Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
Now in this movie we're going to cover how to get your layered Illustrator documents into After Effects. So if you navigate in your Exercise Files folder to the Footage folder, in the Illustrator Folder, go ahead and double-click on kineteco_01. This document I've already prepared for import into After Effects. But I want to show you exactly what I've done. First thing, whenever you have live, editable type inside of Illustrator, if you want to bring that in and edit it as shapes, what you should do is select the type layer and then go up under Type > Create Outlines.
Now I've taken things to the next step by taking each individual letter and putting it on it's own layer. This way I can animate each one of these layers. After Effects will recognize the top of the layer hierarchy. So to illustrate my point, let's select the top O layer and just create a new layer. Now I'm going to click on the O layer and Shift+Click on the E layer so all three layers are selected. Now we can drag them and drop them up into layer 20 until you see this hand.
When you let go, you can see that the layers have been dropped in. Let's rename layer 20 ECO with capital letters. Now these letters will be imported as one layer inside of After Effects. I've brought each one of this shapes into one layer and named it Blue, and as you can see it's one shape. Before I save a file to go into After Effects from Illustrator, I like to go up under File and say Save As and save a copy or a different name. Because of the process of putting this on separate layers, I'd still like to be able to get the other version of the file.
So I'm going to name this kineteco_01_AE.ai. That way I know it's ready to import into After Effects. Now there's another reason I'm saving this as a different name and that's because I have multiple project Files in your exercise files that are referencing this kineteco_01 Illustrator file. So just understand that if you're editing with this, you do want to save it as a different name. Okay, now let's click Save and we can leave Create PDF Compatible Files selected and just click OK.
Now if we jump into After Effects you can just double-click in the Project panel to open up the Import Document. Now if you're not already there, just navigate through your exercise files in the Footage folder under Illustrator and there's our kineteco_01_AE.ai file. Now when we import this, if we imported this footage it will be flat. So this time, I want to choose Composition. Make sure this button is not selected, just in case layers have numbers, sometimes this can foul things up.
All right, when we click Open, notice the document is imported as a comp. We can double-click the document and will open our Comp Window and our layer timeline. And as you can see, if we open the folder in the Project panel, each one of the layers has been brought in as it's own Illustrator file that we could drag to other comps. Okay, now let's close that. Now let's look at the layers. As you can see, ECO has been brought in all as one layer. Now another great thing about After Effects CS6, you can convert your Illustrator Shape layers into actual Shape layers inside of After Effects.
So let's select our Blue layer 12. And turn the visibility Off and back On. Okay, Blue layer 12. If you go up to the Layer menu you can go down to Create Shapes from Vector Layer. Once you do that, notice now the Blue layer has been turned off. And if you scroll up to the top of the timeline, sure enough I have a Shape layer. Now I can open up the options for the Shape layer and you can see each individual piece has been brought in as it's own group.
And yes, I can add animators to this layer and animate it like a Shape layer. So as you can see, layer hierarchy is extraordinarily important when it comes to importing your Illustrator documents into After Effects. Also, if you want to bring them in as separate layers, make sure to import them as a composition.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
110 Video lessons · 48322 Viewers
86 Video lessons · 10969 Viewers
350 Video lessons · 100151 Viewers
79 Video lessons · 13835 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.
Your file was successfully uploaded.