How can I fill a shape, with an image in After effects?

For example, something like this: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bc/Europe_flags.png

I found an answer somewhere that I need to create two layers, and texture layer to parent the shape layer, and use alpha matte. I cannot find alpha matte in my AE CC. but that does not seem to work

Any link to tutorial will be accepted.

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    What do you mean you cannot find the alpha matte option? Are you saying you don't have it or simply can't find it? Can you see the matte drop-down list on your layer? If not, you'll have to right click on the column bar at the top and set 'modes' or 'matte' to visible. See: helpx.adobe.com/after-effects/using/… Commented Dec 15, 2014 at 14:25
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    Also, depending on how you want to use the image with the shape, for example if you want the shape to move with the image, then you'll want to use tomh's method. However if you want the shape to act like a peephole through which you see the image, and moving the shape changes what part of the image you see, then you can use either the luma or alpha matte options. Commented Dec 15, 2014 at 14:28

1 Answer 1


If what you want to have as an end result is a flag texture inside a non-standard shape, can I suggest instead that you import the flag texture, and use a matte to change its shape? If you've already created a shape that you want to use, you could convert it into your matte by adding a key frame to the matte's path control, adding a keyframe to the shape, copying that key frame, and then pasting the key frame over the matte's path keyframe. This is probably easier than using unnecessary alpha channels etc.

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