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Old July 24th, 2006, 05:36 AM   #1
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Problem pasting Illustrator path in after effects as a mask

I am working my way through The After Effects Bible and have come across a frustrating stumbling block. I am followingan excercise where an Illustrator path can be pasted directly into an after effects layer window and be used as a mask. The thing is after effects won't allow me to paste my illustrator path.

i know this is a pretty specific problem but does anyone have any idea why it won't let me? Is there a prference box I need to tick or something?

Last edited by Daniel Stevenson; July 24th, 2006 at 08:22 AM.
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Old July 25th, 2006, 05:15 PM   #2
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You need to have the layer window active (not the comp window - try double clicking on a layer to open the Layer Window) and have a mask selected in order for AE to know where to paste that path. Try creating a new mask, selecting all the points on the entire mask, then paste. The new values from the Illustrator path should overwrite the previous points, assuming you have a proper closed path in Illustrator.
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Old July 27th, 2006, 02:13 AM   #3
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Thanks scott but it still won't work


The layer window is open and selected (the layer is a solid)

I selected the mask with the selection tool (black arrow)

Copied my outlined letter from illustrator (I have tried with a bezier closed path too)

tried to paste in layer window, but it won't - paste is greyed out in the edit menu too

Anything else I can try?
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Old July 27th, 2006, 03:31 PM   #4
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Sorry, there's a gotcha in there I forgot to mention (I actally didn't know about it until I read the AE Help file).

From the AE Help File:

"To import an Adobe Illustrator path as a mask:

In Adobe Illustrator, create your path, select all of the points along the path, and then choose Edit > Copy.
In After Effects, open the Layer window for the layer into which you want to import the path.
Choose Edit > Paste.

Important: You must select the AICB option in the Files & Clipboard section of the Adobe Illustrator Preferences dialog box for this method to work."

I guess when they say "Important", they're serious. Next time, I'll RTFM. BTW, I was using Illustrator CS and AE 6.5, if that makes any difference. It works like a charm, now. You don't even need to have a mask selected. As soon as you hit paste in the Layer Window, it creates a new mask in the right shape, all edit-able vector goodness.
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Old July 27th, 2006, 06:05 PM   #5
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Scott you're a champion - it worked! I think it would have been a while before i worked that one out. Thanks heaps.
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