Learning Paths

Automating Keyframe Animations in After Effects (part 2)

Continuing our guide to Animating with Keyframes using automated techniques, in this part we are looking at using Paths to animate Properties.


Step 1: Create a Path

Using the Pen tool, create a Mask Path on a Background layer of your choice.

Step 2: Copy the Path

Once created, open the Mask (press M). Select the Property “Mask Path” and Copy it (COMMAND-C).


Step 3: Add a Text Layer

Select the Text Tool and add some text to the Comp. Press P to open the Position property.

Paste the copied Mask Path onto the Text Layer’s Position property.

Play the Animation to see the text follow the Path drawn in Step 1.

Step 4: Add a second Path

Select the Background layer and draw a second Path, that makes a different shape. Select the Mask Path property and copy it.

Move the CTI further along the Timeline and paste this new make into the Text Layer’s Position Property.

The new Keyframes will be appended to the existing animation.

Step 5: Add more Layers to Animate.

Add more content to other layers, such as more text. Use the CTI position to decide where the animation of each layer should begin, and paste the same Mask Paths onto each layers Position property.

This is a simple but effective way of creating complex repeating animation on multiple layers.