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A Few Shape Presets for Adobe After Effects 8.0

. . . and a word about Shape Layers By Jean Hauptman

Parametric shapes are new to Adobe After Effects 8.0, and the jury is still out whether they will become integral to the motion graphics process, or are specialty du jour. Either way, it is good to have stars, and rounded rectangles within After Effects.  And most delightful, are the effects exclusive to Shape Layers, like Zigzag, Pucker and Bloat, Stroke and animating dashes.

A drawback of parametric shapes is there are no vertices to tweak. The plus is they are speedy to work with. Also, there are animation possibilities that you don't have with an Illustrator mask.

Just remember, your Shape Layer is not a mask on a solid, so don't be surprised when a few filters like Scribble won't work.

These presets were made using the Star shape (see thumbnails below).

I also included two presets for the Boris BCC Rays filter. BCC Rays generates beautiful and complex stars and radials. It is elegant to work with, and you can apply it right on a shape layer. You won't be able to apply shape layer effects to your BCC Ray, but you can apply BCC effects to a Shape Layer. (For a neat effect, try the new BCC LED filter on a Shape Layer Star)

How to apply the Shape Layer presets

1.  If you don't have the beta After Effects 8.0 installed, download it here

2. Download the Star presets folder (star presets.zip)

3.  Drag the Star Presets folder into the AE 8.0 presets folder


4.  Open AE 8.0, and make a new shape layer by going to the top Menu
Layer > New > Shape Layer

5.  Apply the desired preset to the Shape Layer

**** To learn more about parametric shapes and shape layers, check the After Effects 8.0 Help section.

To correctly SAVE a Shape Layer preset, highlight ONLY Contents and Transform.
Even if the preset is animating DO NOT highlight any keyframes.

Draw on Splat



Radial beams









Vampire doily







Vampire doily


Snowflake 1



Snowflake 2




Simple flower


Liquid Star

Gothic flake








Simple Flake

Boris BCC Rays 1

Boris BCC Rays 2

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Jean Hauptman has worked with Adobe Effects for 12 years, and recently received Gold and Silver BDA awards. She has written for a number of industry magazines.
Related Keywords:after effects, motion graphics,


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