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Animate a inDesign layout

Community Beginner ,
Mar 16, 2018 Mar 16, 2018

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What is the best way to animate a design I have made in indesign? After Effects doesn't seem to let me import a indesign-file into after effects.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 16, 2018 Mar 16, 2018

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There's nothing to animate. They are completely different things. At best you could export a PDF from ID, open it in Illustrator, hoping that somehow magically objects will come in separate plus you find ways to separate the rest in AI int osomething usable, then import the AI file into AE. everything else will require to rebuild stuff natively in AE because in the end what you attempt to do is a rubbish workflow to begin with - if you always planned to animate this, you essentially have wasted your time be even involving ID.

Mylenium

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 16, 2018 Mar 16, 2018

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I often create posters for both print and to show on tv-screens or turn into facebook covers. They include ai-illustrations, vector shapes created directly in indesign, photos and text. Solutions I have tried so far is to save as eps and open in illustrator or just copy everything into illustrator. It works, but with some complications, I just wondered if there is a better/easier solution. Does anyone else have a better solution?

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 17, 2018 Apr 17, 2018

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How did you end up solving this issue, mikaelo? Please let us know for the benefit of others in the community.

Thanks,
Kevin

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 17, 2018 Apr 17, 2018

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I used my old technique that I described above since I didn't get any helping answers.

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New Here ,
Dec 07, 2018 Dec 07, 2018

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What about when graphic designers design print material for years in ID and then the company hires a motion graphics artist who wants to animate those files?

Adobe could create a better workflow.

Your a**hole answer isn't helping anyone. Maybe just don't comment if you aren't going to be any help.

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 19, 2019 Jul 19, 2019

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This is exactly the position I'm in now. The whole design teams makes everything in InDesign and I'm struggling to find an efficient workflow to animate their designs but I haven't found a good solution yet. I've been using exported pngs with masked elements for now but this obviously creates a lot of bloat on the server and is generally annoying to update.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 20, 2019 Jul 20, 2019

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The first step is to have the Indesign file saved as a PDF, then open the PDF in Illustrator and start separating layers. The easiest thing to do is to select the first group in the layer and then choose Release to Layers (Sequence) from the Layer Panel Menu. Then drag all the newly created layers above the original layer. Then start naming the layers so you can keep them straight.

If the illustration is for print then you are probably going to have to resize a lot of elements and make some adjustments to color and font sizes. Fonts that work just fine in print or on the web can be horrible for video, especially when they move. You are also going to have to make sure the settings are correct when you export your INDD file to a PDF. I find PDF a lot easier to sort out in AI than the EPS files. Many times an eps file opened in AI will have a bunch of text layers for a single sentence or paragraph and Release to Layers (Sequence) is not as reliable. Exporting the file from Indesign is the most critical part.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 05, 2019 Aug 05, 2019

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Thank you for your response, Rick. I tried a few exporting methods from InDesign and imported the pdf (for print and without links checked) into Illustrator. This brought me the closest to having live text to copy and paste although it turns out you can now also just select a block of text in InDesign with the selection tool and copy it over to Illustrator without losing the formatting but with both methods I'm only able to select one line at a time in Illustrator and for some reason, the leading doesn't carry over.

The thing is, I'm not trying to reformat anything. It's not the whole design I need so much as live text with formatting intact that I can quickly update my AE file with when the copy changes every 5 minutes. In a perfect world we'd only be animating completely approved assets but unfortunately I'm animating and re-animating as design direction changes and I need an efficient workflow to be able to keep up. Reformatting from scratch in AE and re-kerning every letter each time just doesn't make sense. Using Illustrator as an intermediary is progress but it's still going to slow me down, especially if I can only copy over one line at a time.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 05, 2019 Aug 05, 2019

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AI type does not give you live type layers in After Effects. A Photoshop file does. Maybe you should experiment with a modified workflow.

The other option is to just create outlines from all text layers and just do the copy changes in AI.

Either way, I would be charging somebody for every copy change. There is no reason that an organization cannot be more organized. Even if it is just inter-office billing, when they change the copy it costs them money. That will save you more production time than anything else.

Another option is to send a memo to the boss every time there is a copy change after you have animated a project and tell the boss that you will need at least the 80% of the time it took to animate the original project to make the changes so other projects will have to go on hold if you are going to make the deadline. You can't let one department dominate your time just because they didn't get the copy approved before you had to do your part of the project.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 05, 2019 Aug 05, 2019

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Like I said Rick, in a perfect world. It can hardly be helped when you're trying to assemble and pitch an ad campaign but if I could copy and paste text directly from inDesign to After Effects (and whole blocks of text at a time rather than line by line!) it would be very convenient. I'm making eyebrows at you, Adobe!

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New Here ,
Oct 06, 2020 Oct 06, 2020

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There is no good way about it.

 

I do the following.

InDesign.

I export a print PDF

 

Illustrator

I open that PDF then separate all the bounding boxes and odd groups it makes.

text will come in in chunks at times it's a bit pain in the butt. 

The rest is personal preference but this is what I do.

I separate each page into single layers then I use Overlord to get my parts into AE. I have moved away from having AI files in AE and just using live text or AE shape layers. 

 

I don't think this should be marked as "Solved" as there really should be an easy way to go from ID to AE. I love when people give me XD files so easy. They come with their problems too but ill deal with them.

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Explorer ,
Mar 02, 2021 Mar 02, 2021

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Hi

I just started using AE and wanted to put an InDesign file in. Definitely the easiest way is to export as suitable image file. Then later edits to the InDesign file can be re-exported and the previous image overwritten.

As a novice that's what I've found

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New Here ,
Mar 22, 2021 Mar 22, 2021

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Thanks!! I'm using this right now. Newbie design student, decided at the last minute to animate my project. You saved me a headache. 

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New Here ,
Apr 01, 2021 Apr 01, 2021

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Not sure if this will help you but I came across your thread when looking up how to try and do this. I loaded in the base image file into AE and locked the layer. I then made a text box and proceeded to copy the text from ID into that text box. Now you will need to create separate text boxes for all of the text blocks but you will be able to animate them. Hope that helps. A bit time consuming but will work. Also, if the copy changes, you can just copy and paste the new copy and it will still have all of the animations on it.

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