Education, RocketStock

Create Dynamic Transitions by Morphing Shapes in After Effects


Do you have some logos or graphics that you want to morph into each other? Find out how to pull this off in After Effects with this simple technique.

Sometimes, a quick dissolve won’t do the trick when transitioning from one graphic to another. Interesting transitions are one of those small additions that can change your video from good to great. One of those interesting transitions is, of course, the Star Wipe! (Just kidding.)

When working with different shapes for a motion infographic or a logo reveal, morphing from one shape to another can be extremely useful — and very easy to do.  Let’s take a quick look into how you can use this transition in your next project with Jason Boone of PremiumBeat.

Import Your Shapes and Create a Solid Layer

Create Dynamic Transitions by Morphing Shapes in After Effects — Import Shapes

Your first step is going to be importing the assets that will morph into one another. In this example, Boone uses four different states for an infographic. These can be PNGs or Illustrator files — even Photoshop documents. Once you import them, create a new solid layer the size of the composition. Color it in any way you like — this will be the color in the final composition. Make sure to place it in the bottom of your comp so that your assets will be on top.

Using the Autotrace Feature

Create Dynamic Transitions by Morphing Shapes in After Effects — Autotrace Feature

Select the graphic that you want the sequence to start with, and unclick the eye icon on the others. Instead of painstakingly trying to create a mask using the pin tool, there is a nifty little tool called “Autotrace.” This will automatically create a mask in the shape of your selected layer. To do this, simply select Layer > Autotrace from the toolbar. In the dialogue box, keep the default settings — no need to change anything. After you apply the effect, the program will automatically add a mask to your selected layer.

Copying and Pasting the Mask Paths For Each Graphic

Create Dynamic Transitions by Morphing Shapes in After Effects — Mask Paths

Once you have your mask, you can get into the actual animation portion of the effect. Go into the settings of the mask you just made, and copy the mask path attributes with Command/Ctrl+C. Now paste that mask path onto your solid layer. It should conform the composition-sized solid into the shape of your mask (as long as your mask is set to “Add”). Now you can delete the original graphic.

All you have to do now is repeat this process for the rest of your shapes. Copy and paste their masks onto the shape layer at different points on your timeline. It may seem rigid when you have all of the paths animated, so add Easy Ease to your keyframes by going to Animation > Keyframe Assistant > Easy Ease. 

Still not enough? Open up your graph editor and adjust the speed values from there until you get the result you want.