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I'm fairly new to AE and I'm having some issues centering different shape elements.

I've been using the Cmd+double click the Pan Behind tool to center the anchor point on circle and rectangle shapes but but it doesn't work the same with straight strokes. So how do I center the anchor point to the center of a straight stroke's path?

Thank you!

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  • It's not just straight strokes, it's any freehand stroke – stib Oct 3 '16 at 2:29
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There isn't really a good way of doing this. But there is a way of doing it.

With the stroke on its own layer, from the align pallet centre the layer to the composition horizontally and vertically.

Now copy the layer's current position value. Then right-click the position property and choose reset,

Go the stroke's anchor point value (not the layer anchor point but the one inside Contents>shape1>Transform: Shape1.

Paste the original position value there, then click on the individual property values and subtract the value there from half the size of the comp (in other words whatever the position property is now). So if the comp is 1920×1080 and the copied value was [999,123] you'd type 960 - 999 in the x channel and 540 - 123 in the y channel.

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  • I guess the easiest way is to have any single strokes on their own shape layer and use the layer transform adjustments. Thank you! – Alaska Oct 4 '16 at 8:34
  • Yesp. You could copy therm back to the other shape layer once you'd adjusted their transforms. I always feel that Adobe kinda messed up with the way shape layers work, it's always a bit messy. – stib Oct 5 '16 at 0:29
  • Oh and I was going to say “I wish they'd made it like Illustrator”, which reminded me—a workaround for complex shapes is to do them in Illustrator, bring them in and convert them to shape layers, since AI has much better tools for the job. – stib Oct 5 '16 at 0:54

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