Moved to the After Effects Forum.
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If you ACTUALLY made an Illustrator file with real, live layers -- none of this paths and shapes nonsense but real, live bona-fide LAYERS
(many Illustrator folks overlook this oh-so important detail, but After Effects folks sure don't!)....
....AND you imported said real-live-layered Illustrator file as a comp....
...THEN just scrutinize your project pane for a comp with the same file name as your Illustrator file. Double- click on it. Your layers are revealed in all their glory. You can copy-paste them into other comps. There's also a folder containing those Illustrator layers and you can just drag 'em into other comps.
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When you import your multi-layered Illustrator file into your project, 2 things will appear in the Project panel. One is a folder which contains all of the layers. The other is a composition icon. Do not drag this into a anew composition. Do not drag it onto the New comp button. Instead, simply double-click it and it will open to show you it's layers, all ready and happy to animate
hope this helps,
Angie Taylor | (email removed by moderation)
Thank you for your reply. Following your guidelines I have imported an AI file comprising 11 separate, straightforward layers of various body parts and clothing on a human figure. When I double-click on the file in the project window the figure appears in the comp window minus the eyes and eyebrows and the trousers are on top of the coat although the reverse is the case in the AI file where the layers are structured properly. If,alternatively, I drag the AE layers folder onto the main comp all the layers are superimposed one on top of the other. It may be that I will have to ask Adobe to replace my parallel universe version of CC 2017 but if you can explain why this is not working I would be grateful.
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The layers may be in the wrong order in the comp, e.g. layer "Eye Iris & Pupil" is below layer "White of Eye" in the timeline.
This should NOT happen if you have your layers in the proper order in Illustrator. But if it's the case, just move the layers into the proper vertical order in the timeline.
If it's something else, it will take more diagnostic work to isolate the problem.
Thanks for your reply. The layers were all in the right order in Illustrator. I have readjusted them as you suggested.
As for my second point, the imported 7-layer Illustrator file is a simple stick figure but when the layers folder is dragged onto the main comp as you suggested, all the layers are superimposed one on top of the other. Is there a way of reporting these irregularities to Adobe?
can you please show a record of your screen as you slowly step by step try to create a composition out of your Ai file? I feel that we could spot what's wrong if we see the procedure exactly.
You shouldn't drag the comp into a new comp. just ddouble-click the composition named "Figure" that's in the Project panel
Thanks for your reply. I have found that dragging a comp into a new comp does not work even though this was recommended by one of the forum advisors (see full thread). Having imported a simple multi-layered Illustrator file like this one:dragging it into a new comp in AE results in a superimposed image in the comp window like thisYour advice to simply double-click on the comp to reveal all the layers in the timeline does work but if I double-click on a subsequent imported file this opens it up in its own comp window and the previous file is no longer visible so the two objects cannot be manoeuvred together. If, alternatively, I just drag the comp into the existing comp window the layers do not appear in the timeline. Sorry to impose on you this very basic stuff but if you can help me get these fundamentals right I would be very grateful.
double-click on the comp to reveal all the layers in the timeline does work but if I double-click on a subsequent imported file this opens it up in its own comp window and the previous file is no longer visible so the two objects cannot be manoeuvred together.
this shows you are misunderstanding the process. when you click on a footage item, it opens in a footage window, not composition window. you were advised to import your files as a compositions, and then click on the composition icon twice.
this is an illustrator file as an example:
in Ae you import as composition, layer size
you will see this
now... just click on the composition twice
you need more training, this is basic stuff. if you rush into Ae, you are going to hit a brick wall. spend some time here:
for example this basic tutorial:
https://helpx.adobe.com/after-effects/how-to/aftereffects-import-elements-cc.html?playlist =/ccx/v1/collection/product/after-effects/segment/designer/explevel/beginner/applaunch/bas ictraining/collection.ccx.js?ref=helpx.adobe.com
I am not misunderstanding the process. I am perfectly aware that the file has to be imported as a composition - retain layer size and then has to be double-clicked in the project panel for the layers to be displayed in the timeline. The question I have been trying to get answered concerns SUBSEQUENT IMPORTED FILES. The tutorial video you cite merely shows the importing of a subsequent footage file which is then previewed in the composition window and thus visible on its own. As my project will consist of several imported compositions I need to see them all simultaneously in the composition window with all their various layers displayed in the timeline. At the moment, when a second/subsequent imported file is double-clicked it merely replaces the first composition in the comp window and timeline. What is the procedure for viewing all imported comps in the comp window and their layers displayed in the timeline so the project can evolve?
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At the moment, when a second/subsequent imported file is double-clicked it merely replaces the first composition in the comp window and timeline. What is the procedure for viewing all imported comps in the comp window and their layers displayed in the timeline so the project can evolve?
seems there are two issues here. because you also wrote this:
uperimposed layers once the layer folder has been dragged onto the Maincomp composition
which resulted in all the layers centered in a composition
as for viewing all your comps at once, you could follow angie's advice, or you might want to consider this workflow for viewing your master comp, while editing another this is how most users do it.
precomp has its price. on one hand you are more organized and some procedures don't leave you a choice and you have to precomp, on the other hand, you work in isolation. there are many ways to overcome this problem: locking your viewer (like the ETLAT workflow), if it's effects then locking your effects panel, or maybe using guide layers if it's a background reference you need, and many more.
