The trim path is a feature in After Effects that I used the most to create animated stroke, hand drawn animated text, animated loading bar and a lot more… The After Effects trim path allow you to customize and animate a vector path. In this tutorial I will demonstrate how to create a trim path, animate it and customize the trim path to your need. Finally I also give you some goodies like the After Effects project source files so you can use it or see how I have created the trim path animation.

Now let’s get straight to it

Where is the trim paths located in After Effects?

In After Effects the trim path can be found in any shape layer properties under the Add: drop down menu.

Follow these steps to reach the trim path menu options

  1. Create a composition
  2. Create a shape layer
  3. On the timeline expand your shape layer, then in front of content you will see Add: click on the arrow
  4. You should now see the menu, just click on trim paths
    trim path menu
  5. Now you should see the trim path properties

Things you should know

The trim path effect is only available for shapes layer, converted text to shape layer and converted Illustrator file. The trim path effect menu wont show up if you use solid or images.

How to use the trim paths in After Effects?

Now that you know how to reach the trim paths menu, let’s create a simple animation with it.

  1. Create a composition – 1920×1080
  2. Type a text like below
  3. Click on the shape rectangle tool and make sure you fill is empty and stroke is at 19px
  4. Now draw a rectangle around the text like the example below