9 Replies Latest reply on Jul 14, 2012 6:12 PM by paulburd

    Import Illustrator without artboard?

    paulburd Level 1

      I've asked this in some semi-related threads but I thought it worth it's own thread. Forgive the multiple postings.

       

      I'm using CS6 for both AE and Illustrator. In the past when you imported an Illustrator file into AE it came into AE with the bounding box set exactly at the edges of the actual artwork, meaning the artboard was ignored. In CS6 there doesn't appear to be any way of doing this. Every file I import comes in with the bounding box set to the size of the artboard.

       

      This would be fine if I was starting a new project, but the problem is I'm working on a project that was originally created in CS5. All the previous Illustrator files that have been imported came in to AE without the artboard. I need to edit some of those assets, but when I round-trip the file from AE to Illustrator and back to AE, the edited file comes in with the bounding box reset to the size of the artboard instead of the art - totally screwing up the registration in the comp.

       

      Is there no way to tell AE CS6 to ignore the Illustrator artboard?

        • 1. Re: Import Illustrator without artboard?
          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          The artboard in AI has always defined composition size in After Effects. Importing as Footage always brings in the entire illustrator artboard with artwork cropped as a single footage layer.

           

          Import as Composition brings in all Illustrator Layers as a separate layer cropped to the size of the artboard. IOW, all layers, even those that extend beyone the artboard will be a separate layer in your composition, they will all be the same size as the artboard, and any artwork extending beyond the artboard will be cropped.

           

          Import Composition Retain Layer Size brings in each layer with it's original layer size but the artwork is cropped at the artboard boundry. AI has always done this as far as I can remember.

           

          Here is the import box.

          Screen Shot 2012-07-14 at 8.53.37 AM.png

          • 2. Re: Import Illustrator without artboard?
            paulburd Level 1

            In CS6 all three import options result in the bounding box being set to the edge of the artboard. This is different than previous versions. In previous versions you could import ai files as footage and the artboard would essentially be ignored - the bounding box was set to the edge of the actual artwork.

            • 3. Re: Import Illustrator without artboard?
              paulburd Level 1

              Here's a screenshot of AE CS3. It ignores the artboard when you import an ai file as footage. I could have sworn that it worked this way in CS4 and CS5 as well, but I can't confirm that. It does appear as though later versions of AE respect how the ai file was originally imported, but if you edit the file AE adds the artboard back in.

               

              AECS3.png

              • 4. Re: Import Illustrator without artboard?
                Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                From CS4 (on my system) to CS6 (also on my system) Layers extending beyone the Illustrator Art Board are cropped. I can't remember them not being cropped.

                 

                Here's a screenshot from CS5.5

                 

                Screen Shot 2012-07-14 at 11.49.12 AM.png

                Note the bounding boxes....

                • 5. Re: Import Illustrator without artboard?
                  paulburd Level 1

                  Thanks for your help, Rick. But I can't quite tell if we're talking about the same thing. I'm not actually concerned with items outside the artboard. What I'm trying to do is get the bounding box to be at the edge of the artwork (not the artboard). The star in my CS3 screenshot (above) is like this. The orange shape in your screenshot also appears to be like this. But, in AE CS6, I can't find a way to avoid having the bounding box set the the size of the artboard (See below).

                   

                  AECS6-Bounding-Box.png

                  Note the difference between the bounding boxes in my CS3 screenshot vs. this CS6 screenshot.

                   

                  The problem I'm having is I'm working on files that were created in earlier version of AE. All the ai files are setup like the star in my CS3 screenshot. AE6 respects that, but the moment I edit the star the bounding box gets changed to one that resembles the CS6 screenshot. So, it's position in the comp gets moved.

                  • 6. Re: Import Illustrator without artboard?
                    Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    Notice how the bounding box is at the edge of the artwork in the sample image I put up. It was imported as Composition Retain layer sizes. CS6 gives me the same results I always have always had.

                     

                    I'm not sure what's going on with your star AI file, but if you send it to me I'll test it.

                    • 7. Re: Import Illustrator without artboard?
                      paulburd Level 1

                      That is strange. I've tried all 3 import options and they all come in the same way. The file can be downloaded, here. (link valid for a limited time) That would be great if you could test on your end.

                       

                      A couple items of note - I'm on a Mac (it shouldn't matter but who knows). The issue isn't specific to the star ai file. I've tried several files from many projects both old and new.

                       

                      Thanks!

                      • 8. Re: Import Illustrator without artboard?
                        Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        As soon as I opened your ai file I knew what the problem was. You only have one layer. Try adding a layer to your star.ai It can be blank.

                         

                        As long back as I can remember you have to have more than one layer to import an AI file as a Composition. I think it's always been this way.

                        • 9. Re: Import Illustrator without artboard?
                          paulburd Level 1

                          Thank you, Rick!!!

                           

                          That did the trick. In fact, as long as you have at least one extra (empty) layer you can import the ai file as footage and tell AE to use it's layer size instead of the document size. Creating unneeded layers seems like a silly extra step, but at least there's a workaround.

                           

                          layer-size.png

                           

                          After Effects should really give you this option even if you only have one layer. There's similar functionality in InDesign (crop to artboard or art), so I'm not sure why Adobe makes us jump through extra hoops here.

                           

                          Thanks again for your help.

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