I want to join two paths so that their intersection is smooth. However, I want to keep each of the two paths as it’s own later so I can animate the individual paths after in After Effects.

My question: can I join two paths (like miter join etc) while keeping each path layer separate. If not, how might I join two paths but animate each path separately (ie each has its own rotation property, it’s own anchor point in After Effects, etc).

  • Ok thank you. Is there a way I can animate both paths separately while they are joined? Commented Aug 5, 2020 at 20:53

2 Answers 2


Sorry.. but...

You can't.

It is not possible to have one path on two layers.

If you need two layers, then there are no options to join two paths. You need to either keep the two paths as separate objects, or merge to a single layer. Those are really the only options possible.

  • Thank you for answering. Is there a way I can merge the paths into a single layer (so that their intersection is smooth) while animating each path separately in after effects. Commented Aug 5, 2020 at 20:54
  • Sorry. no. You either create one path on one layer, or have two paths on two layers. You can't mix and match those options.
    – Scott
    Commented Aug 5, 2020 at 20:55
  • For example, I want to have a triangle, where the hypotenuse starts at 0 degrees and then rotates to 45 deg but the other segments to stay fixed. I can consider the hypotenuse and the base segment each as their own later, and animate these layers separately. The problem is where the hypotenuse and base segment intersect is not smooth if I have each as it’s own layer... Commented Aug 5, 2020 at 20:57
  • I understand the problem. Unfortunately, I can't detail how to create your animation. Or other possible methods. I can simply confirm the limitations of Illustrator. You can try posing another question with the animation details and that problem.
    – Scott
    Commented Aug 5, 2020 at 20:59

i got here by searching for the exact same issue.

The only way i got around it was to make strokes separately from the fills. Had to reshape my entire model but was worth the job.

Good luck my friend !

  • 2
    Actually you still can't join strokes on separate layers - whether attached to fills or not. So, I'm not sure hat you are eluding to.
    – Scott
    Commented Jan 10, 2022 at 9:42

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