Where is Trim Paths in Adobe After Effects? It seems like a simple question yet it appears to be one which, on the Adobe support forums at least and in the Adobe help docs, does not have a straight answer. So let’s give you that straight answer right now.

Where is Trim Paths in Adobe After Effects?

Trim Paths is found within the Shape Attributes, accessed via the Add fly-out menu on any shape layer in Adobe After Effects.

  1. To find Trim Paths, the first step is to add a shape layer:
    e.g. from the top menu, choose Layer > New > Shape Layer.
  2. For the sake of testing, draw a rectangle shape on the shape layer. In practise it can be any polygon, line or path.
  3. Now with your shape still selected, either:
    1. choose Add on the tools menu (next to Fill and Stroke), or
    2. in the Timeline panel, expand the properties of the shape layer and next to Content, choose Add.
  4. This allows access to various attributes of the shape layer, including Trim Paths. From the Add fly-out, choose Trim Paths.

Where is Trim Paths in Adobe After Effects

What is Trim Paths?

The reason you may well want to access this is that Trim Paths is a rather nifty feature that allows you to animate the start, end and offset of a path (i.e. a line or shape). So for example, a shape can appear to be drawn on screen, or a route could be animated on a map. You can read more about Trim Paths and other attributes of shape layers in the official Adobe documentation.

Further resources on Trim Paths

Aharon Rabinowitz at Creative Cow created a Trim Paths map route tutorial illustrating the use of Trim Paths to animate a route on a map.

Ideas for Trim Paths applications at Premium Beat.

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