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Forums Adobe After Effects updating illustrator files with added layers

  • updating illustrator files with added layers

     Andy Engelkemier updated 1 month ago 4 Members · 8 Posts
  • Andy Engelkemier

    July 15, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    Do you folks have any tricks for this?

    Here’s my current process. Maybe it’s already as streamlined as it can be, but I thought I would ask in case this could be faster. So here goes:

    example:you have an illustrator file with 5 layers. Import that into after effects as a composition so you can animate each one as a different object, and your on your way.
    Now, someone says “hey, I updated that file so you’ll need these other 4 layers added”

    No problem. I’ll just add that to my AE saved version of the illustrator file (it’s in RGB instead of the CMYK most people seem to use) and I head back to AE. But they are different objects, so it doesn’t update. It would only have updated pieces if I changed the existing layers that it imported.

    here’s the meat of the process if you’re impatient
    So I just import the file right over again as a new composition with new layers.
    Now I copy the 4 new layers
    paste them into the comp that I’m using
    go back and delete the comp that I just created
    Find the 4 added layers and move them into the folder in the project menu (if you don’t do this step things get messy)
    then I’m on my way.

    SO. I’m looking to see if there is a more efficient way of getting those in. Plus, this process is a little easy to accidentally grab the wrong files. You can see if they are used or not, which helps. After you delete the newly imported file you can just show unused vector art. Assuming you don’t have duplicate names for art that isn’t in the same composition that Should be pretty easy. But if you have a big project, especially if you got it passed off from someone else *gasp* then it Could be messy.

    Let me know what you folks think. I wish they would just have an Add feature, perhaps I’m just missing it.

  • Ken Teutsch

    July 15, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    I haven’t actually done this, but I understand that some people include several empty layers in their AI files…just in case. Then if something has to be added, you add it to the already existing empty layer and the file will update in AE.

  • Andy Engelkemier

    July 15, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    you pose some great questions there, but to All of them, the answer is the same. It just needs to Ask. I would hardly call it “real” sticky. We do this in the 3D world All the time. Just go talk to an engineer.
    The software just pops up and says, “hey, this thing seems out of order. what would you like to do? Ok, would you like to do that with all instanced, or would you like me to ask you about each one individually. And hey, you referenced this layer, but now I’m changing it’s order. how do you want me to deal with that, asign to the new position, or follow the original layer?”
    Other software already does it. And sure, not sure if it will ever happen. It’s probably unlikely that they would add something like grouping in a way that only really is visual, so we’re stuck with nesting, which has benefits, but isn’t the same. We’re unlikely to get a way to rubberband between multiple compositions. There are a bunch of things that we’re unlikely to get, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t reasonable to do. It just might be hard, and not the highest priority.

  • Andy Engelkemier

    July 15, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    Thank you. That’s a fantastic idea. I will definitely do that moving forward. I figured the solution to the issue was a simple workaround like this.

  • Walter Soyka

    July 15, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    This is an interesting problem, and I might be interested in writing a script to address it. Andy, I’d be very interested in hearing about the corner cases [link] you’ve run into with Ai/Ae workflows.

    [Andy Engelkemier] “We’re unlikely to get a way to rubberband between multiple compositions.”

    What do you mean?

    Walter Soyka
    Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
    Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
    @keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]

  • Andy Engelkemier

    July 18, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    Ha, Re: “what do you mean.” I wasn’t aware you could do that. Although, it’s Quite annoying that you have to completely tear off a composition in order to do it. In case that’s still not clear…..
    Often enough, I’ll need an attribute to utilize an attribute from a nested composition. So I’d Love to just start my expression, use the rubberband tool to highlight that, then it fills out the attribute. It Should work by just hovering over a tab for a second, then it switches to that. If you hover over a layer that is collapsed, then it should expand. Hover over the attribute group you need, and same thing. Then you could select the object you need from there, let go, and it should pop you back to the composition you were in where you can add more expression to what you just rubber banded.

    But instead, you need to open that composition, tear it off to a floating window. Then go to the attribute you plan on pointing to, then go back to your composition, and you can rubberband to the attribute.
    It’s not that it’s bad. It’s just a time consuming activity that can save you hours if repeated often enough.

    Regarding the Ai workflow, I’m not sure what I have to add. the trick mentioned about adding extra layers just to store whatever additional objects you might need is a great idea. I’ll just use that in the future. One thing that is really missing is size. I’d like to control the center point, but if someone makes a change to the file that would change it’s center, that’s a big issue. So how to handle that can be quite annoying. But that Rarely comes up for me. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t frequent for someone else though.

  • Ryan Straube

    February 27, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    I know this is a lot later than the original post, but you should be able to do an Import and select your file and choose to import it as Footage then select the layer you want in Layer Options > Choose Layer. You’ll have to repeat this for each new layer you want to add.

  • Andy Engelkemier

    April 13, 2021 at 12:22 pm

    Working in a team, with some of the people involved Barely understanding that they should only use CMYK if the printer requests it, then frequently forgetting and giving me CMYK files anyway, it’s difficult to get them to not move around layers.

    Also the point here is the save time. Doing that takes quite a bit of extra work.

    Of course, these days, I offset a lot of that by using the Overloard plugin. That is SUCH a time saver and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s not for every project, for sure, but you should definitely check it out.

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