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Exploring other Pen tool changes

From: After Effects CS6 New Features

Video: Exploring other Pen tool changes

As long as we are here, I want to point out a couple of other subtle but significant changes to the way the Pen tool works. One is, previously tapping G rotated through all of these tools; now the default behavior is G toggles just between Pen and Feather. So if I release, make sure my mask is selected, type G, you'll see Pen tool, Feather tool. Pen tool, Feather tool. A lot of users are finding that's all they need. If you happen to miss going through all those tools, you can indeed set a preference to get that back.

Exploring other Pen tool changes

As long as we are here, I want to point out a couple of other subtle but significant changes to the way the Pen tool works. One is, previously tapping G rotated through all of these tools; now the default behavior is G toggles just between Pen and Feather. So if I release, make sure my mask is selected, type G, you'll see Pen tool, Feather tool. Pen tool, Feather tool. A lot of users are finding that's all they need. If you happen to miss going through all those tools, you can indeed set a preference to get that back.

Go to General, Disable Pen Tool Shortcut Toggles Between Pen and Mask Feather tools, OK, and you'll see that this menu has now changed to where G cycles through all of these tools. G, G, G, G, G. In either mode, the Adobe team has made another change to the way that Pen tool works. Normally, if you had the Pen tool selected and you hovered it over a line where there is no vertex, you'll get a plus symbol, indicating you can add a vertex. And if you hovered it over a point, you get a minus sign.

People were forever going to click and pick up a mask point and deleting it instead. It drove a lot of users crazy. Well they've taken that behavior away inside After Effects CS6. Now, it behaves the way you expect. You can just move a mask point. If you want to do something different with that mask point, you can hold down the Command key on Mac, Ctrl key on Windows to delete a point, or hold down the Option key on Mac, Alt key on Windows to get the Change Direction tool and get your Bezier Handles back.

And Option clicking on one of those points breaks the handles. I'll undo and undo.

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After Effects CS6 New Features

31 video lessons · 11774 viewers

Chris Meyer
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