a response at the end of a previous line?

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Community Professional , Feb 05, 2016 Feb 05, 2016
I've gone through this dozens of times on this forum. To guarantee success you need to set a keyframe. Here goes: Select your Shape (Rectangle 1) and right click and select convert to Bezier Path Open the Rectangle 1 path and set a keyframe Copy Select the layer that you want to add a mask to Choose the pen tool Click anywhere on the layer to set the first vertex If you are attempting to put a mask on a shape layer you must reset the Pen Tool to create a mask instead of a new shape before you se...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 05, 2016 Feb 05, 2016

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I've gone through this dozens of times on this forum. To guarantee success you need to set a keyframe. Here goes:

  1. Select your Shape (Rectangle 1) and right click and select convert to Bezier Path
  2. Open the Rectangle 1 path and set a keyframe
  3. Copy
  4. Select the layer that you want to add a mask to
  5. Choose the pen tool
  6. Click anywhere on the layer to set the first vertex
  7. If you are attempting to put a mask on a shape layer you must reset the Pen Tool to create a mask instead of a new shape before you set the first vertex
  8. Paste

That's it. Works every time. The only problem is that the layer you are adding the mask to must be at the default transformation position and the shape layer you copied from must also be at the default transformations. Do that and everything works every time.

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Explorer ,
Feb 05, 2016 Feb 05, 2016

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YES!

Thankyou this has been driving me mad all afternoon - the keyframe bit is the one missing piece of the puzzle..

However, there is one last thing for me to solve before I have a complete solution to this, and that's that the pasted mask is offset from the original.

I'm pasting within the same shape layer, and trying to figure out why this offset is happening - give it a go with a fresh comp, draw a rectangle, convert the path to a bezier, create a keyframe, copy the keyframe, create a point with the pen tool to create a mask,then ctrl+v to paste it. Weirdly, when I just tried it, the offset was in a different direction/amount to when I was trying to do it in my actual project.

Also, if I create the mask layer and click off it, (ie I pake the maske before I click the keyframe) I find that when I paste the keyframe it creates a new group with the shape, rather than copying the path to the mask. This seems to be the same no matter whether I have the path or the mask component selected.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 05, 2016 Feb 05, 2016

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The mask is offset from the original because path are drawn on layers using layer space but pasted using comp space. Select the layer you are coping from and press the U key twice. If any of the Transform properties show up like scale, rotation, position.. then you have to reset them so the layer is centered. Then select the layer you are going to past to and do the same. If everything is at the default position, scale and rotation the paths will match. If they are not then the paths won't. Simple as that.

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Explorer ,
Feb 05, 2016 Feb 05, 2016

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Ah yep got it - I think what is possibly confusing is that the origin for a new shape is in the centre of the composition, rather than the centre of the shape, which seems a bit weird..

Thanks for the help

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 05, 2016 Feb 05, 2016

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You can find everything that is not at the default values by selecting the layer and pressing the U key twice. Rectangle position is an important thing to check.

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Explorer ,
Feb 08, 2016 Feb 08, 2016

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Okay, like I say, the anchor point of the shape being at the centre of the comp regardless of where I've drawn the shape is what threw me.

Luckily, it seems they've not long implemented a hand way of resetting the anchor point to the centre of a shape:

favorite features in CC versions of After Effects: command for moving anchor point to center of cont...

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Explorer ,
Feb 08, 2016 Feb 08, 2016

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Hmmm actually that doesn't really solve what I'm trying to achieve here - If I use the above shortcut to move the origin to the center, the transform of the rectangle is not a 0,0.. This does not make sense to me..

So if I want to correct the transform of the path (in my mind, making a path on a shape should by default put it at 0,0 relative to the shape layer's position, I'd be grateful for an explanation of why it works this way), I need to change the transform of the path to 0,0 and then do the opposite transformation to the layer itself in order to move the path back to its original position... ...ugh...

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Engaged ,
Apr 18, 2019 Apr 18, 2019

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Hi Rick Gerard​​, thanks for the tips, I have an ellipse in my shape layer, when I right click on the Shape Layer (top level) or the Ellipse 1 I don't have an option for "Convert to Bezier Path". I copied the path Keyframe at any rate and that pasted into an Adjustment layer I want to use for masking, when I copy the second (end) keyframe with the differently sized and positioned ellipse it doesn't paste the new size and location into the adjustment layer. Bigger problem is after I manually create the second keyframe, it isn't masking the blur effect on the adjustment layer, the AL is bluring the entire image. I can get the mask to work when I use the pen tool to draw a random shape as per this tutorial: LINK

I'll try using a mask directly inside my photo image layer next. What I want to do would be heaps easier in a few other VFX programs I can think of.

Want to have a static photo image on bottom layer, then

1. generate a moving, resizing circle.

2. have a stroke on the circle (and maybe increase stroke thickness over time, not important) 
3. use the circle as an inverted mask to blur the Inverse of the circle shape (i.e. everything outside of it becomes blurred)
4. the blur radius increases over the animation.

5. 12 frame animation, should be so simple to set up.

Question: is it possible to parent the shape layer to a mask in the bottom photo layer, so if I change the circle position or scale at either stat or end keyframes, the blur matches perfectly?

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New Here ,
Jun 08, 2021 Jun 08, 2021

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LATEST

THANK YOU SO MUCH

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Explorer ,
Jun 01, 2018 Jun 01, 2018

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What do I right click on in step 1? Cannot find "convert to bezier path"

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New Here ,
Jul 26, 2018 Jul 26, 2018

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Your question is answered here

Where is the "Convert To Bezier Path" option?

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Enthusiast ,
Oct 03, 2018 Oct 03, 2018

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I know I'm just reviving a necro post here, but figured I'd post in the hopes of saving some other poor soul from this hassle.

The redefinery scripts have a ShapesToMask script that works like a charm. I'm not going to name names, here, but some people might even say that it handles the conversion exactly the way After Effects should have been doing it for the past, say, decade or so.

The rd: scripts are free for everyone, though they encourage an in-kind donation to charity, if you feel so inclined.

link:

redefinery.com: rd: scripts

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Engaged ,
Jan 09, 2020 Jan 09, 2020

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Good ProTip but - Used to use this all the time, in CC20 it renames every single mask "Path 1" which isn't great when you have a ton of masks. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 03, 2018 Oct 03, 2018

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Necro or not, I followed the instruction from Rick Gerard​ as I often do, and ended up with a rectangle with a stroke effect added and when I use the transform controls of the Shape layer, I can move and resize the rectangle and the mask moves with it and the stroke stays the same width which is what I was expecting.

However, I can't seem to grab any corners of the rectangle and/or mask get the rectangle shape along with the stroke to move together? What part am I missing? Do I then need to only work on the effects controls: IE I can't click and move it around?

tia

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 03, 2018 Oct 03, 2018

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Try using the pen tool and the Alt/Option and Ctrl/Cmnd key as modifiers. You just have to get the right tool up so you can select one point.

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New Here ,
Jan 23, 2020 Jan 23, 2020

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An easier way may be to use the pick whip. After converting to Bezier Path, Go to Layer > New Mask on the layer where you want your shape mask to go. Then, use the pic whip from this new mask and link it to the path (the converted path) from your shape layer. You don't need to set any key frames. But if you did have an animated shape, it will link to the information too.

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