How To Use Brush In Adobe After Effects

Adobe After Effects is a robust application utilized by video editors, graphic designers, and animators to produce and merge dynamic visuals for movies, TV, or the internet. It offers an array of tools and functions to assist in creating top-notch special effects. Among these tools is the Brush Tool, which permits users to directly paint on layers. Let’s discover the efficient use of this tool.

1. Selecting the Brush Tool

The first step is to select the Brush Tool from the toolbar. If you can’t find it, click and hold the cursor on the tools until you find the Brush Tool. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut B to select the Brush Tool quickly.

2. Setting Up the Brush

Once the Brush Tool is selected, you can adjust its properties in the Paint panel. You can change the brush size, hardness, angle, roundness, and even choose different brush types according to your needs. You may also adjust the brush color from the Colors Panel.

3. Painting with the Brush Tool

To paint with the Brush Tool, simply click and drag on your layer. You can adjust the brush’s properties before or even after you start painting. If you make a mistake, you can undo your strokes or erase them using the Eraser Tool.

4. Using the Brush in Different Modes

Adobe After Effects also allows you to use the Brush Tool in different modes. These include the Normal mode, Behind mode, and Clear mode. The mode can be selected from the Modes Panel.

5. Animating the Brush Strokes

One of the most exciting features of the Brush Tool in After Effects is the ability to animate brush strokes. The steps to do this are as follows:

    Step 1: Set the "Paint on" option to "Write on" in the Paint Panel.
    Step 2: Adjust the "Start" and "End" values of your stroke under the "Stroke Options" to animate your brush stroke.
    Step 3: Click on the stopwatch icon next to "Start" or "End" to create a keyframe.
    Step 4: Move your playhead to a different point in your timeline, and change the "Start" or "End" values again to create another keyframe. 
    Step 5: Play your composition to see your animated brush stroke.

By following these steps, you can create dynamic visual effects using the Brush Tool in Adobe After Effects. The possibilities are endless!


The Brush Tool in Adobe After Effects is a versatile and powerful feature that can significantly enhance your creative process. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a beginner, mastering this tool can open up a whole new world of possibilities for your animations and video edits. So don’t hesitate, pick up your digital “paintbrush” and start creating!