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yoni bendor

merging Illustrator paths / AE masks?

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I'm wondering how do you guys manage to create a SINGLE path out of a text, I'm trying to achieve some 3dstroke effect around text and when I expand the text in illustrator and paste it in AE i get alot of masks, is there a way to combine it so I'll have just one MERGED path / mask of all letters (I dont mind if it'll connect some anchor points!)

Thanks a lot


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Not sure, could outline your text in Illustrator then tweak it with the pen tools. Or trace it in Illustrator. I'd find it a bit fiddly to trace with the pen tool in After Effects although it's completely do-able.

Could even use auto trace....

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Make sure you really only have one path. A Compound Path is not one path.

That means that you can't have any holes in your shape. You might think that his @ has holes but it doesn't.

Also, notice that the way he did this is that he used a line so that everything is connected.




(Keep your layers palette open and watch what happens)

* If the text in your logo is actual text, go into Type->Create Outlines.

(You end up with a Group of Compound Paths)


* If you have a line with a stroke or Brush Stroke (like in his example), select it and Object->Path->Outline Stroke

(You end up with a Group with your Outlined Stroke)


* Select all the groups. Open up your Pathfinder window. Click the Add to Shape Area button.

(You should have a Compound Path with multiple Compound Shape within it)


* Select the Compound Shape (it should already be selected). Object->Expand Appearance.

(You should have a group with a single Compound Path)


* While it's still selected: Object->Compound Path->Release. You should have a group with normal paths. Chances are that the one you want is at the bottom of the group. You could simply take it out of there and place somewhere else.

If you're feeling lazy, another Ungroup, PathfinderAddToShape, Expand Appearance and Ungroup and you should be set.


Chances are that there are simpler ways, but this one works for me. The number of Ungroup, Pathfinder, Expand repetitions can vary.


I hope this helps.




For the quick, non-scientific method, make sure everything is outlined. Then, keep hitting Add and Expand until it says <path> in your layers palette.




*edit 2* If my @ comment left you wondering, you could always make it look like there are holes. For instance, you could do something like this...


You might need to retime it because it will spend a lot more time going around the m than if it was just going around the two humps(?).

Basically, if you could make a one-piece stencil out of it, it will work.

Edited by isotrope

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