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AE CC 15.1.1 - Illustrator Files Slow to Load

Community Beginner ,
May 08, 2018

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After opening After Effects or importing an Illustrator Layer, AE can take anywhere from 30s-1m+ to load a .ai file.

I haven't had a chance to test any specific settings or .ai types; but I was wondering if anyone else has seen the issue. There is one or two posts about it I found but nobody was explicit about why.

AI 2018 has also been very slow to load any recent .ai file I have tried. It seems to me there is a problem with Illustrator that needs to be fixed.

If anyone has had a similar experience or has an idea why, please post. Thanks!

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AE CC 15.1.1 - Illustrator Files Slow to Load

Community Beginner ,
May 08, 2018

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After opening After Effects or importing an Illustrator Layer, AE can take anywhere from 30s-1m+ to load a .ai file.

I haven't had a chance to test any specific settings or .ai types; but I was wondering if anyone else has seen the issue. There is one or two posts about it I found but nobody was explicit about why.

AI 2018 has also been very slow to load any recent .ai file I have tried. It seems to me there is a problem with Illustrator that needs to be fixed.

If anyone has had a similar experience or has an idea why, please post. Thanks!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 08, 2018

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You may want to try cleaning your disk cache. Go to edit/preferences (Windows) After Effects:preferences/(Mac) media and disk cache/ then use the options to clean the cache.

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Community Beginner ,
May 09, 2018

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I've tried that many times.
After importing a 2000x3000 file from AI to AE it takes MINUTES just for the image to preview in the layer panel. It is 100% something to do with Illustrator or After Effect's bridge. It's only 80MB and happens locally or on the server. Sometimes the file wont even load at all. There's something seriously wrong.

Never had the problem before updating to 2018 illustrator and after effects.

After importing the file. Closing and re-opening AE, the blue bar at the bottom just spins forever. Not sure if it will load now or in 30 minutes.

Vector elements seem to load fine but an embedded image in illustrator does not play well and just freeze the entire composition window. This is similar in both 2014 and 2018.

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LEGEND ,
May 09, 2018

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An 80-meg Illustrator file?  Wow.

Don't use Bridge.  Use a different method to get it into AE.  Bridge sucks.

And make darned sure everything in that file is RGB; I have my doubts about that image in the file.

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Community Beginner ,
May 09, 2018

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Just importing it. Not sure if I've ever used bridge.

I will double check the color of the source image. It was an editable PDF re-saved with illustrator in both CC and CS6 format. The document color mode is set to RGB along with the proof setup. Is there anything to check outside of that?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 09, 2018

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Is the artwork particularly complex? Lots of gradients? If it's 80Mb, I'd imagine it would have to be. Do you maybe have a bunch of embedded raster elements? It sounds like you may have this, from one of your above comments?

I had a project with a lot of large, complex Ai files recently, and it too was slow - but the artwork was very gradient-heavy, with multiple Ai docs, each with literally hundreds of layers. Honestly, most of those were still 1-2Mb.

To clarify, do you feel like you're seeing this same performance problem with lighter Ai files?

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Community Beginner ,
May 16, 2018

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I have the same issue, just started yesterday.  In Illustrator, I am using RGB mode where there are vectors, plus embedded photos.  I then sequence and name the layers.  In After Effects, I import the .ai file and retain layer sizes.  Everything comes in, but takes up 2-3 minutes to load each file and display all of the imagery to work with. 

The problem is definitely with the jpg images, because when I turn those layers off, all of the vector layers show up fine.  When turing the visibility of those layers back on, it takes a very long time to load.

Also to note is that Illustrator is also having a lot of issues...meaning that I have had to uninstall/reinstall the software and remove preferences each day before work.  Not sure what's going on and why there is suddenly difficulty in opening jpegs.

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Community Beginner ,
May 16, 2018

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This is the exact same problem.

Are you using the most up to date versions? I'm pretty sure I tested it on AI 2014 and AE 2014 and had a similar problem.

It's my opinion that a windows update broke something.

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Community Beginner ,
May 16, 2018

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I am using an iMac 5K late 2015 with 40gigs of RAM so not Windows. 

I had a client project from last year where they wanted to update some photos.  Since last opening the client project, I keep all CC up to date through Adobe through my subscription so I always have the latest software.

When opening the client project, everything looked and worked great as before.  When I opened up their new Illustrator images, I saw that everything was in CMYK, so I converted to RGB.  Also, all photos were linked, not embedded.  So I embedded them to match the original working conditions of the project.

Once in After Effects, upon importing, I saw that the new .ai layers do not have the same icon as the old layers.  They have an orange .ai and then a white .ai under it.  Not sure what that means.

On one occasion, I had to import the photo, instead of using the cropped embed layer and i got the GJEP warning...which means that all of those photos had been converted to CMYK by the client.  Perhaps this is the issue...that they should have been made into RGB before the embed.  So that is the next test I'm going to do...convert images to RGB in Photoshop, then go into .ai and un-embed images and re-embed to the RGB photos.

Lastly...in AE, I did go into the layers and "reload" the photos one at a time, one comp at a time.  Although it did take 2-3 minutes per each comp, ultimately, by being patient the photos did load and I was able to scrub and preview the comp as normal.  Note that I have resolution set to "half".

