I often make animations in After Effects that use vector resources made in Illustrator.

Often times, I need as much accuracy as I can get, to align anchor points to the center of rotating elements for example.

However, when I zoom further than 100% in my After Effects timeline, vector assets get pixelated.

I do understand that it is After Effect's way of showing the user what the result will look like, however, this seems to defeat the purpose of using vectors and the precision they can add to a workflow.

Here's an example:

I made a dot in the middle of the helix to be able to align the anchor point to the middle and then rotate it endlessly without axis shift (yes it's very tiny):

enter image description here

But in After Effects, aligning the Anchor Point to the red dot is very imprecise even at 800%:

enter image description here

One way would be obviously to scale up and start projects at 1000% of final size - which, for computer memory and time reasons I would only do in last resort.

How do I get precise zoom on vectors in After Effects?

1 Answer 1


Don’t zoom in on your display to do this. Adjust the scale on the layer to zoom in further. If the sun icon is enabled on the layer, you will get sharp edges as you scale up. Then position your anchors accordingly and scale back down if necessary.

Zooming in on the display will only show you pixel level accuracy for the resolution of your comp, so if you comp is HD you will never see higher resolution than 1920x1080, as that is the resolution at which the comp will be rendered.

  • Thanks, I thought that if I did this I would lose the alignment when scaling back down. I'll have to try it. Was hoping there was a way to turn off the pixel-accurate preview the way you can turn it off in AI. Commented Apr 17, 2019 at 18:31

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