I am working on a children animation show. We use after effects to composit all background-artwork and animation together. After the pitch of one episode, some illustrator artwork needs to be changed/altered.
The problem is that, when the illustrator-artist changes, for example, the background color or adds a tree, the whole composition that i made earlier messes up. Eventually I need to import the Illustrator-file again and compose the whole scene over.. Even without changing the layer-order or quantity.
(For every scene that i make in AE, I start with importing the illustrator-file. Then I add the quicktime that the animators made of the characters between all the for-and background layers of trees and bushes. Then I use the 3d option for multiplaning/ tracking/ etc.)
Does anyone know a workaround for this? It would greatly improve our production-flow.
I've had this happen a couple of times myself. I would make changes in the original AI file and when I went back to AE the layers would be in different positions. What I figured out was that the changes I was making in AI would change the layer size and thus change the anchor point (usually the center of the object) in AE. When that layer would reimport, the old position coordinates would be used with the new anchor point, throwing everything out of whack.
So the key is making all your AI adjustments AND keeping your layer sizes the same, no easy task. I've yet to find a workaround; I ended up just recomposing and keeping all my following AI adjustments minimal.
I was just thinking though, it's possible that when you import the AI file, instead of importing the layers using layer size, use the document size instead. That way all your layers will be the size of your AI file and anchors will be document center. As long as your artist doesn't expand the artboards or anything, that should work I think.