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AE CS6 Unicode problems with Japanese characters

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Matthew GadboisAE CS6 Unicode problems with Japanese characters
by on Jan 15, 2013 at 7:06:47 pm

I am based here in the U.S. but working on an animation production with colleagues in Japan. They send After Effects CS6 projects as well as Photoshop PSDs as assets and I am tasked with making some revisions to their work.

However, I have a serious problem that when their layers in Photoshop are named with Japanese characters, the links to those files are broken when I open the AE project file. The reference to those layers are all garbled latin characters (i.e. DZÇÃÉRÉìÉ|ñºÇÃÉ{Å[ÉãÉhïé ), a tell-tale sign that the unicode characters are not being read correctly.

And if I try to import a PSD whose file name is in Japanese or which has layers named in Japanese I get the following error message: "After Effects error: Could not convert Unicode characters. (23::46)"

The other major issue is that their expressions in After Effects are broken as well because they refer to After Effects layers that are written in Japanese characters. What's really strange is the layer names are shown correctly in Japanese, but in layer comments and expressions the Japanese characters show up again as those garbled latin characters.

This is a large production and it's definitely not a possibility for my Japanese colleagues to stop using Japanese characters. In today's day and age of 64-bit and standard unicode usage it seems odd that this type of problem crops up. There must be an easy fix to get my AE to understand Japanese, but Google searches haven't been too fruitful. If anyone has experience with this or can point me in the right direction I'll be very grateful!

Thank you!
~Matt

P.S. I should mention I'm on Mac OSX 10.6.8 and using AE CS6 11.0.0.378 Also the Japanese character show up just fine in the Finder and the PSD layer names show up just fine in Japanese when opened in Photoshop.


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Matthew GadboisRe: AE CS6 Unicode problems with Japanese characters
by on Jan 15, 2013 at 9:44:32 pm

Well I figured out a work-around isn't necessarily optimal but does gets the job done (I'm on Mac OS X Snow Leopard).

1. Quit AE if it is open.
2. Change system language to Japanese by going to System Preferences... -> Language & Text -> drag Japanese (this one: 日本語) to the top of the list.
3. Don't log out or anything, next just launch AE.
4. Open the project with Japanese characters in AE and you will see that it should all work now.
5. If you were to log out and then back in, your whole system will be in Japanese and you may find yourself lost. The good part is you can go back to System Preferences now and change it back so that English is back at the top of the list. Now as long as AE is open those Japanese files will still work.

The only drawback is that AE sort of half thinks your system language is in Japanese. All the AE menus are in English, but system dialogue boxes like Save As... or Import... come up in partial Japanese. This is definitely not optimal but it does work so I hope this helps anyone who comes across this issue. If anyone out there has an actual solution I'd love to hear it!

Thanks!
~Matt


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Todd KoprivaRe: AE CS6 Unicode problems with Japanese characters
by on Jan 15, 2013 at 11:39:06 pm

> In today's day and age of 64-bit and standard unicode usage it seems odd that this type of problem crops up.


Though I certainly can't say what we are delivering at any specific time, I will say that this is an area of active work.

> There must be an easy fix to get my AE to understand Japanese


Matthew's solution is on the right track, and it gets at what the underlying issue is: the problems occur when there is a mismatch between the character set with which the OS is running and the character set in which the item names are stored.

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Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
After Effects quality engineering
After Effects team blog
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