How to Prepare and Import an Illustrator File into After Effects

In this quick tip will take a look at importing Illustrator files into After Effects and get them ready for animation.

▶ After Effects, Release items to separate layers
The Release To Layers command redistributes all of the items in a layer into individual layers and can build new objects in each layer based on the object’s stacking order. You can use this feature to prepare files for web animation work.

▶ After Effects Shape Layers
Shape layers contain vector graphics objects called shapes. By default, a shape consists of a path, a stroke, and a fill.

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45 thoughts on “How to Prepare and Import an Illustrator File into After Effects

  1. Hi sir when I try to create like this it says could not create outline. Empty or undupported contains so what can I do some layer shapes is converted and some rejected

  2. Great tutorial! You walked through it step-by-step in a very easy way. I've seen similar tutorials like this but not as good and easy explained as this one, thank you! 🙂

  3. Sir, Is it must to have a transparent background or picking Video/Film Present. Can we pick webpage 1080p as a preset too? in Illustrator in order to make it work?

  4. i cant understand The accent of the last part.. "Press ctrl and select then the Press What? into keyboard? all i hear is "Press Dri into keyboard"

  5. Hi! thanx for the video! other people´s video failed to explain that shapes needed to be in different layers! I have one question though. Whenever I finish the process (which I followed step by step) I notice that the area of selection of any shapes is actually bigger than the shape itself. Any thoughts?

  6. omygod! thank you so much for this video, you're a life saver! ! had trouble importing my ai files in ae before they keep merging and turning into png. great tutorial thanks again for the upload!

  7. Hi, thank you so much for your videos. My browsers can not display svg images. instead, I got this massage : " error on line 1 at column 1 : encoding error – below is a rendering of the page up to the first error ". What should I do? Take care.

  8. Thanks a lot for this tutorial. I have a strange problem : I can't click and drag layers into the empty area (I got the prohibition icon…). If anyone knows how to solve this. Thanks !

  9. Oh yeah, the applications work very well together, yeah yeah, they do. Hey everyone, try to import a fucking text from Illustrator to After Effects. Just a fucking text and see what happens.

  10. i like your videos and tutorials very much. i request may be you could help on how to save layers as eps file and later import into after effects.thanks in advance

  11. Hi again, When I import my .ai File (made from scratch) and I shift select everything, I still cannot select the 'Create shapes from vector layer' option. I can see it but it is shaded grey (cannot click on it). I used AI 2017 but AE CS6 . Do you think this might be the cause of my issue? p.s I have tried both composition and composition retain layers

  12. Hi, Why do you need to change vector to shape layer, is there any benefit?? (Disk Cache & size?). Great tutorial, many thanks

  13. Hopefully this helps others who are having difficulty when using newer versions of Illustrator cc: Do NOT use the "target everything" column. Just select the top (aka "main") layer that contains everything else. Then follow the instructions just as Elias describes. For whatever reason, Illustrator freaks out when selecting the "target everything" column… in my experience.

  14. THIS VIDEO HAS HELPED ME ALOT! thank you . But when I import the illustrator layers into after effects , they can't change into shapes 🙁 .. please help me 💓🙏

  15. I want to use the puppet pins but "After Effects Warning: Unspecified Drawing error" keeps coming every time I place a pin… Help me…

  16. A very useful video, thanks a lot. After converting into shapes, Is there any options in After effects where I can delete illustrator files all at once in few clicks coz I have almost 700 layers which is time consuming to delete one at a time.

  17. Hi. I use Coreldraw and can export to AI. I placed all my vectors in separate layers (figured this out on my own 😉) and imported to after effects with this technique. But in after effects I can see nothing, not image, nor layers. Any ideas? Thanks.

  18. Hello, I have a short question on this topic… I tried to import an AI to AE. Now it happened that my object (consists of black lines) is blurred in different shapes of grey. Can’t figure out why the quality gets worse… maybe you know what to do?

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