Hi, I am very new to AE! What I'm trying to do is trace the line of a drawing that was done in illustrator. I converted the layer into a shape but within the shape are 25 different groups that I put into one larger group (side note: I don't know what a group is versus a shape). I'd guess I need to fix something within the groups because the trim path tool won't even move along any portion of the line? In all honesty, I am not even sure if converting the layer into a shape added paths. I need to learn how to do this for an assignment, but I am starting at level zero with After Effects and am so lost!!
In order to see the Trim Paths in action you must add a Stroke thickness, I only see the path but I don't see Stroke, give it more thickness and have a test modifying the start and end parameters of the Trim Paths. If you don't want so many groups, try to have a single complete path from Illustrator, not several pieces of paths.
If the number of groups is alright then I don't mind, but I'm not sure what to do about the stroke thickness. When I add anything from 10 to 100 px nothing changes. I'm not sure if I'm adding it in the wrong way, if I should be doing anything with the keyframes, or maybe the contents are out of order? My apologies I don't quite know where everything is in the program yet.
It looks like you want to just apply Trim Paths to the outlines of the face. If that is the case your Illustrator document should have all of the lines you want to reveal on a separate layer and there should be no brushes applied to any paths and no fills. Just a simple stroke.
When you import as a comp you should only convert the layer with the paths you want to animate to a shape layer. When you convert a vector path to a shape layer you can end up with a lot of extra junk in the layer that is not needed. If you start by pressing 'uu' and looking for a way to simplify things. If all you want is to animate a stroke and the stroke is the same size and color for every path you can eliminate everything but the paths and the stroke.
I see this kind of question fairly often so I threw together a very quick tutorial on the process.
There is nothing preventing you from adding a separate new stroke for one or more of the paths, adding individual Trim Paths or making groups, but most of the time, just eliminating everything but the paths, one stroke and adding a shape layer animator like Trim Paths is all that is necessary.
I followed everything in the tutorial but still, nothing is showing up. No stroke ever comes up after I put in the keyframes for the trim path tool
Solo the layer, make sure the stroke is below Trim Paths. Your screenshots show Vector layers above the outlines. They may be blocking the layer you are trying to animate. If it is still not working you need to post a screenshot with the modified properties of the layer revealed. Select the soloed layer, press uu, and show us what you have got.
Spend some time in the Learn workspace and spend some time with the User Guide. There are some basic tutorials on basic workflows you should check out.
I'm not sure what to do about the vector above the outline, but this is the layer right now
What happens if you solo the layer?
I could tell a lot more if he screenshot wasn't cropped.
Nothing shows up. It's just a blank screen.
My previous screenshot is as much as I could fit onto my computer screen length-wise
Let's go back to the source of the problem. Try this:
The goal is one group with 1 stroke. All that is left is to add Tim Paths and select the sequential option The stroke should be below Trim Paths. In the end, your timeline should look like this:
If you want some paths to animate on at the same time, group the paths by selecting them and using the Group shortcut, then arrange them so all the groups, trim paths, and strokes are under contents and not nested in another group.
If this does not work, share the AI file and let me take a look.