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Illustrator Vector Import in Motion - can it work?

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Rogier Chardet
Illustrator Vector Import in Motion - can it work?
on Jan 30, 2009 at 7:49:29 pm

Hello,

I was wondering as to the final verdict on importing vector graphics in Motion?

I've followed the instructions in this post

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/170/859018

but like the writer of this post

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/170/859549

it is not doing much for me. In the reply to this latter post, however, it was written:

"PDF is not great with Motion. Export to PSD from Photoshop first. "

What is that saying? I'm dealing with an Illustrator CS4 file. The image is a vector trace of a detailed pen drawing. If I uncheck the PDF compatibility in the Illustrator save, Motion is unable to see the file. If I export as a PSD file then it would seem we are not dealing with a vector....

Thanks,

Rogier


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Stephen Smith
Re: Illustrator Vector Import in Motion - can it work?
on Jan 30, 2009 at 9:41:35 pm

Illustrator files work great in Motion. One thing not mentioned in that post is your Illustrator file needs to be RGB not CMYK.





Stephen Smith
Salt Lake Video

Check out my DVD Money Making Graphics & Effects for Final Cut Studio 2


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Rogier Chardet
Re: Illustrator Vector Import in Motion - can it work?
on Jan 31, 2009 at 3:29:06 am

Thanks for your reply.

But it does not make a difference in this case.

I'm wonder what information should be conveyed in order to isolate the problem? The file is a black and white image (a trace of an image in a PDF file). I'm using Illustrator CS4. For some reason Motion defines the document as a PDF in the media tab - I don't know if that's supposed to be...


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Stephen Smith
Re: Illustrator Vector Import in Motion - can it work?
on Feb 2, 2009 at 2:03:55 pm

It says PDF because you created a PDF compatible file. In the first thread you had a link for this was said, " [specialcase] Motion can read an Illustrator file just fine. Just be sure to save the AI file with PDF compatibility.
An illustrator file should say PDF in the media tab.





Stephen Smith
Salt Lake Video

Check out my DVD Money Making Graphics & Effects for Final Cut Studio 2


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Rogier Chardet
Re: Illustrator Vector Import in Motion - can it work?
on Feb 8, 2009 at 7:08:16 am

Alright, thanks.

For some reason, as it turns out, Motion does handle other (smaller) Illustrator files just fine as vectors. Curiously, however, the original file to which my question pertained still does not work. Perhaps there is some kind of glass ceiling in terms of size and complexity.

Anyway, I'm glad there's no problem with the other files.


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Stephen Smith
Re: Illustrator Vector Import in Motion - can it work?
on Feb 9, 2009 at 5:03:48 pm

By size do you mean the size of the file (MB) or do you mean the complexity of the vector?





Stephen Smith
Salt Lake Video

Check out my DVD Money Making Graphics & Effects for Final Cut Studio 2


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Rogier Chardet
Re: Illustrator Vector Import in Motion - can it work?
on Feb 9, 2009 at 9:39:04 pm

Both. The file size is 16.9 MB.


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Zack Olson
Re: Illustrator Vector Import in Motion - can it work?
on May 10, 2011 at 7:34:05 pm

Did you ever figure out if there is a size limit?

I work a TON in Illustrator and am going to be either learning Apple Motion 4 (which I have), or buying CS5 so I can ad motion to my vectors.


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Rogier Chardet
Re: Illustrator Vector Import in Motion - can it work?
on May 14, 2011 at 12:28:45 am

In the end I just used After Effects which had no problem handling the Illustrator file in question. The file was single-layered, by the way, so even without additional multi-layer complexity, Motion was failing.


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zak peric
Re: Illustrator Vector Import in Motion - can it work?
on May 10, 2011 at 8:05:12 pm

Hi there. If you want to use vectors I suggest using After Effects. Motion was really build around bitmaps. You can not import layered vector files which what I think you will be doing. AE will be able to handle this much better. Not an answer you where expecting, however an honest one!

Best of luck


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Zack Olson
Re: Illustrator Vector Import in Motion - can it work?
on May 10, 2011 at 8:58:52 pm

Thank you Zak (nice name!!!)

