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Illustrator layers showing up with various 'z - space' coordinates upon import into after effects

Community Beginner ,
Aug 26, 2021 Aug 26, 2021

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I have created a logo in Illustrator with three layers.  When I import it into After Effects (using 'Import as Composition - Retain Layer Sizes') to animate the layers in 3D space independently of one another, the layers   are not all placed on the same plane in z-space as one might expect (nor are they offset by a pixel or two to honour the original layer order).  Rather, the order of each layer in z-space appears to be random as does the location of each layer relative to one another.  For example, upon import, my background layer is 50-something pixels in front of my middle layer, and my foreground layer is several hundred pixels behind that.  Despite their vast distances from each other in z-space, all three z-coordinates are listed as 'zero' which baffles me.  

Can anyone tell me if there is a setting I need to tick off or something when importing Illustrator files into After Effects, that will either ensure all layers are on the same plane in z-space (when 3D is activated), or will at least arrange them in the correct order (the original AI order and/or the order they appear in in the AE timeline) at a minimum distance apart?

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

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How to, Import and export

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Adobe Community Professional , Aug 26, 2021 Aug 26, 2021
What version of AE are you using? Just tried 18.4.1 (AE 2021) and 20.0.0 (AE Beta) and both work as expected. Import a layered AI file as a composition retaining layer size, open the comp AE creates, select all layers, make them all 3D, and all the Z positon values are right on zero. I can't make it foul up even with a new 4K-AI file with 90 layers that I am using for a historical timeline animation in a documentary I am working on. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 26, 2021 Aug 26, 2021

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What version of AE are you using? Just tried 18.4.1 (AE 2021) and 20.0.0 (AE Beta) and both work as expected. Import a layered AI file as a composition retaining layer size, open the comp AE creates, select all layers, make them all 3D, and all the Z positon values are right on zero. I can't make it foul up even with a new 4K-AI file with 90 layers that I am using for a historical timeline animation in a documentary I am working on. 

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 30, 2021 Aug 30, 2021

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Thank you for responding, Rick.  I'm using AE 18.4.1 and while attempting to carry out this import one more time to make you screen shots, figured out that the three layers of the logo 'appeared' to be on different planes in z-space because when I rotated them along 'an x-axis' to 'see them from above,' I highlighted and rotated all three layers of the logo and changed their x-rotation values in unison thinking it would rotate all three layers around a common x-axis.  This was my mistake as it rotated each layer / logo element around its own (default) x-axis - instead of a common axis - thus, making everything look as though it was on a separate plane.  This of course, would not have been the case had I 'looked down from above' at the logo by repositioning the camera immediately above it and then tilting it straight down.  

There are a few camera parameters I, apparently, still need to experiment with.  Thanks for the response all the same and for testing out my approach!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 26, 2021 Aug 26, 2021

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First, try to post some screenshot, second, i can't understand how when you make your layer in 3D the Z position is changed??, may we know you AE release and show us what are you doing exactly 

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 30, 2021 Aug 30, 2021

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Thank you for responding, OussK.  I tried to attempt this one more time to generate some screen shots and learned how NOT to view layers of an element created in Illustrator by changing their rotation values.  I should have relocated and re-aimed my camera rather than attempting to rotate the layers as a group, in order to see their positions in z-space.

Thanks again for responding.

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