I am obviously not making myself clear. I am not seeking to view different comps in a split-screen format. I notice from your website that you are an experienced designer so you must have created Ae projects comprising numerous comps. After you clicked on the first comp which showed it in the comp window and displayed the layers in the timeline, what did you then do to get additional comps to feature SIMULTANEOUSLY in the unsplit comp window ALONGSIDE the initial comp? As previously mentioned, clicking on a second comp merely replaces the initial one in the comp window and timeline, and simply dragging the second comp into the comp window does not allow the layers to be displayed in the timeline. Surely there is a procedure to get round this situation.
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As previously mentioned, clicking on a second comp merely replaces the initial one in the comp window and timeline, and simply dragging the second comp into the comp window does not allow the layers to be displayed in the timeline. Surely there is a procedure to get round this situation.
it should be called a compromise. you make do. it all comes down to arranging your hierarchy in a way that makes sense.
a rule of thumb is that if your layers interact with each other, they all need to be in the same comp. if they are separate scenes, that only need each other as a reference, but there is no actual interaction (beside the composite image), then each "scene" can be in a different precomp. this will help you manage your project. if you need to control a precomp, while viewing the master comp that contain it - use ETLAT workflow. you can lock layer panels and composition panels.
to precomp, or not to precomp - that is the question. veteran users wrestle with this question everyday, and now you do.
if this does not answer your questions, maybe we should get into the specifics: what is the exact scenario you are facing, show us your project and what are the exact workflow problems you are facing. (i.e I want to move the characters hand but at the same time look at the building...) with full screenshots and detail
That Adobe do not deem it necessary to provide a tutorial video for such a basic required procedure is staggering. I have seen tutorial videos on other subjects where the number of layers in the timeline exceed a hundred which means they have managed to introduce the layers of numerous imported Ai files into the timeline, so it must be possible. You mention pre-comps. My understanding of the purpose of pre-comps is to allow certain layers to be linked and then, in a single manoeuvre, have their properties such as position, opacity changed. But even if I do convert the layers of the two imported files into two separate pre-comps, when I drag them down to the timeline the layers are not visible until I click on the pre-comp, but this then zaps the other pre-comp. The project I am trying to build is a busy street scene comprising a mixture of people, food stands, cars etc. of which I have seen many such animations on the internet so it is obviously possible.
I have seen tutorial videos on other subjects where the number of layers in the timeline exceed a hundred which means they have managed to introduce the layers of numerous imported Ai files into the timeline, so it must be possible.
to have hundreds of layer in one composition means:
1. the layers were created in the timeline
2. the layers were imported from a multi-layered Ai/Ps file and opened as a composition
3. the layers were imported from multiple multi-layered Ai/Ps files as composition, then were consolidated into one composition by simply copy and pasting from each comp to the master comp
is 3 what you are asking? simply copy pasting from one comp to another?
It's not really good practice for you to have all of your layers in one single comp but if that's what you really want to do, here's how.
import your street scene as a comp. Make sure NOT to select the option to Retain Layer Size.
double click the comp of your street scene. Import all the other AI files as comps). Ignore their composition icons and instead go into each associated folder and drag all the layers from
each of these into the Street scene comp.
As I said, and the others have said. This is not a reccommended workflow but if you really want to do it that way, this is your best option :-)
I am not actually interested in having all my layers in a single comp. All I want to achieve is to have all the layers of the Ae imported files displayed in the timeline so that they can be keyframed along the length of the project. The simple scenario I envisage of the street scene is two guys walking up to each other and shaking hands, and then walking over to a food stand where the vendor stretches out his hand to offer them some pizza, for example. The problem I am trying to resolve is this:
When I click on the composition of the first guy his figure appears in the composition window and his layers are duly displayed in the timeline. To get the second guy into the composition window I click on him in the project panel, but his figure replaces the first guy in the comp window and replaces his layers in the timeline. As I said, I need both of them in the comp window and their layers in the timeline so that I can animate arms and legs. So, if YOU were doing this simple animation what method do you use to get both figures in the comp window and their layers displayed in the timeline at the same time?
Follow the steps I set out in my previous message to do this.
I'd also recommend that you follow a structured course on character animation in After Effects as it sounds to me like you are misunderstanding how the application actually works. Here's a link to my course on how to do character animation in After Effects. I also thoroughly recommend recomposing and using multiple viewers as I said in previous messages;
https://www.lynda.com/After-Effects-tutorials/2D-Character-Animation-After-Effects/123444- 2.html?lpk35=8189&utm_medium=ldc-partner&utm_source=CMPRC&utm_content=524&utm_campaign=CD1 4836&bid=524&aid=CD14836