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Activity Forums Adobe After Effects AE Doesn’t Import EXR Files Correctly

  • AE Doesn’t Import EXR Files Correctly

    Posted by Nik Yordanov on January 8, 2024 at 6:04 pm

    Hi folks,

    I’m having some trouble with using a EXR file sequence in AE. I have fair experience with AE, but haven’t had much experience using 3D designs in my compositing until now.

    I want to add a lightning bolt striking an abandoned house, creating a small explosion with residual fire on the window frame. I wanted to use an EXR sequence video file to utilize the passes and finetune the lightness and colors more efficiently, so I found these for free download:

    I’m uploading a few screenshots so you can see the steps I take for the import. On the final step I get an AE error saying basically “can’t read image file” and “file is not an image file”.

    You can see on the first screenshot that I’ve selected the option to “import as: footage”. I also tried the option “Composition – Retain Layer Sizes”, but nothing changed.

    Although I’m with AE 2024, I downloaded the latest v. 2.6 of the OpenEXR plug-in and replaced the effects in the plugins, effects folder. But still nothing changed

    I couldn’t find any information that would resolve this in my case, so I decided to post here. Perhaps I’m doing something wrong, but I don’t know what. I’d be very grateful for any help.




    Brie Clayton replied 5 months, 1 week ago 4 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • Hector Vera

    January 8, 2024 at 6:25 pm

    This is the first time I heard of an .exr file and it seems to use multi layer images into one, each with different attritubes, effects and color tones. So not sure if converting it to another file format will make it work the same way. I found something on YouTube that may help tho since it gives you a better idea on how to work with them:

    Hope it works for you! 🙂

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  • Nik Yordanov

    January 8, 2024 at 7:05 pm

    Hi Hector,

    Thank you for joining the thread. I watched this tutorial a few days ago. I’ve basically watched all tutorials on Youtube (at least I think I have) on working with exr files in AE, but haven’t seen something that reflects on difficulties with the import of such an exr sequence. I also think that it wouldn’t make sense to convert these into another format, as I won’t be able to do what I want to do in the first place.

  • Walter Soyka

    January 8, 2024 at 8:26 pm

    It looks like there are hidden macOS metadata files in those folders — one hidden file per EXR file, that starts with a period. They’re showing up in the file browser dialog, and you’re accidentally trying to import them instead of the real EXR files.

    In the Import window, scroll halfway down and make sure you’re importing the EXR files (the ones that DON’T start with a “.”) — then everything should work as you expect.

  • Hector Vera

    January 9, 2024 at 5:54 pm

    Ohh yeah, I see what you mean now cause its true some file format contains metadata of each whenever its already being utilized like whenever I use a video file to my Sony vegas or Premiere Pro, the metadata file for that appears. Thanks for the clarification there. Hope it helps him.

  • Nik Yordanov

    January 9, 2024 at 7:01 pm

    Thank you so much, Walter! Now everything was imported just fine. Actually, I never looked into this, because the archive I downloaded had a separate folder for MAC OS, but I now see there are the same files in both folders.

  • Brie Clayton

    January 10, 2024 at 1:30 am

    Thank you for solving this, Walter!

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