7 Replies Latest reply on Jun 26, 2012 8:41 PM by Rick Gerard

    Large Photoshop file with many under layers

    _snickers Level 1

      Hey guys,


      I'm a bit confused right now. I want to animate an application in After Effects and have a large photoshop document with many layers.


      After importing it to After Effects by choosing "editable layer styles" I get a composition which holds many other compostions in it.


      When I animate the main composition it works fine but if I edit an under compostion afterwards my main composition is kind of overwritten. And I have to to this cause I want to fade in and fade out elemtens from those under layers.


      My animation goal:

      I have an accordion menu that pops up after "clicking". In this menu there are several points that you can choose. All these points are on under layers in my photoshop file. The pop up menu works fine, but if I change some points it affects also my main menu.


      "Startscreen_final" is my main composition, "Medikamente" my under layer as you can see in the two screenshots.


      Can anyone help me? Hope you understand what I meanBildschirmfoto 2012-06-26 um 10.22.41.pngBildschirmfoto 2012-06-26 um 10.23.15.png:-/


      Thanks a lot for your support :-)

        • 1. Re: Large Photoshop file with many under layers
          Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          I don't qute understand what you require, but some things that might help:


          When you import a layered PSD, anything within the PSD that is in a Layer Group will be assigned it's own composition in After Effects.  That composition is then nested in the main composition.  This is After Effects way of "grouping" layers.  These nested compositions are linked:  when you animate something in your precomp "Medikamente", that animation will also occur in the main "Startscreen_final" comp.  If you don't want this to happen, create a duplicate of the "Medikamente" comp and work with that instead.

          • 2. Re: Large Photoshop file with many under layers
            Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

            As Andrew said, perfectly normal. You need to restructure your elements or work with duplicates. The flaw in your case that your entire project is based on the sites navigation structure, not how the UI behaves and responds to user input. Makes no sense to have arrows, bullets or separator lines associated with a category button. Split them out to a separate comp, then use that extra comp in your main comp and parent it to the actual button. It's simple things like that.



            • 3. Re: Large Photoshop file with many under layers
              _snickers Level 1

              You understood most of the things I tried to explain ;-) Duplicating the comp "Medikamente" leads to a new comp named "Medikamente 2". But I need two different compositions. That doesn't work :-( comp "Medikamente 2" leads to the under layers of "Medikamente" at the moment. That's really tricky :-(

              • 4. Re: Large Photoshop file with many under layers
                Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                Then duplicate everything as many times as you need and do so in the project window, so it cbecomes a separate instance. Again, the flaw is in the structure of your whole document no doubt. Without seeing the full setup, however, nobody can be more specific than that. In fact you may even consider scrapping your PSD for the most part and rebuilding the UI in AE to make more sense in terms of the functionality it represents. It would probably make much more sense to e.g. have just one comp for a button state and then combine it in a parent comp with the button label and again use that now completed button in teh main comp. O IOW: You have jumped too far ahead in PS and finalized too much and now it's kicking you in the back.



                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Large Photoshop file with many under layers
                  _snickers Level 1

                  Thank you so much for this detailed answer


                  My problem is that in my PSD there are a lot of little objects that need to be animated. So I cannot resize my layers very much.


                  Is there no other possibility to just copy and paste my composition with all the under layers? Rebuilding my PSD would take too long. I only have a few days left for this project and this example is just one screen of many that has to be animated. :-(


                  What exactly do you mean by "duplicate everything as many times as you need and do so in the project window"? In my project window I only have the compostion named "Medikamente 1" and a folder with my PSD. If I duplicate both files, the instances of "Medikamente 2" still refer to "Medikamente 1" if I go deeper in the composition. That's too bad :-(

                  • 6. Re: Large Photoshop file with many under layers
                    BenjaminMarkus Level 4

                    I think Mylenium is right.  I would rebuild your project in AE.  It shouldn't take very long provided you do it a certain way.  This is the workflow I use when I know my project is going to be huge and the psd has too many layers...


                    First open your project in Photoshop and make sure you've combined as many layers as possible so you're only dealing with the layers that you'll actually need to animate.  Then I would go to File - Scripts - Export Layers to Files and choose the following settings...


                    Screen Shot 2012-06-26 at 4.12.29 PM.png


                    1.  Make everything PNG-24 so that it has Alphas and make sure transparency is selected.  (PNGs are very good quality and much smaller than TIFFs.  They will make your entire project run way faster than if you were working entirely with TIFFs or especially a PSD with pre-comped PSDs.)


                    2. Turn off "Trim layers," otherwise it will trim the edges of the unused portion of the canvas for every layer and make each of your pngs the size of the actual content instead of the canvas size.  Of course if you trim them, it will make the images smaller and therefore your project will run even faster.  But, the downside to this is you'll have to really rebuild and re-position everything.  In your case, you probably want it to be the original canvas size so that you can just drop everything into AE and you won't have to worry about scaling or re-positioning.  You will of course end up having to animate the full images of the smaller objects with the large empty Alpha layer around them instead of using trimmed ones, which might make animation a bit annoying, but it depends on you.


                    3.  Finally, select "Visible Layers Only" so that only the groups you have turned on in Photoshop will be exported.  This way you can take the exported group of images into AE and check it to make sure it's pre-comped the way you want it before you bring in more groups.  I would personally do one group at a time, setting them up by parenting and linking all the layers in each one before moving on.  If you need to bring a bunch of stuff in at once so you can parent and pre-comp previously grouped layers together, I might also suggest using shy layers to help keep your master comp organized.  (If the organization of your psd is fine to begin with, you can also just go in and replace everything with PNG-24s for improved speed.)


                    I'm not sure how big your entire project is, but I've rebuilt huge projects this way before and I've always been much happier with the results.  Things run smoother and it makes the entire process of animating more organized and enjoyable.

                    • 7. Re: Large Photoshop file with many under layers
                      Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      It is normal behavior for any animation in a nested composition to show up in the main comp. I think your problem is that you're not getting the timing right. If you want your sub menu's to pop down at a certain time, then you need to make sure that the CTI in the main comp is in the same place as the CTI in the nested comp. There's a setting in Preferences for that. It's in the Preferences>General tab and is called Synchronize time of all related events.


                      Check that box and you should be able to edit as you like. You can also set up a comp viewer for the main comp, lock it, and edit the nested comp so that you can see exactly what is going on.