How To Open Shape & Mask Paths in Adobe After Effects

Here is a quick and useful tip that you might already know. Let’s say you are drawing a shape in After Effects.

Drawing a shape in After Effects with pen tool

Then you close your shape.

Close shape in After Effects

But then you are like, oh man I did not mean to close it. So the big question is now how do I open it back up?

You can continue to drag on it but that is not going to do it. So what you need to do is to select 2 points that you want to open.

Select two points that you need to open in After Effects shape

Two selected points in After Effects

Right-click and go to Mask and Shape Path and make sure you click on Closed.

Mask and Shape Paths closed in After Effects

When you click on Closed, it is going to open the shape back up.

Open two points in After Effects

Select the point that you want to keep drawing with.

Select the point you want to draw with in After Effects

Selected drawing point in After Effects

Now you can continue adding more points with the Pen tool and then connect it again.

Keep drawing with pen tool in After Effects
That simple! I hope you found this tip useful!

About the author:

Sergei Prokhnevskiy

Sergei Prokhnevskiy is a Charlotte, NC based motion graphics designer, an online tutor, an entrepreneur, and Adobe MAX Master Speaker. Sergei is known for his quick and practical After Effects tips and tricks on YouTube, where he generated well over 6 million views on his tutorials. He has authored an online video course on After Effects Expressions and developed scripts for After Effects. He is also a former senior motion graphics designer at Fox Sports where he worked on graphics for NFL, Super Bowl, MLB, World Series, College Football, NASCAR, Women’s World Cup, and NASCAR Race Hub. He is very passionate about learning and teaching others.


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