The vector style i am looking to animate "from scratch" is best described by the following video i found on Vimeo:

I am confident that I can create the vector icons/logos like this in Illustrator, and want to figure out the best way to animate the files.

As I am brand new to motion graphics, both Apple Motion and After Effects look like a foreign language to me. i am willing to invest in learning the right program.

After seeing the video I shared which shows the type of video I am looking to create, what are your thoughts (my sticking it out with Motion or buying After Effects).

Thanks again!

Zack


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Stephen Smith
Re: Illustrator Vector Import in Motion - can it work?
on May 10, 2011 at 9:27:52 pm

Zack,
Take a look at this video I did in Motion. I think it is very similar to what you are after.







The majority of the files where created in Illustrator. Because I animated each "layer" or object I exported the file to photoshop. I then imported the layered photoshop document into Motion where I could work with each layer. I don't feel like I lost any quality by doing that. The times I choose to work with the vector image is when I'm zooming into an object so I don't loose sharpness. But in the case of the video the size of the objects does not change a whole lot. Plus, the photoshop files export out of Motion faster.

Zak is right, he is worth listening to and is very knowledgeable.

I think AE and Motion are similar and what you learn in one can be transferred to the other. So you don't lose anything by learning one or the other. I think a lot of Motion users use both Motion and AE. Depending on where you want to go with your new skill set I think you will find that AE is the more widely used application. I used Motion a lot more because I feel it is faster.

PS. All of those images can be built directly in Motion by the way.

Hope this helps and best of luck.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Motion Tutorials


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Ronald Lindeboom
Re: Illustrator Vector Import in Motion - can it work?
on May 10, 2011 at 9:39:55 pm

When did you upload this video, Stephen? I noticed the audio and video are running out of sync and I want to debug this.

Thank you.

Ron

Best regards,

Ronald Lindeboom
CEO, Creative COW LLC
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine

Creativity is a process wherein the student and the teacher are located in the same individual.

"Incompetence has never prevented me from plunging in with enthusiasm."
- Woody Allen


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Stephen Smith
Re: Illustrator Vector Import in Motion - can it work?
on May 10, 2011 at 9:51:11 pm

oh no. That is not good. Thanks for the catch Ron! I'll get our compression dude on it.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Motion Tutorials


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Zack Olson
Re: Illustrator Vector Import in Motion - can it work?
on May 10, 2011 at 9:46:20 pm

Stephen,

Thank you so much for the quick reply. i am very impressed with your video! The example you posted/created is a very good match for what I am looking to achieve.

Do you have a personal tutorial (or recommendation of one) that shows the workflow from .AI to Motion in a "From Scratch" animation project like the example you posted? I have literally been searching google and forums for the last two days for an acceptable "from scratch" tutorial showing the .Ai to Motion 4 workflow.

I want to start playing right away and see if I can figure out how to make my .AI files start moving!


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Stephen Smith
Re: Illustrator Vector Import in Motion - can it work?
on May 10, 2011 at 10:24:29 pm

Zack,
This is my work flow for getting layered Illustrator files in Photoshop to Motion.

Create images in Illustrator. Open your layers window if it is not already opened. Everything will be in one layer. Click on the "Create New Layers" button to create as many layers as you will need. Click on the disclosure's triangle to see all of the sub layers in the main layer. Select the sub layer or sub layers that you want in its own layer and move it up on one of the new layers that you created. Do that for everything until everything that should be in its own layer is. Then go to File, Export. Choose Photoshop. Click on Export button. Be sure to make sure "Write Layers" is check so your content is transparent.

Bring into Photoshop if needs be. Make sure it is RGB. If a layer is in a group or something be sure to flatten it so it is just a layer, this can happen when you have multiple objects in one layer.

Also, I made a quick video to show the steps: http://reels.creativecow.net/film/illustrator-export-sample


You can drag a photoshop document onto your project pane, timeline or canvas. Let is hover for a second and Motion will ask you if you want to import all of the layers. Then you can animate each layer independent of the others. And for my shameless plug. Working with AI files and PSD is covered in my Motion Training DVD. Hope this helps and best of luck.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Motion Tutorials


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zak peric
Re: Illustrator Vector Import in Motion - can it work?
on May 11, 2011 at 6:21:47 am

I think it needs to be mentioned that if you are going to export illustrator files into PSD then it is not anymore vector file it is a. Bitmap.


