2 Replies Latest reply on Oct 9, 2015 1:42 PM by Dr Missile

    Layer masks, styles, smart filters, etc. not importing properly from PSD

    Dr Missile Level 1

      Hey guys,


      I'm having some inconsistencies importing PSDs into AE, both latest CC 2015 . The odd part is that many of the smart object and layer group effects (features which are 'relatively' new such as smart filters) are importing just fine, but others are not. So, I was wondering if anyone could provide some power-user guidelines for importing PSDs into AE.


      The "Preparing and importing still images" section on the official help page (https://helpx.adobe.com/after-effects/using/preparing-importing-still-images.html#preparin g_and_importing_photoshop_files), offers some general, but vague notes on the subject. "Merge Layer Styles Into Footage: Layer styles are merged into the layer for faster rendering, but the appearance may not match the appearance of the image in Photoshop", but I wasn't able to find any concrete criteria on when a complex layer grouping, (with masks and layer styles on the actual layer group), or smartobjects (with lossless image adjustments and smart filters), imports correctly or not.


      The one thing I think I am observing is that AE doesn't like the "Layer Mask Hides Effects" check-box in the Photoshop 'Layer Style' panel. Any additional insights on the quirks of this process would be appreciated!



        • 1. Re: Layer masks, styles, smart filters, etc. not importing properly from PSD
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          Long story short: If you arrived at these complications, you probably went too far in PS. I personally never bothered with any of this in almost 15 years of using AE. I prefer to do most of that in AE - for glows and several other effects there are better plug-ins and techniques than PS' layer styles plus the resulting structure of the groups converted to pre-comps rarely ever makes sense for animation. Also there are genuine bugs/ issues with smart objects in PS CC 2015, so it's not the best idea to use this workflow. in any case, the less complicated your PSD file, the more likely you will succeed in AE. Rasterize whatever you can and if you use SOs import the native files directly in AE and adjust them there. Same for Smart Filters and what have you - use whatever comes with AE, not use PS.



          • 2. Re: Layer masks, styles, smart filters, etc. not importing properly from PSD
            Dr Missile Level 1

            Thanks for the thought Maylenium... not quite the answer I was looking for considering, with a few quirks, importing PSDs into AE is pretty reliable.


            Experimenting a bit myself I'm finding AE hates two things:


            1. Layer groups with masks and sub-content with layer styles - it treats it like a mask directly on a layer with a layer style
            2. multiple instances of layer styles on the same layer - i.e. two drop shadow effects on the same layer