So I've been following this video to try to animate handlettering: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhYpkKxAzSU&t=141s
I import an illustrator file into after effects, and when I select the layers of the image and create shapes from vector layer, I cannot fill in the new outlines layer. I've been stuck on this problem for a while and cannot for the life of me figure out what's going wrong.
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If your original Illustrator artwork didn't have a fill value, you may need to add one in After Effects after the conversion.
1. Select the group(s)
2. From the fly out menu, ADD Fill
3. With all of those fills selected, you can change the colors at once.
I took a look at the tutorial and it demonstrates one of the least efficient ways to do this kind of animation that I can think of. If you wanted an example of a time-wasting technique this would be a good one to choose. You should spend some time vetting your trainers.
The first problem with the workflow: If you set your color in Illustrator there is no need to create shapes from vector layers. In fact, there is no advantage to doing so at all unless you are going to directly animate the path of the vector layer or use Shape Layer animators. That's the first waste of time. If you have applied some fancy gradients or other effects to your artwork to make it special you'll loose all of that when you convert vector paths to shapes.
Second time-waster: Drawing mask paths in AE when they can be done in AI a lot faster and more accurately. For a lot of artwork you can do it nearly automatically. Draw a centerline path for each letter or part of a letter you want to 'write on' in using the tools in AI and put those layers on a separate layer you can efficiently use the Convert Vector layers to shapes and then add Trim Paths to animate the matte. It's about half the work of adding Stroke to a mask path on a shape layer that you draw in AE and a lot easier to control. Saves a bunch of mouse clicks.
I could go on.
Let's get back to solving your problem. Select the shape layers that were created and press the U key twice. This will show you all of the properties of that layer that have been modified. I use uu all the time in every animation I do to get right too the things I need to edit in the timeline. If you do not see a Fill color then select the Path and use the little add button to the right of the Switches/Modes column at the top to add a stroke. If you do not see a path then your Illustrator file is fouled up.
If you do see a fill color you can hold down the Ctrl/Cmnd key and shift select every one of the properties on every layer you want to change or just select all of the layers without a fill and use the options that show up when you select the Pen tool - shape not mask - in the toolbar. You can add or change the fill in every selected shape layer with the toolbar. That is at least one point the trainer almost explained well enough, the difference between drawing masks and shapes with the pen tool.
An AI file and Comp set up this way would look like this after the layer with the stroke was converted to a shape layer and trim paths and track matte were applied. An easier, faster more efficient way of doing things.
Rick, I found a better solution and posted it below.
I FOUND THE ANSWER.
First convert the .Ai layer into a Comp (Create -> Convert to Layer Comp). Then double-click on the Comp and Create -> Create Shapes from Vector Latyer. And now you have the fills that show up in your new Comp layer.
This guy solved it:
Also I forgot to mention, I created separate layers for each shape in my illustrator file vs. keeping them all under one layer.
Same issue here btw: