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Importing complicated Photoshop sequence to AE issue (retaining both timing and layer structure)

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Richard HarrisonImporting complicated Photoshop sequence to AE issue (retaining both timing and layer structure)
by on May 18, 2015 at 2:39:42 am

I've made an animation in Photoshop that is thousands of frames long, each frame also has multiple layers.

I need to transfer the animation to After Effects but each of the ways I've seen to do this results in losing something that I need to retain.

If I export to a picture sequence it means flattening the layers of each frame - I need to retain the layer structure for each frame so this won't work.

Importing the psd as a composition retains all of the layers however the timings/sequencing of the layers are totally lost, if there was only 1 layer per frame then I would use the keyframe assistant to sequence the layers but it won't work for keeping multiple layers on each frame.

I thought going through and grouping the layers visible per frame and using keyframe assistant to sequence the groups, but sometimes there are layers that are visible for different lengths and in multiple frames at various points in the sequence.
So that leaves what would be a hugely laborious task of individually rearranging all the layers manually in AE after importing the PSD as a composition (which I would love to avoid).

I presume there's no way of directly porting photoshop timeline information along with the PSD into AE?
I appreciate this might be an unusual or extreme use of photoshop for an animation workflow - its essentially a complicated digital cel animation and has made sense so far.

Any suggestions greatly appreciated!

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