How to Center the Anchor Point in After Effects

Updated on: September 29, 2022

To make really eye-friendly compositions in After Effects it is important to take care of the proportions of your objects, the way you arrange the shapes within your canvas, and the settings you use to animate them.

One of the main tools After Effects uses to make your objects have the motion and location you want is the Anchor Point. Have you noticed that small circle in the middle of the screen of your composition?

Well, that's the Anchor Point: a sort of pin that fixes each element of a selected layer to move them around its own. 

However, when working with shapes, you may notice the anchor point is in the middle of the composition but not in the middle of your object, and this can be a bit of a problem. That's why we'll show you how to center the anchor point in After Effects, depending on the elements in your project.

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How to change the location of the anchor point and center it according to shapes

  1. Go to the After Effects main menu and click on Edit.
  2. Select Preferences.
  3. Click on General.
  4. When the window opens, look at all the options. If the Center Anchor Point in New Shape Layers option is unchecked, check it.
  5. Hit Ok.
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Once you have done the above steps, activate the shape tool (Q) and create one in your composition. You will see how the Anchor Point relocates to the middle of each shape you create. That will allow that if you need to rotate your shapes they can move around their exact center.

If you don't have the latest software version and can't find the Preferences option in the Edit menu, look for this button in the same bar, but in the After Effects option.

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Andrea Mercado is a tech-focused journalist and copywriter with over 5 years of experience covering innovation, edtech, AI, and internet trends across media outlets. She is passionate about how technology can democratize access to education and is an avid learner when it comes to emerging tech like AI. Her articles and webinars help readers stay informed on the latest tech developments.
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