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Trying to create shape-based SVG animation, but layers not converting correctly to shapes in AE

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Chris Conn
Trying to create shape-based SVG animation, but layers not converting correctly to shapes in AE
on Sep 24, 2018 at 1:48:33 pm

Tell us about your environment

Browser and Browser Version: Version 69.0.3497.81 (Official Build) (64-bit)
After Effects Version: 15.1.2 build 69
What did you do? Please explain the steps you took before you encountered the problem.

Created multi-layered PSD. Was sure to not include any gradients, effects, layer styling, or anything else that would throw Lottie/Bodymovin off.
Imported PSD into Illustrator. Saved as layered .ai file.
Imported .ai file into AE as footage with merged layer setting selected
Converted footage to composition with layers
Added layers to project area
selected all layers and right click, then clicked create shapes from vector layers
then you see what ended up happening in final screenshot
Issue is: Text layers were not converted correctly, and the 'plus icon' layer does not convert to a shape.

What did you expect to happen?
I thought my text and plus icon layer would convert nicely to vector shapes as well.

What actually happened? Please include as much relevant detail as possible.
See explanation above and screenshots below
Text layer seemed to convert to something just not sure what or how to use the resulting 'shape':
And the plus icon just turned to a gray box ☹
<img src="https://user-images.githubusercontent.com/43483059/45907871-61ae0d80-bdbf-11e8-8ad7-31692a866f72.png" />
<img src="https://user-images.githubusercontent.com/43483059/45906080-7044f680-bdb8-11e8-839c-622cb0e8e82f.png" /><img src="https://user-images.githubusercontent.com/43483059/45906122-9bc7e100-bdb8-11e8-976f-a97100c3cffe.png" /><img src="https://user-images.githubusercontent.com/43483059/45905980-13e1d700-bdb8-11e8-85e2-4bdad3f52e65.png" /><img src="https://user-images.githubusercontent.com/43483059/45906026-3c69d100-bdb8-11e8-9e0d-f3eae24365c7.png" />


Please help! I have a feeling the issue is related to me just being uninformed about how text and clipart layers convert to shapes. Thanks!


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Kalleheikki Kannisto
Re: Trying to create shape-based SVG animation, but layers not converting correctly to shapes in AE
on Sep 24, 2018 at 6:29:13 pm

Hmm... Vector... Clip-art... Photoshop...

The first thing that sounds dicey is that the procedure starts out in Photoshop. Photoshop is not a vector-based program, rather a bitmap based program with some vector capabilities. So I would cut that middle man out right off the bat and start in Illustrator.

In Illustrator you should already have vector shapes. So if the images are not vectors there, they won't magically become vector in After Effects (although it is possible to convert them to such). So the next question is: Are they vector images to begin with? If not, you should convert them to such in Illustrator before going further. It will make life easier if you convert all text to outlines while in Illustrator.

Importing into After Effects: That should work fine once they really are vector. Then again, you may have better success pasting them directly onto a shape layer as shapes. Depends on how complex the art is. I can't tell from those screenshots where everything comes in as boxes. (Which to me implies they are likely to be bitmap images placed in Illustrator rather than vector images, and what you are getting there is the outer bounds of the bitmap images.)

Kalleheikki Kannisto
Senior Graphic Designer


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