13 Replies Latest reply on Sep 7, 2016 9:03 AM by Roei Tzoref

    Retain Layer Sizes of PS animations to AE

    sketcheth

      I've been coming up against an annoying issue while working on some hand drawn Photoshop animations which I do additional animation on in After Effects that I'm curious if anyone has a workaround for it, OR can explain why it works this way.

       

      Essentially what I have determined that the "Retain Layer Sizes" option for importing compositions will not work on any layer which does not span the entire duration of the photoshop animation. See screenshot:

      Screenshot 2016-09-06 15.09.37.png

      This becomes a real nuisance when, for example, I have an animated foreground or background element that extends beyond the edge of my Photoshop canvas that is imported into AE cropped to the size of my composition.

       

      Thanks in advance for any advice or explanations you all have!

        • 1. Re: Retain Layer Sizes of PS animations to AE
          Roei Tzoref Adobe Community Professional

          This workflow is news to me haven't been doing PS's Video Timeline animations and it's nice to see Ae respects Ps timeline. it seems you are correct: if the layer is growing outside the canvas size and is not set to the full duration, it will be cropped to canvas in Ae and will be at the composition dimensions as if you imported as composition.

           

          some of Ps features do not translate properly to Ae so you have to merge, reduce clutter etc. there are even more basic things that don't translate correct from Ps to Ae, so you can add this to the list.

           

          Guess my workaround would be to create a copy of the Ps file with just those layers extended to the duration. import both files to Ae. the one with the trimmed editing and cropped elements, and the other with the elements stretched to the duration. and then replace the elements manually from the project window to the edited timeline. it's not that bad.

           

          I would advise you to also check in this site, maybe they know something: Photoshop Animation – Sharing knowledge about Photoshop Animation

           

          if you find anything please tell us

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Retain Layer Sizes of PS animations to AE
            sketcheth Level 1

            Thanks for the advice Roei, as well as the link! What you described is more or less what I figured to be the optimal way of getting around this issue.

             

            Oddly, I hadn't stumbled upon that Photoshop Animation website in my search, so I appreciate you including that link. It seems that this is one of the less well documented issues, so I didn't see anything about it specifically, my suspicion is that most animators try to do the majority of their work in either Photoshop or After Effects, and not split it too much between the two, and that they would get around this issue by importing elements rather than entire animated scenes, which I may have to do as well.

             

            I'll definitely update this if I find any explanations or other useful workarounds.

            • 3. Re: Retain Layer Sizes of PS animations to AE
              Roei Tzoref Adobe Community Professional
              my suspicion is that most animators try to do the majority of their work in either Photoshop or After Effects, and not split it too much between the two, and that they would get around this issue by importing elements rather than entire animated scenes, which I may have to do as well.

              I think so as well. I tried to make a document about Video Timeline vs Frame Animation but this was not so much of a success. Re: rotoscoping techniques: Frame Animation vs Video Timeline these were my first attempts here in the forums and I actually thought I was making a document and could not edit further once a user replied. this subject is intriguing to me but I have no use for it really. just wanted to share with my students about rotoscoping animation techniques in Ps. there isn't really too much official documentation on what Ps timeline can actually do and mostly users share their information. feel free to post me on this subject privately if you want.

              • 4. Re: Retain Layer Sizes of PS animations to AE
                Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                Every time I have done a timeline in Photoshop I have just exported a movie. I actually do that quite a lot of movie to Photoshop timeline back to movie processing to get paint effects into video with a little more control and in less time that it takes to do the same thing in AE.

                 

                I've never opened a Photoshop timeline in AE but I'll check out the workflow out and see if I can suggest anything that might improve your efficiency. You say:

                Essentially what I have determined that the "Retain Layer Sizes" option for importing compositions will not work on any layer which does not span the entire duration of the photoshop animation.

                What happens if you keep the layer the full span of the timeline and animate the opacity? That's the first fix that comes to mind but I have not tried it.

                 

                It doesn't surprise me, as Roei said, that a layer that extends beyond the edge of the canvas gets cut off because there are several things you can do in Photoshop that will give you the same cropping effect on layers extending beyond the canvas.

                 

                If you can find no other solution I wold suggest that you export movies from your animated timeline one layer at a time and composite them in AE.

                • 5. Re: Retain Layer Sizes of PS animations to AE
                  Roei Tzoref Adobe Community Professional

                  Just thought about another workaround that maybe will suit you. set in Ps Image->Reveal All. Import to Ae. now in Ae set the composition back to HD in the Composition settings. your trimmed layers would still have the boundaries of the Composition size, but now they won't be cropped.

                  • 6. Re: Retain Layer Sizes of PS animations to AE
                    Roei Tzoref Adobe Community Professional

                    " I actually do that quite a lot of movie to Photoshop timeline back to movie processing to get paint effects into video with a little more control and in less time that it takes to do the same thing in AE."

                     

                    Interesting, could you show an example?

