after effects file conversion

Community Beginner ,
Jun 24, 2022 Jun 24, 2022

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Hi,

I have just started learning Adobe After Effects. I bought some tutorials from famous sites and also YouTube is a great help.

I keep noticing something which I do not understand.

  • people in some cases convert psd and ai file into shapes ( creat> shapes from vector layer).
  • In some case the take three/four layes and pre compose them.
  • Some times they directly use ai and psd files.

I thought I alwys have to convert vector/psd files into ‘shapes’. But these people are giving me ‘confusion’.

What is  the standard way to deal ai and psd file in After effect?

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Community Professional , Jun 24, 2022 Jun 24, 2022

There are several ways to get from Photoshop or Illustrator into After Effects and then various things that can done afterward.  As Footage, As Composition - Retain Layer Sizes, As Composition, and Create Shapes from Vector Layer each offer different ways to work with the footage once in AE.  Rather than a standard way, which one is best depends on how you plan to work with the source footage.  Take some time experimenting with each option to determine which works best with how you'd like to ani

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Enthusiast ,
Jun 24, 2022 Jun 24, 2022

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You can easily manipulate Illustrator and Photoshop files in AE without having to convert them into shapes. People convert vector files into shape layers so they can manipulate the shape layers directly in AE, therefore making it just a little more convenient. Both ways are used commonly.

 

Pre-composing is like grouping in AE. The composition is the place where you can add layers and effects and stuff, so making a "pre-composition" is like making another one and using it in a bigger main composition. 


~Jake

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 24, 2022 Jun 24, 2022

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Hi.

 

Thank you so much. Your reply make me  understand things more clearly now.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 24, 2022 Jun 24, 2022

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There are several ways to get from Photoshop or Illustrator into After Effects and then various things that can done afterward.  As Footage, As Composition - Retain Layer Sizes, As Composition, and Create Shapes from Vector Layer each offer different ways to work with the footage once in AE.  Rather than a standard way, which one is best depends on how you plan to work with the source footage.  Take some time experimenting with each option to determine which works best with how you'd like to animate, but also read this Adobe Help article: Working with After Effects and other applications

 

  • people in some cases convert psd and ai file into shapes ( creat> shapes from vector layer).

Illustrator source footage allows us to use Layer > Create > Create Shapes from Vector Layer while Photoshop source footage does not.  Interestingly, Photoshop Shape Layers turn into After Effects Masks.

 

  • In some case the take three/four layes and pre compose them.

When we import a layered PS file or layered AI file into After Effects as a Composition, After Effects sees the Layers as the source footage items and the PS file or AI file as a folder contaning them.  The Layer Stack in the After Effect Comp may look different than it does in Photoshop or Illustrator, including Pre-Comps (a.k.a Nested Comps) because After Effects is a differnt applicaiton that's attempting to match the combied appearance of the Layers.

 

  • Some times they directly use ai and psd files.

The main advantage of bringing a layered PS file or layered AI file in "As Footage" is that it should look just like it looks in Photoshop or Illustrator.  I'd prefer if this was called "As Merged" instead of "As Footage" to better reflect what's happening on the AE side.  Of course, if we've imported it As Footage and it turns out we need it to be a layered Comp, we can always select it and choose Layer > Create > Convert to Layered Comp.  After Effects can reproduce most of what Photoshop can do with layers or has an equivalent, but not everything.  For example, After Effects does not support PS Pattern Overlay Layer Styles nor does it support PS Layer Styles that can be applied more than once (like Stroke and Drop Shadow) in Photoshop on the AE side.  Similarly, while After Effects supports nested Comps, it cannot translate Illustrator Sub-Layers into them - Sub-Layers just become merged into the coresponding root level Layer.

 

 

 

If you're creating a lot of artwork in Illusrator, it's definately worth checking out sending AI files to After Effects from Adobe XD ("Working with Adobe XD and After Effects" is covered in the "Working with After Effects and other applications" link above) and/or the well liked $45 3rd party add-on called Overlord by Batlte Axe.  While there's some built-in support for copy and paste between AE and AI already, Overlord takes it to another level.

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 24, 2022 Jun 24, 2022

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Excllent! Exactly what I needed. Thank you so much.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 24, 2022 Jun 24, 2022

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Unless you have to animate a vector path or use a shape layer animator, extrude a layer using the C4D rendering engine, export a C4D file from an AE Comp, or use a vector path as a motion path, there is no good reason to convert any vector layer (AI) file to a shape layer. None. You lose gradients, brushes, and many other great Illustrator design tools when you do. Render time also goes up. 

 

The same thing goes for Photoshop Files. Unless you specifically need to do something special, there is no need to convert any PSD layer to anything else. Converting to Editable Text is sometimes an advantage, but only if you need to use Text Animators or are designing a MOGRT using the Essential Graphics workspace.

 

You also have to watch out for online tutorials. Most of the tutorials on the web were prepared by enthusiasts. Their workflows can be inefficient.  Their explanations often leave out important details. Sometimes they present workflows that only work with a specific type of shot. The number of views is no guarantee of the quality of the instruction. Most of the tutorials in the User Guide are pretty well done. Most of the "I'm having problems with a tutorial" posts I see on the forum don't include a link to the tutorial, and if they do, most of the problems come from the explanations or the workflow. 

 

Good luck on your quest. When you need help, make sure you supply links, tell us about your OS and your System, and include embedded, not uploaded, screenshots that show the modified properties of problem layers. Find the modified properties by pressing 'uu' and then copy or drag your images to the form field so we can see them.

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 24, 2022 Jun 24, 2022

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Hi.

 

Thank you so much for you kind expalantion.

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