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Imported Illustrator shapes with gradients turning gray after creating shapes from vector layer in After Effects

New Here ,
Dec 06, 2014

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Hello,

I imported an Illustrator file with different shapes with gradients into After Effects. When I create shapes from the vector layers the shapes are turning gray and the gradients are lost.

I already found some thing which helped others to solve this problem but I already checked them but it still doesn't work:

  • All used colors are process colors
  • The document color profile is RGB
  • every shape is on its own layer
  • I created the .ai with the Video and Film template
  • I created a PDF compatible file

I would be very happy if anybody could help me. Recreating the gradient in After Effects is not a solution for me. 🙂

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Imported Illustrator shapes with gradients turning gray after creating shapes from vector layer in After Effects

New Here ,
Dec 06, 2014

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Hello,

I imported an Illustrator file with different shapes with gradients into After Effects. When I create shapes from the vector layers the shapes are turning gray and the gradients are lost.

I already found some thing which helped others to solve this problem but I already checked them but it still doesn't work:

  • All used colors are process colors
  • The document color profile is RGB
  • every shape is on its own layer
  • I created the .ai with the Video and Film template
  • I created a PDF compatible file

I would be very happy if anybody could help me. Recreating the gradient in After Effects is not a solution for me. 🙂

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Dec 06, 2014 0
Dec 06, 2014

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The command to create shapes from vector graphics does not preserve gradients or many other aspects of an Illustrator document.

The bits of advice that you mention are related to importing Illustrator documents; they have nothing to do with this conversion to shape layers.

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Dec 06, 2014 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 06, 2014

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Recreating the gradient in AE is the only solution unless you can use the original illustrator asset. There are only a few things that you can do with a shape layer that you can't do with an illustrator layer. If you absolutely must have your gradients AI assets converted to shape layers you'll have to use the Shape Layer gradient tools to do so. You can almost do the same things, the workflow is just slightly different.

A detailed explanation of what you are trying to achieve would help a bunch. I've never found a design problem that I could not resolve in AE but I have no idea what you are trying to accomplish.

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Dec 06, 2014 1
New Here ,
Jul 09, 2017

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So If I have to animate few characters made in illustrator with gradients, I have to remake all gradient in after effects?

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Jul 09, 2017 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 09, 2017

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No... The only reason to turn an Illustrator layer into a shape layer is to use shape layer animators available under the add button in the shape layers or if you have to actually animate the path that make the shape. You don't need to convert to shapes unless you are using these animators or trying to extrude the layer or you are animating the path.

Just converting a vector file to a shape does not gain you anything other than these features. If you are doing it because you think it is the right thing to do or that you will gain something in the way of quality you are just wasting your time. You also loose a lot of features that can be very helpful when designing characters. Fancy gradients and custom strokes are two of the biggest losses.

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Jul 09, 2017 3
New Here ,
Mar 21, 2018

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Just want to point out that it can be necessary to create shapes from layers when you're working with animations for apps and code.

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Mar 21, 2018 8
Community Beginner ,
Oct 17, 2018

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Hey all,

I ran into the same problem regarding the gradients from Illustrator to AE and at times it might be necessary to import Illustrator files and convert them to shape layers. For example if you want to render an SVG animation.

I haven't tried this yet, but a friend just referred me to the Overlord After Effect add-on by BattleAxe https://www.battleaxe.co/overlord

(Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with Battle Axe in any way, nor do I know the creators. I'm just sharing this because it might be helpful to someone.)

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Oct 17, 2018 1
Explorer ,
Nov 11, 2019

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logged in just to thank you.

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Nov 11, 2019 2
Explorer ,
Feb 08, 2019

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I'm having this same issue. I swear I've gotten gradient strokes to import into AE before, but I've tried everything, and not getting them to import in 2019. I do have the Overlord extension, and it seems import them fine if you have that, unfortunately I'm making a tutorial so that won't work in this case.

The one other solution I can offer, is if you're just doing something like you want to use Trim Paths in AE, you can import the layer, convert it to shapes, apply trim paths to the greyed out shapes, and use that layer as an alpha matte to your original layer with the gradients. (be sure to continuously rasterize the AE layer.

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Feb 08, 2019 0
New Here ,
Sep 28, 2020

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Thank you so much!!!!! This helped me so much. You are a true hero!! That's all I really wanted to use was trim paths. Plus it may work with the other features as well. Not sure as I don't need to do anything else. 

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Sep 28, 2020 0