                    • 7. Re: Retain Layer Sizes of PS animations to AE
                      Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Render a clip as a .mov file from AE, Premiere Pro or the AME and import into Photoshop. Make the layer a smart object. Apply any of the paint or texture effects from the filter gallery or anywhere else. Render the move in a production format and bring it back into AE for further compositing, render it using the AME from Photoshop for delivery, or use it directly in your NLE. This this 4K shot:

                      train.png

                      Becomes this:

                      THIS.png

                      when you make it a smart object in Photoshop and apply these filter gallery settings.:

                      filter.png

                      which can become this;

                      THIS.png

                      By duplicating layers and and adding adjustment layers and messing with opacity and blend modes like this:

                      Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 6.55.54 PM.png

                      Which is just one of a bunch of looks that are not easy to do in AE. I have used most of the effects in the filter gallery to either create different looks or to create a layer I can use as a helper for my composite in AE. Any filter you have in your PS arsenal can be added to video if you make it a smart object.

                      matte.png

                      This red and white layer can be used procedural matte to control other effects in AE. It's pretty hard to get this exact kind of cutout inside AE without a lot of fussing around. For example with a minimum amount of simple roto you could use the bottom red from the lake as a matte for the water so you could make it a different color or composite other things into the shot while maintaining edge detail that would be hard to achieve any other way. This is a very handy tool for certain types of composites.

                      • 8. Re: Retain Layer Sizes of PS animations to AE
                        sketcheth Level 1

                        Rick Gerard wrote:

                        What happens if you keep the layer the full span of the timeline and animate the opacity? That's the first fix that comes to mind but I have not tried it.

                        This would work, it would definitely keep the timing of the layer being visible, but it doesn't solve my problem of having a multiple keyframe layer getting cropped. Thanks for sharing how you use filters on video footage! Pulling a matte from footage that way is ingenious!

                         

                        Roei Tzoref wrote:

                        Just thought about another workaround that maybe will suit you. set in Ps Image->Reveal All. Import to Ae. now in Ae set the composition back to HD in the Composition settings. your trimmed layers would still have the boundaries of the Composition size, but now they won't be cropped.

                        Thanks Roei! This might be the best solution, in the end!

                        I suppose there will be a little fiddling to be done trying to get the new composition to land pixel perfectly within the intended composition size in AE, but if the canvas was increased symmetrically rather than through Reveal All, that problem would be solved!

                         

                        The only problem I still wish I could solve then is that while nothing is cropped off, any layer that does not match the length of the animation will automatically assume the size of the entire composition. For example: If I have a 5 frame animation of a shape that stays within a 500x500px  area of my 1920x1080px composition in PS, because those 5 frames cannot each meet the full length of the animation, AE will interpret those frames' dimensions as 1920x1080.

                         

                        This is really only a pain because the center transform/pivot of those frames will be centered within the composition, not the layer.

                         

                        However, I suppose as long as all of those frames could be precomped, I could use a plugin like this to resize them and get my pivot points back: pt_CropPrecomps - aescripts + aeplugins - aescripts.com

                         

                        Thanks for the help, fellas!

                        • 9. Re: Retain Layer Sizes of PS animations to AE
                          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          Another option would be to just resize the canvas in Photoshop so that it is big enough to include your background layers. If you realize the PSD from the middle then open the imported comp in AE you can simple downsize the comp from the middle and everything should work. I don't know why I didn't think of that before.

                          • 10. Re: Retain Layer Sizes of PS animations to AE
                            Roei Tzoref Adobe Community Professional

                            However, I suppose as long as all of those frames could be precomped, I could use a plugin like this to resize them and get my pivot points back: pt_CropPrecomps - aescripts + aeplugins - aescripts.com

                            I don't think this would work. the idea is the the precomp is cropped to the layer size. and since the layer size is the composition size, you won't get the crop you want. maybe the 1st workaround (2 design files) is better if composition boundaries is a problem.

                            • 11. Re: Retain Layer Sizes of PS animations to AE
                              Roei Tzoref Adobe Community Professional

                              Thank you for sharing Rick. I will test this out when I have a challenging matte extraction.

                              • 12. Re: Retain Layer Sizes of PS animations to AE
                                Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                Just for fun - I rendered the train video after a few tweaks to show some extreme styling.

                                You could use the red matte example above to remove the noise from the water. The fun never ends.

                                • 13. Re: Retain Layer Sizes of PS animations to AE
                                  Roei Tzoref Adobe Community Professional

                                  Thank you. I hope we can expect greater collaboration between these two great Apps. Photoshop has got some very strong and effective filters and effects and it seems they each advance but the combination is still quite weak at times. the face aware liquify in the latest addition works surprisingly well on video! only wish we could keyframe the parameters - this could make animation of facial expression from a still really fun and easy. some of the Ps tools are really groundbreaking - imagine you if you could use something like content aware on a video...some of the Ps tools are more advanced than Ae's for example Camera Raw is superior to Lumetri. Ps has live histogram and Ae does not. I could go on. hope Ae could beg, borrow or steal to keep the pace with PS.