4 Replies Latest reply on Feb 15, 2017 2:52 PM by Kevin-Monahan

    Import layer styles from Illustrator to AE


      I've searched many places high and low and still haven't gotten to a solution except recreating in AE...


      The problem:


      A lot of our UI work is composed in Illustrator for vector scaling reasons and often we want to animate these elements. When these elements have gradient fills and strokes, those "effects" are not imported into After Effects. Keep in mind After Effects can import layer styles from Photoshop which makes it possible for layer styles to be easily manipulated/animated.


      The same is not true for Illustrator ---- which makes no sense because there is an option to "Create Shapes from Vector Layer"; however it creates a solid fill instead of incorporating gradient fills and etc.


      Please Adobe, add this feature!

        • 1. Re: Import layer styles from Illustrator to AE
          Dave LaRonde Level 6

          Don't held your breath. 


          AE is a BITMAP application that's able to ACCOMMODATE vector graphics.  AE rasterizes them, i.e. it turn them into BITMAPS.  It does not deal with vectors directly.


          You want Illustrator layer styles??   Make your illustrator images larger than you need to.  Import them into Photoshop.  Flatten them.  Import them into AE.


          Or find a different workflow.  You're tilting at windmills.

          • 2. Re: Import layer styles from Illustrator to AE
            tfitch-ms Level 1

            Hey Dave!


            I wish it were that simple and in a perfect world, I'd change my workflow but the majority of files I handle is Illustrator files. 


            You see, when you use "Create Shapes from Vector Layer", AE creates a new shape layer that is also vector but fills the mask/shape with only a solid fill instead of multiple fills/gradient. In theory, if this mechanism exists, I can't see why multiple fills/gradients from Illustrator can be ported to AE in a similar method.


            Flattening my layer styles from one object in Illustrator isn't an ideal solution especially if you're dealing with many different fills/layers in one object. I ended up recreating each fill using gradient fills in AE which is a similar mechanism that exists in Illustrator... but obviously this process is time consuming.


            I can elaborate if needed but figured I'd post to see if I might be missing a solution somewhere.

            • 3. Re: Import layer styles from Illustrator to AE
              tfitch-ms Level 1

              To go further, I finally found that this mechanism doesn't exist as seen here: Create and customize shapes and masks in After Effects

              Hopefully Adobe gets to fix this at some point...


              The following issues are known:

              • Not all features of Illustrator files are currently preserved. Examples include: opacity, images, and gradients.
              • Converted shapes ignore PAR overrides specified in the Interpret Footage dialog box.
              • Gradients and unsupported types may show as 50% gray shapes.
              • Files with thousands of paths may import very slowly without feedback.
              • The menu command works on a single selected layer at a time.
              • If you import an Illustrator file as a composition (i.e., several layers), you cannot convert all of those layers in one pass. However, you can import the file as footage, and then use the command to convert the single footage layer to shapes.
              • 4. Re: Import layer styles from Illustrator to AE
                Kevin-Monahan Adobe Employee

                Hi tfitch-ms,

                Please make these feature requests here.