I am an over 10 year user of AE, and this is the first time I've experienced this issue.  It seems like it's an issue with the 2018 Illustrator update because .ai is having issues on it's own as described earlier.

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Community Beginner ,
May 16, 2018

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Ok that is good to hear. Now that i read your explanation I do remember that using AE 2014 and AI 2014 was slower (because apparently 80MB is a large image to have embedded) but 2018 was 2-3 min where 2014 was maybe 1 or so to load them.

Hopefully someone has already noticed this issue and a fix is on the way.

Your comment about the RGB vs CMYK before embedding is probably a similar situation that we are encountering as the original assets are print.

I will try the same and report back here when I have time.

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Community Beginner ,
May 17, 2018

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So...no luck with trying the RBG files.  What I did in Illustrator was to re-link the images to the same images, but instead of CMYK, I had updated them to RGB from the CMYK the client sent.  Once re-linked, I think embedded them.

Moving over to After Effects, comp by comp, I did a footage reload for each of the photos.  Each comp is still taking 2-3 minutes to load.  But once it's loaded, where I can see the images and vectors, it works fine.  So, speed of loading did not improve, but if I'm patient with the loading portion, then it does work, and so I did finish the work today.

Now here's some more info and here's my takeaway...because I looked back at last year's project that works great.  The original .ai files with images embedded are 7mb.  For the new files, they are 150mb.  That's a massive difference.  Each .ai file contains vector art, plus two 20mb jpeg photos.

My AE timeline is 1920x1080 72dpi.  Last year's .ai files contained imagery all under 1000x1000.  These new files contain photos that are 300dpi and 4896x3264, and within AI the ppi is over 1000 due to re-size?!

So, what it seems like is...the reason for AE being so slow to load my comps is that the .ai files are not only very large in file size, but also extremely large in photo pixel size.  Far larger than I need.  And for one of these reasons, AE is taking a really long time to load the comps for preview.  The only other test I could do is to reduce the size of the photos and see what happens....to let's say a max width of 1000.  Anyhow, that's what I've come up with for now.  No solution though, just a guess. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 17, 2018

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If a raster image (pixels) is not at or near 100% scale at some point in your composition then you have NOT properly prepared the artwork for video production, your project will take longer to render than it should, and the image quality is not as good as it should be.

If you have embedded images in an Illustrator comp and they are not at or near 100% scale then the same rule applies.

For efficient high-quality work, you must properly prepare all graphics and images for video production. There are several references to this in the help files. Different types of raster images require different methods of preparation. Some images look better when you reduce the apparent detail, some look better when you increase the apparent detail. If you use Photoshop to prepare your images properly you have more control than you do in After Effects and you save render time. In some cases, you can cut the render time per frame for large images by 50% to 75% and you'll end up with better-looking video.

The same thing applies to preparing vector artwork for video. You have to pay attention to the stroke width, gradients, and a host of other things and it's best if you can avoid all raster effects like drop shadow in AI when preparing artwork for video.

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New Here ,
May 23, 2018

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This may not help everyone, but I noticed that the files I had trouble with were syncing on google drive.  When I paused syncing on google drive it cleared right up.

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New Here ,
Jun 26, 2020

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Wow, this immediately fixed my problem. Annoying that two years later this is still an issue. Thanks!

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New Here ,
Jun 18, 2018

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Had the exact same problem here, illustrator CC18 files with 500mb of integrated images.....switched back to aftereffects cc2017 where it is no problem.

CC18 is one of the buggiest release i have seen in 20 years of working with aftereffects !!!

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 25, 2018

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Hi all, encountering a very similar issue with a brand new computer running AE CC 15.1.1

(Intel Core i9-7920X (12-Core) 2.90GHz, 64GB RAM, GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB).

Very similar problems of what I read in this thread, and posting to see if anyone has any suggestions before I give up. Overall crazy amounts of delay opening, or importing, Illustrator files into After Effects. When I say CRAZY I mean, unmanageable, not able to work with these times, something is clearly wrong and it all points to being software related.

This all started when I noticed that an older AE client file takes forever to open - The file is complex and takes a whopping 17 MINUTES to open, and once opened it's impossible to work in. Compared this to opening in my old MacPro (mid2012), no problems opening in 10 seconds, previews are a breeze and no issues at all.

After doing lots of tests, I have found it happens when the illustrator file includes raster images. On my end, it's taking minutes to import one of these illustrator files in After Effects. For example:

-An Illustrator file with 3 layers, one of them a raster image takes about 1.5 minutes to import into After Effects.

-An illustrator file with only 7 layers, 3 of those raster images takes about 7 minutes to import into After Effects.

-Finally, when I go into the same Illustrator files, and replace those raster images with square shapes, the import into After Effects is immediate. It takes less than a second. Like it should.

Before anyone starts with their newb suggestions let me give you a rundown of what I have tried:

1)Purged all memory and disk cache

2)Resetted Preferences (Ctrl+Alt+Shift)

3)Deleted, AE and all Adobe Apps (including Creative Cloud) and re-installed all. Running CCleaner in between.

4)Tried different AE versions to see if the version had something to do with this issue ( I tried it with : AE 15.1 and 15.0.0 and CC2017 14.2.1.34)

None of these have helped.

My next step is to reinstall windows and hope I get something different. Before I do that, I thought I would give you guys a try,

has anyone encountered anything similar? any suggestions of how to fix? or what to try?

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