Compatibility After Effects Please check exact version compatibility under the "COMPATIBILITY" tab below
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Motion designers love ★ Shape layers... and so do I :)
It's fully vector based and offers nice procedural workflows thanks to the rectangle/circle/polygon base shapes and powerful animators (Repeater, Merge...).
Plus, it even supports bezier path as well, so the possibilities are almost limitless.
But knowing how to combine them correctly can be tedious for new After Effects users. Moreover, being forced to add these animators manually, and having to twirl down every content groups in order to tweak them to achieve the desired effect can be pretty boring and time consuming...
easyShape FX !
easyShape FX is a simple yet useful toolset for AfterEffects that allows you to apply some cool effects to a selected Shape layer by clicking one of the following icon button :
Applies a mirror effect to the selected shape layer (horizontal by default) ;
Hold down SHIFT while clicking this button if you prefer a vertical mirror effect, or SHIFT+ALT if you want both axis to be mirrored
The axis can be checked on/off and animated thanks to 2 checkboxes (one for each axis) in the easyShape FX - Symmetry effect.
Applies an organic blobby effect to the selected shape layer (based on an original idea from Matthieu Wlazinski from Motion Cafe, the creator of TextEvo !) ; Just play with the Blobbiness slider in the Metaball FX and adjust the Shrink / Grow value if needed.
Please note that you'll end up with an additionnal Fill color in Shape Layer's content, that you can tweak directly in the easyShape FX - Metaball effect.
- Radial Array
Duplicates the design grouped in the selected Shape Layer and arranges the instances on a ring shape. You can then tweak this ring's Radius, Axis and Angle of completion.
A sub-group called 'Per Step Transform' gives you the ability to tweak the Repeater transform properties without leaving the Effect panel so you won't have to twirl down the Shape Layer's content sub-groups at all. By playing with these values - especially with the Per Step Scale - , in conjunction with the Instances Count and Angle of Completion, you can even create some cool spiral effects !
Please note that it will group all the content of your selected Shape Layer.
- Linear Cloner
Duplicates the content of the selected Shape Layer and arranges the instances on a simple line. You can then tweak the number of instances with the Clones Count slider, and choose if you prefer your layer to be centered on the first clone or on the middle average of them, by ticking the Center Clones checkbox on/off.
A sub-group called 'Per Step Transform' gives you the ability to tweak the Repeater transform properties without leaving the Effect panel so you won't have to twirl down the Shape Layer's content sub-groups at all. For example, you'll be able to change the gap between the clones by tweakin the Per Step Position on the X axis ; or your can adjust its Y axis value to create some vertical or even diagonal arrangements as well.
Keep in mind that this is just a standard, native, Shape Layer Repeater animator, so don't be afraid to remove the expressions and tweak them manually :)
- Grid Cloner
Duplicates the content of the selected Shape Layer and arranges the instances in a geometric grid. This is usually easier to tweak this one compared to the Linear Cloner, because you won't have to play with some Per Step Transform properties ! Just play with the 2 X/Y Clones Count sliders and adjust the Gap for both axis, in order to achieve the desired effect. Again, this feature just use a standard, native Repeater animators (twice this time, one Repeater for each axis), so don't be afraid to remove the expressions in the Shape Layer's content and tweak them manually :)
Please keep in mind that you won't be able to apply an easyShape FX' effect more than once on a same Shape layer ! If you try to click on a tool's button (let say the 'Symmetry FX' for example) while your selected Shape Layer has already this same effect being applied to it (it has already an 'easyShape - Symmetry FX' effect on it in our example), a message will pop up in order to warn you about that and the effect won't be applied.
Moreover, you can't apply the effects to several selected Shape layers ; you'll have to select and apply them one by one so please select only a single Shape layer before clicking any of the UI buttons !
Use the aescript and plugins manager or copy and paste both the easyShapeFX.jsx file AND the easyShapeFXassets folder into your Adobe After Effects' Scripts > ScriptsUI Panels folder.
The toolset works on PC and MAC, and is compatible with After Effects CS6 (with a few limitations, as explained below) and CC+.
Note to CS6 users :
The effects created by the easyShape FX effect will appear as "missing effects" eash time you apply one of the presets, but don't worry, this is just a cosmetic error, all the features will work perfectly otherwise !
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