Penpal is an extension for Adobe After Effects that equips you with over 40 path-editing functions which are missing from After Effects' native toolset. It works with both shape layers and masks.
Points are sometimes called vertices, and tangents are sometimes called direction handles or direction lines. We always refer to them as points and tangents.
Throughout this guide we use the phrase Cmd/Ctrl to refer to the Command button if you're on a Mac, or the Control button if you have a Windows PC. When we refer to right-clicking, you can also use Ctrl-click if you're on a Mac
Penpal is compatible with After Effects CC2018 and later and can run in English, Chinese, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian or Spanish.
Download and install the free ZXP Installer from aescripts.com. If you already have ZXP Installer we strongly suggest you Check for Update… to make sure you have the latest version.
Close After Effects if it is running. Open ZXP Installer, go to File > Open, then navigate to the Penpal.zxp file contained in your download, and install it.
If you see an error message saying 'No application compatible with Penpal was found on your computer. Do you still want to try to install this extension?' - click on Install.
Open After Effects and go to the Window > Extensions menu, then click Penpal. If nothing happens, you may need to follow these steps.
You can dock the Penpal panel in your workspace, or use it floating if you prefer. It works nicely with the Tilde (~) key that maximizes whichever panel your cursor is currently over. This method is ideal if you’re editing complex paths with lots of elements that appear crowded at smaller panel sizes.
Licensing and trial mode
You can enter a license code for Penpal by going to the hamburger menu > About & License…
Penpal has a free trial mode which will only load paths with 10 points or less, and functions for 10 days.