7 Replies Latest reply on Mar 28, 2012 8:00 AM by Dave LaRonde

    Please help with opening old mac AE file on a pc

    GSIDesign Level 1


      With the latest version of AE on a pc I tried opening older mac version .aep file created I believe in 1999. I had very little hope so I wasn't surprised to see this message:

      "After Effects error: this file was created with an older version of After Effects [3.0 (Macintosh PPC)], and can’t be opened. You can convert this file using an older version of After Effect and resaving."

      It is not clear which version should be used, Pc or Mac, and if at the end that file could eventually be opened in thet latest AE on a pc.


      I will greatly appreciate any help with this.

        • 1. Re: Please help with opening old mac AE file on a pc
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          The current CS5.5 can open files as far back as AE 6.0. If I remember correctly, 3.0 files can only be opened up to the old AE 5.5. To complicate matters, those old files are platform-specific (cross-platform compatibility started with 4.1 or 5.0, I believe). So in summary, you would need an old PPC Mac with one of those old versions which these days is pretty much a hopelss cause. And even if you find someone, then the next problem might be compatibility of effects. You probably should simply scrap the idea and rebuild the project...



          • 2. Re: Please help with opening old mac AE file on a pc
            GSIDesign Level 1

            Thanks Mylenium


            Rebuilding is not an option. It is a lot of work and I need this as a portfolio item. I created a promotional interactive CD with Macromedia Director in 1999 for a sign company. I created 19 short animations for it with After Effects 3 using old PPC Mac.  I haven't used After effects since then but recently several new clients asked me if I can make animations from that nature. So, I'm trying to use my old work as a demonstration of my creative skills.  The problem is that the animations were rendered tiny with 309 x 228 pixels to fit in the interactive interface of the presentation intended for the small monitors used at that time. I took the animations from the interactive CD  and using the latest AE on a pc, I created a rough composition with running the animations one after another. To make the animations a bit larger I scaled most of them to 320 x 240 hoping it will look better.


            In my archives I have the project files and all .ai vector graphics used for the animations. I still have the old PPC Mac retired somewhere in the closets and installer CD with After Effects 3 and 4. I thought it would be great if I can somehow open the files in the latest version on a pc but if not I guess I have to take out that old mac are render to higher resolution using this ancient machine and AE version. And I'm wondering if all this is worth it.


            I will appreciate any tips, advices, things to be aware, etc, and how to make this looks better on YouTube.


            Oh, and another question by the way, I haven't been current to the animation software for a long time and wonder if this kind of presentational animations are best suited for creating with Flash or After Effects is still OK?

            • 3. Re: Please help with opening old mac AE file on a pc
              Navarro Parker Level 3

              The PPC part in the error messages refers to a Mac with a PowerPC chip (the chips Macs used before modern Intel chips, but after the original 680x0 line of chips). But any Mac running 10.6 or earlier will be able to run an old version of PowerPC After Effects.  (The PowerPC-to-Intel translation software called Rosetta was removed from 10.7 Lion).


              So try to find someone with an old version of After Effects... maybe v5.5 (not CS5.5).

              • 4. Re: Please help with opening old mac AE file on a pc
                GSIDesign Level 1

                Thank you for replying Navarro. I still do have the PPC Mac and today I pulled it out from the closet, dusted it off, turned it on after so many years, and managed to open the project with AE 4.


                Now I need help from this forum with rendering the composition with higher resolution. Have in mind that I haven't used AE for more than 10 years and I consider myself as a total newbie.

                I didn't find anything in the settings of the Render Queue window that allows increasing the resolution - there is an option only for decreasing it. Then I tried creating a new composition with higher resolution, dropped the old one into it as nested, and scaled the nested comp to fit  the new size. However the test render showed that it is not rasterizing the vector art at the final resolution of the containing comp but  to the size of the nested comp and then interpolates from there the rasterized result from the nested comp to the size of the containing comp which is not good. So now I can't think of anything else but to resize the original comp and the whole animation in it to the desired screen size but I don't know how to do that without messing the existing animation.


                Any help with this will be greatly appreciated

                • 5. Re: Please help with opening old mac AE file on a pc
                  GSIDesign Level 1

                  Ok, found the answer where it is supposed to be - in the manual. Now it renders perfectly crisp at larger resolution.



                  • 6. Re: Please help with opening old mac AE file on a pc
                    Skeet Surfer Level 1

                    I just tried opening an old AE 4.1 file in CS3 with no luck. Are there any helpful souls out there who can help me get this resolved please? Will help out in return.



                    • 7. Re: Please help with opening old mac AE file on a pc
                      Dave LaRonde Level 6

                      Re-read Mylenium's response further up in the thread.  He describes the circuitous route you'll have to take to get from AE 4.1 to AE 8.