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Zack Olson
Re: Illustrator Vector Import in Motion - can it work?
on May 11, 2011 at 6:31:34 pm

Stephen,

I have been playing with the export to PSD option. In this post you mentioned that you save the Vector files for situations where you have to zoom in.

I am assuming that means there is an "AI" export method that creates a larger file size? The video I am looking to create will have quite a bit of of zooming. When I zoom in on the PSD import in Motion, the bitmap format rears its ugly head.

Can you import the .ai (or perhaps .pdf) into Motion and preserve the vectors?


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Stephen Smith
Re: Illustrator Vector Import in Motion - can it work?
on May 11, 2011 at 6:45:36 pm

The nice thing about an AI file is that it is vector so you can zoom in with no loss of quality. The problem in Motion with AI files is you can bring in layered files.

To import an illustrator file do the following: In Illustrator, save it as an Illustrator Document, make sure Create PDF Compatible File is checked. Import the file into Motion. Open up the Project Pane. Click on the Media Tab. Select the file. Uncheck Fixed Resolution and you should be golden. I only uncheck the Fixed Resolution check box when I'm done because once you do that Motion chugs. I don't have a problem working with a crappy looking AI image in Motion until I'm ready to export. Hope this helps.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Motion Tutorials


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zak peric
Re: Illustrator Vector Import in Motion - can it work?
on May 11, 2011 at 7:18:33 pm

Boys, Boys,

Did you not read my first post. I love motion as much as any of you. The fact is Motion is bad in dealing with Illustrator files. Yes, you can import an PDF or Illustrator. However, all layers have to be separated one file per layer basis. A bummer if you have lots of layers. I repeat, THERE IS NO WAY IN WORKING WITH ILLUSTRATOR FILES IN A WAY THAT ONE CAN DO IN AFTER EFFECTS. APPLE PLEASE FIX THIS PROBLEM.....-)


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Zack Olson
Re: Illustrator Vector Import in Motion - can it work?
on May 11, 2011 at 7:53:51 pm

Zak,

Thanks for all of your help!

I appreciate your sharing your knowledge.


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Zack Olson
Re: Illustrator Vector Import in Motion - can it work?
on May 19, 2011 at 8:05:07 pm

Zak (and the Creative Cow "Cow-munity"),

On your recommendation I downloaded the 30 day trial of After Effects CS5.5 and am committed to struggling through the motion graphics process. I figure AE will better suit my needs as i am a heavy Illustrator user. I am confident in my Illustrator 2D workflow and would like to create a fully animated 30 second to 1 minute animation.

I am trying to scour the web, but most of the .AE tutorials are integrating video/photos and text. I have yet to find (after literally hours of searching) a good tutorial for how to animate, from scratch using (start to finish) Illustrator and After Effects in a style like this:



It seems like there should be plenty of info out there...any suggestions, or a tutorial that stands out?

Thanks in advance.


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zak peric
Re: Illustrator Vector Import in Motion - can it work?
on May 19, 2011 at 8:29:05 pm

Have you tried subscribing to cows podcasts on after effects. There are tons of tutorials on animating with after effects. I think you should understand that animating a psd file is exactly the same as animatig a illustrator file. Just bring in composition crop layer and animate the layer the way you want it. Also try to post questions in after effects forum as I am sure people in that forum will be better suited to help you from now on.. Good luck.


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Zack Olson
Re: Illustrator Vector Import in Motion - can it work?
on May 11, 2011 at 7:51:39 pm

Thanks for your help Stephen. Looks like i will be manually "de-layering" the .ai files i created for my motion project.

With the inability to work with native .ai files in a layered setup, I may have to bite the bullet and buy After Effects. If I decide to stick it out with Motion, I will look real seriously at ordering your DVD, as I appreciate your willingness to share!


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Stephen Smith
Re: Illustrator Vector Import in Motion - can it work?
on May 11, 2011 at 8:41:46 pm

Happy to help. Keep in mind that you can make your PSD a whole lot bigger so when you zoom in you can maintain more quality.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Motion Tutorials


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