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photo shop clipping masks not importing in after effects

New Here ,
Nov 09, 2021 Nov 09, 2021

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I have a photo shop file with clipping masks in it assigned to layers and also groups. But the clipping masks are not importing in to after effects even as layers. I have to rasterize the layers/groups in PS and then import it. It is a tedious process and not at all production friendly as the PS files have more than 30 clipping masks and around a 100 such PSD's. Also the groups cannot rasterize as the layers inside the group have to be animated separately. Is there  a solution for this? Any help will be hugely appreciated.

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FAQ , How to , Import and export , Performance

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LEGEND ,
Nov 09, 2021 Nov 09, 2021

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Clipping masks will be converted to masks if you import PSDs as compositions, with the point being that masks are properties on layers, not footage items. Has never been any different and even that is limited by what specific features the files use otherwise. Complex groups, smart objects, group masks and so on can easily throw things off. This is nothing you can change. You have to design your PSDs with the later AE use in mind or else you run into all sorts of issues. that's just how it is. If you can provide more specific info liek screenshots of your PS layers palette and AE timeline I'm sure we can advise on specific optimizations or different workflows.

 

Mylenium

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New Here ,
Nov 18, 2021 Nov 18, 2021

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Thanks for the reply. Basically AE is not respecting clipping masks assigned to groups. Img01 is the test psd where you can see the clipping mask assigned to a layer and a group. It is respects the mask applied to the individual layer but not on a simple group.(Img02). I have recieved PSD's from artists which have clipping masks assigned to complex groups having multiple groups inside the group and also clipping masks assigned to  some of those internal groups. Its going to be a nightmare of nighmares if I dont find a quick and easy workaround for this.

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LEGEND ,
Nov 18, 2021 Nov 18, 2021

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Rasterize the masks to a regular layer, assign the result either as track mattes in the parent comp or use the Stencil Alpha belnding mode at the top of the comp's layer stack. Problem solved. Instruct your artists to use proper workflows in the first palce and not just assume that AE would be a version of PS with extra features.

 

Mylenium

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Explorer ,
Nov 04, 2023 Nov 04, 2023

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This is an absurd reply and is not helpful. Every artist I know and every production I've worked uses clipping masks and layer masks this way. There's nothing "improper" about it. After Effects' functionality is always changing due to bugs introduced with each new version. I've had no trouble importing these kinds complex photoshop files in the past and now I'm here because all of a sudden layer masks aren't importing into AE at all. This idea that we're supposed to dig through immense photoshop files and carefully reformat all the masks for every file is ludacris. That would not even be possible given how many files they described needing to import - it could easily take 2 hours for one file let alone 100.

The same people make Photoshop and After Effects. If AE can't import photoshop masks as trackmattes automatically (for some reason, anymore) it's on them to fix it. No one is instisting on some crazy feature request with this, it's an absolutely basic function that is necessary for any real working professional going between both apps. 


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New Here ,
Dec 18, 2023 Dec 18, 2023

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I think the problem might be that track matts are quite heavy on the software, so encouraging designers not to prepare their files properly isn't the best idea.
Most of the time, when people use clipping masks on illustrator, they don't want it there for animation, but to avoid having to pathfind anything.

If you were to then import everything on AE, and it automatically created a clipping mask, it would have to calculate it constantly even if it ends up not ever being animated individually.

There's also the fact that I don't think you can apply Track Matt to individual objects within a layer, you can only apply it to the layer itself. If you import a complex object as one layer composed of multiple objects, most of the time, you want to animate them in a very primitive way for detail work... Or not at all ! So AE kinda assumes you prepare it beforehand and doesn’t give you the option to track matt, it would be extremely heavy on your hardware. 

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