How to import Illustrator layers to After Effects
Let’s say you have vector layers in Illustrator you want to insert into After Effects.
To do this, you can just drag the illustrator file directly into After Effects, but before we do that, we want to make sure the illustrations are separated into individual layers.
Every top layer in Illustrator will turn into ONE shape, so if you have sublayers in here that you want to turn into separate shapes, then separate them first.
Now, save and close the document and then drag the Illustrator file into the After Effects window.
There are 4 choices you need to make now in order to turn your Illustrator file into individual shape layers and I will show you a visual explanation of these 4 choices at the end of the video for you to take a screenshot of if you like.
First, in the popup window, you click “Footage”.
Second, you choose “Merged layers”.
The word “Merged” can be a bit misleading here, but in this context, it basically means “All layers”.
Third, you drag your file into your composition, right-click on it and choose “Create” and “Convert to Layered Comp”.
Now you have created a separate composition containing your top layers from your Illustrator document.
Now, the fourth and final step is to select all of the layers, right-click on them, and go to “Create” again but now you click “Create Shapes From Vector Layer”.
This will create new shape layers from each Illustrator layer and now you can delete your Illustrator layers and the file you imported because now you have created your own shapes inside After Effects.
Here’s an illustration showing the 4 different choices you have to make in order to achieve this. If you’re a visual person like me, this will hopefully make this process easier to understand.
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