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Importing Illustrator files to After Effects

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BiscuitsImporting Illustrator files to After Effects
by on Jul 16, 2006 at 5:28:23 pm

I was just wondering what format I need to save an illustrator file in to after effects that will open it in its individual layers. Whenever i open an illustrator file in after effects, it is just one single layer of the whole image. I have it saved as individual layers already, but it still imports just as one layer. Thanks!


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HarvolaRe: Importing Illustrator files to After Effects
by on Jul 16, 2006 at 5:41:07 pm

import as COMPOSITION rather than as FOOTAGE.

AFX will create a new composition within your project,
along with a folder containing each, both named as the AI file is named.

bring this comp into your working comp for master manipulation,
or open this comp separately to manipulate within the layers.



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Lars BunchRe: Importing Illustrator files to After Effects
by on Jul 16, 2006 at 5:53:08 pm

Hi,

When you import the file, AE should pop up with a dialog box that lets you either accept the file as a whole, or you can import a single layer at a time by clicking on the "select individual layer" radio button.

As far as I know, if you have 27 layers (as I did in a recent project) you will have to import and select each individual layer one at a time. Kind of annoying, but that seems to be how it works. If anyone has a script or knows some easy short cut to importing all Illustrator layers as separate layers, I'd sure like to hear about it.

One thing to watch out for, if you set up your comp with the separate illustrator layers and then at some later point add or otherwise change layers in the illustrator file, AE is likely to get confused. Maybe it was an weird, isolated case with what I was doing, but I found that AE would jumble up the order of the layers in the comp unless I was careful, when working in Illustrator, to add the new layers only at the bottom of the layer pallet.

Anyway, it's a bit tedious, but there is no problem with importing the separate layers (at least with the last few versions of Illustrator and AE)

Hope this helps,

Lars


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yikesmikesRe: Importing Illustrator files to After Effects
by on Jul 16, 2006 at 6:28:01 pm

When you:

File>Import> File (Ctrl + I)
In the box that opens, after you click on the "Yourfile.ai" (the one you want to bring in),

In the "Import As": check "Composition".

Then you get all your ai layers as AE layers in a comp.

Similarly, if you drag and drop files into AE you get an Import Dialogue Box that asks:

Import Kind

Choose "Composition".


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BiscuitsRe: Importing Illustrator files to After Effects
by on Jul 16, 2006 at 6:34:59 pm

This is what I have been trying, and when I say to import it as a comp, it only opens up as one full layer, but i know i saved the .ai file as multiple layers. I dont know...


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yikesmikesRe: Importing Illustrator files to After Effects
by on Jul 16, 2006 at 6:43:29 pm

Dunno, but try these two things.

Some versions have trouble (I don't have this problem but have read of it) when you save the file in AI, choose legacy version and save as Illustrator 10 (or maybe AI 8). Also, PAths can cause problems, in Illustrator under Preferences, Files and Clipboard has AICB turned on with preserve paths checked.


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Lars BunchRe: Importing Illustrator files to After Effects
by on Jul 16, 2006 at 6:54:45 pm

[yikesmikes] "In the "Import As": check "Composition"."


Hmmm... Well, I feel like an idiot. I never tried importing "as a composition" before. Would have saved me a lot of time and frustration...

What scares me is that I'm sure there are a lot of other things that would make my life easier if only I just knew what I was doing.

Lars


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BiscuitsRe: Importing Illustrator files to After Effects
by on Jul 16, 2006 at 7:05:52 pm

Thanks for your help, guys. The wierd thing is that when I import an illustrator file or even a photoshop file, it wont ask me what layers i want to import (under footage) and it wont open all the layers when I import as a composition. Im stumped.


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Steve RobertsRe: Importing Illustrator files to After Effects
by on Jul 16, 2006 at 7:35:01 pm

Since AI version 10 as far as I can tell, you need to make sure that your Illustrator layers are in separate layers, not as objects or paths within layers. This can be a pain, as you need to drag stuff into new layers (in the layers palette) within AI to make that happen.

Then you can import into AE as a composition.


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Lars BunchRe: Importing Illustrator files to After Effects
by on Jul 16, 2006 at 7:37:03 pm

Hi Again,

Whenever I have imported Illustrator files, they were created in version 11 (CS1) and used in AE 6, 6.5 and 7 When saving the Illustrator file, Illustrator 11 asks if you want the file to be PDF compatible. I have found that it is necessary to check this box, making sure the file is PDF compatible for AE to read it properly.

I have always used the default .ai document format and have rarely run into problems. This has always been on Apple Macs.

I suppose you could try saving it as a PDF or exporting the file as a legacy EPS or .ai file.

What versions of Illustrator and AE are you running and is this on a Mac or Windows system? Any information you can provide about your system and work flow might reveal issues that could be causing the problem.

Lars


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yikesmikesRe: Importing Illustrator files to After Effects
by on Jul 16, 2006 at 7:39:41 pm

Hey, I'm an original card carrying member of the "if only I just knew what I was doing"-club.


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BiscuitsRe: Importing Illustrator files to After Effects
by on Jul 16, 2006 at 11:29:08 pm

Im right there with you, man. Thanks to Steve, though. I think that should work out... I notice that all my layers are sublayers of the first layer, even though it labels them as "layer 2" "layer 3" and so on. so I just drag my objects or paths onto a new layer, and that will make them that new layer?


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Steve RobertsRe: Importing Illustrator files to After Effects
by on Jul 17, 2006 at 3:40:59 am

It should.


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BiscuitsRe: Importing Illustrator files to After Effects
by on Jul 17, 2006 at 5:13:48 am

Thanks a lot guys. I appreciate the help


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Rhett RobinsonIllustrator Guy
by on Jul 17, 2006 at 6:12:22 pm

Okay, so I'm really an Illustrator guy... that's my primary task here in the print world.


You can grab your sub layers and drag them above the primary layer they are in, and they will become primary layers as well. If you're having trouble, create a new primary layer above the one you're trying to pull elements out of, and drag the sub layer between, and delete the extra layers. Watch for locked layers/hidden layers when you import as a composition... AE will honor those, which actually is really cool.

This works really well when you have a number of elements on a single layer you want to split out. Use the "release to layers - Sequence" after you've grouped things the way you want, and you'll have the sub layers easily divided for use.



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FranktatuI know what you are doing wrong...
by on Jul 17, 2006 at 7:36:33 pm

I had this same problem, and then I found that the problem was not the way I was importing it into After Effects, but the way I was creating the Illustrator file.
When you create any Illustrator file if you have something to be on a different layer in After Effects, you have to create a new layer before you start drawing... Just click the "new layer botton" there is an icon for it bellow the layers panel (almost like Photoshop) and then draw whatever you want on that layer, then create a new layer and so on. If you do it, when you open it in After Affects as a composition, it will have as many layers you have created in Illustrator.

I hope it helps.


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Sergio FelipeRe: Importing Illustrator files to After Effects
by on Sep 21, 2009 at 10:21:51 am

Hi, the same thing was happening to me and was very frustarting.......

just realised that the color mode of my psd file was set to CMYK instead of RGB. I had drawn my layers in Illustrator (CMYK) and then applied Photoshop effects so I ended up with a final PSD file to import into AE, but never noticed that it retained the Illustrator CMYK mode.

After changing the mode to RGB alll layers appear perfectly inside AE, before that it did very funny things....AE should be able to tell you when things like this happened in my opinion.....anyway is always good to check the possible most simple solutions




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