After Effects CC 2020: How To Use The Anchor Point

Description:
This tutorial will show you how to use the Anchor Point in Adobe After Effects CC 2020. The anchor point is what a layer uses a reference point to scale or rotate from.

Topics Covered:

  1. How To Move the Anchor Point without moving layer
  2. How To Center the Anchor Point using a keyboard shortcut
  3. How to change Preferences to center anchor point in New Shape Layers


What is the Anchor Point?
The reference point that layers or objects use to rotate, scale or move around.

Keyboard Shortcuts:

  1. Pan Behind Tool: Y
  2. Shape Tool: Q
  3. Selection Tool: V
  4. Rotation Property: R
  5. Center Anchor Point: 
    1. Cmd/Ctrl + Double-Click on Pan Behind Tool Icon (Easy Way)
    2. Cmd/Ctrl + Home (Center of Composition)
    3. Cmd/Ctrl + Option/Alt + Home (Center of Layer)
  1.  
  2. Cmd/Ctrl + Option/Alt + Home (Center of Layer)

 

Chapters:
00:05 Introduction: Topics covered in the tutorial   
00:23 What exactly is the Anchor Point?
00:41 Create a Shape Layer (rectangle)
01:09 How To Move Anchor Point without moving Shape Layer   
01:25 Smart Guides
01:31 Keyboard Shortcut: How To Move Anchor Point to Center
02:08 Shape Layers: How To Set Anchor Point To Always Center

Software Used:
Adobe After Effects CC 2020 (Click To Try or Buy)

How To Create A Shape Layer

  1. Click on Shape Tool (Q)
  2. Select Rectangle
  3. Drag out a shape (press Shift Key for a perfect square)
  4. Click on Fill & Stroke Colors to set colors or turn off 
  5. If you click on Selection Tool (V) and try to move the Anchor Point, the Shape Layer will also move. (See next step below on how to move Anchor Point)

How To Move the Anchor Point without moving layer

  1. Select the Pan Behind Tool (Keyboard Shortcut: Y)
  2. Click and Drag Anchor Point around and use smart guides to line up

How To Center the Anchor Point using a keyboard shortcut

  1. Press the CMD Key (Mac) and double-click on the Pan Behind Tool

How to change Preferences to center anchor point in New Shape Layers

  1. Click on After Effects in top-menu
  2. Click on Preferences
  3. Click on General
  4. Check the box for ‘Center Anchor Point in New Shape Layers’
  5. Click OK

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