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Importing Photoshop documents

From: After Effects CS6 Essential Training

Video: Importing Photoshop documents

Now we're starting off inside of Photoshop because obviously a lot of times when you create graphics, you'll probably want to start the design in Photoshop. It does a very good job of creating graphics and I think you'll be amazed how well integrated the communication between After Effects and Photoshop is. So let's look at what we have here. First thing at the top Layer, we have an Adjustment layer. If I turn it's visibility on you could see it's a black and white layer. That's just there in case the client wanted a black and white version.

Importing Photoshop documents

Now we're starting off inside of Photoshop because obviously a lot of times when you create graphics, you'll probably want to start the design in Photoshop. It does a very good job of creating graphics and I think you'll be amazed how well integrated the communication between After Effects and Photoshop is. So let's look at what we have here. First thing at the top Layer, we have an Adjustment layer. If I turn it's visibility on you could see it's a black and white layer. That's just there in case the client wanted a black and white version.

So we'll turn that off and you could see we have editable text. I can see that because I have the little Text Layer there. And we have editable text down here. We have a Shape Layer which is this Black_Bar right there. And then we have layers within layers. So we have each group of these three solar panels. So we have two groups of three. And the next layer down, these are just painted pixels so we have the Washington panel and then the Oregon panel, which when we select those, notice we have a Multiply blend mode and a Vivid Light blend mode and different opacities for each layer.

Now down here, we have a layer that has a Shape and a Mask. So if we disable the mask, I'm just Shift+Clicking on this little thumbnail. That will disable the mask. You can see the full size of the shape. Now I'll just click back on the thumbnail to re-enable it. We do have Layer Styles applied to a lot of these. A lot of Outer Glow and Stroke. And then our bottom layer here, this is an Illustrator File that was placed inside of Photoshop. So it's a Smart Object, and this too has an effect over top of it.

Now let's jump into After Effects so we can import this. I'm just going to double-click inside the Project panel and navigate in your exercise files to the Footage folder, in the Photoshop folder you should find Solar_panels.psd. Now let's not import this as Footage, let's import this as a Composition - Retain Layer Sizes. That way it will be easier to animate. Make sure Photoshop Sequence is not selected and click Open.

Now in this next menu, we have one more chance to change our mind if we didn't want to choose Composition - Retain Layer Sizes. But the big option you want to check here is make sure that your Layer Styles remain Editable. For some reason if you wanted to flatten that layer, you could merge the Layer Style down. But since we're doing Color Overlay, and Stroke, and Outer Glow and things like that, those are pretty straight forward Layer Styles. So let's leave those editable and click OK.

We've imported our composition, you could see we have all of our layers in our Layer folder in the Project panel. And if we double-click our composition it's open here, and it is 1280x720 and it's 5 seconds because that was the length of the last composition we had created. Now let's look closely at our layers. If we start at the top, we do have a black and white layer. And if you turn on it's visibility, sure enough, it makes the layer black and white. So if we go to Window and open our Effects Controls, you can see we do have our effect and it has remained completely editable.

Let's disable Black & White for now and continue looking through what we have. Well a High Population of Sunlight, okay. Well if we open Layer 2, notice yes, the Layer Styles came across. We still have a Drop Shadow, and we still have our Outer Glow, and if we open the options for each one, they're fully editable, Drop Shadow as well. But if you notice the text is not coming across as text. Now this is one of favorite features when I'm working with the integration between Photoshop and After Effects.

It's the fact that you can go up to the Layer menu, and if it was text inside the Photoshop, you can say Convert to Editable Text Inside of After Effects. Now when we choose that and we open the layer, you can see we have text here and we have our full text group and all of our animators. So you can convert text layers into editable text. One more time, let's select Layer 3, go up to Layer > Convert to Editable Text.

All right, now let's look at the Black_Bar. Notice it did come across since it was a Shape Layer. It did come across with a mask, and if you press M we do have a Mask Path that's on here. Let's open up it's options and notice we have Layer Styles. Our Stroke came across and it's editable as well. All right, let's keep going. We have our precompose layers. Notice they are precomposed.

So Group Layers, layers of layers inside of Photoshop, come across as precompositions. When we select the Was_panel and the Ore_ panel, the blend modes have transferred. If we press T to open their Opacity, their opacities have transferred. So I think your seeing that the integration between Photoshop and After Effects is really flexible. The last thing I want to point out is this SW_Area. Notice if we press M there is no mask. If we turn the visibility off and on it's definitely a layer and it did bring it's Layer Styles across but the mask-- if we jump back to Photoshop here, this Layer Mask was applied on import.

So that did not come across as editable but it was applied to the layer. So to sum up, I think you can see how integrated Photoshop and After Effects is. So the next time you have to create some complicated graphics don't sit in After Effects trying to re-create it with masks and all kinds of other things, just jump over to Photoshop. Save it as a Layered Document and import it as a comp and you can retain the layer sizes.

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This video is part of

Image for After Effects CS6 Essential Training
After Effects CS6 Essential Training

78 video lessons · 55844 viewers

Ian Robinson
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 8s
    1. What is After Effects?
      1m 8s
  2. 2m 53s
    1. Welcome
      1m 40s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 13s
  3. 1h 8m
    1. The six foundations of AE
      5m 3s
    2. Introducing the interface and the workspace
      7m 51s
    3. Understanding compositions
      8m 48s
    4. Getting comfortable with layers
      7m 33s
    5. Getting started with animation and keyframes
      8m 30s
    6. Understanding effects
      3m 26s
    7. Moving in 3D space
      7m 41s
    8. Rendering your first animation
      8m 20s
    9. Specifying preferences and cache settings
      5m 44s
    10. Staying organized
      5m 15s
  4. 38m 6s
    1. Creating compositions
      7m 19s
    2. Importing footage and compositions
      7m 54s
    3. Preparing compositions for animation
      8m 7s
    4. Introducing renderers
      3m 15s
    5. Understanding precomposing
      7m 16s
    6. Relinking missing footage
      4m 15s
  5. 59m 58s
    1. Defining layers
      6m 23s
    2. Creating type
      5m 58s
    3. Creating layer solids and shapes with masks
      7m 55s
    4. Building shape layers
      6m 17s
    5. Understanding switches and blend modes
      8m 26s
    6. Crafting custom shapes and masks
      6m 18s
    7. Creating variable-width feathered masks
      5m 1s
    8. Rotoscoping with the Roto Brush
      8m 20s
    9. Refining with the Roto Brush
      5m 20s
  6. 1h 8m
    1. Understanding keyframes
      6m 1s
    2. Adding and adjusting keyframes
      9m 54s
    3. Interpolating keyframes
      8m 5s
    4. Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor
      7m 17s
    5. Understanding positional keyframes
      7m 0s
    6. Controlling animation with parenting and the pick whip
      9m 57s
    7. Understanding animation paths
      6m 27s
    8. Timing to audio
      4m 41s
    9. Trimming and sliding edits
      5m 31s
    10. Swapping images
      4m 1s
  7. 29m 7s
    1. Layering multiple effects
      9m 13s
    2. Generating graphic effects with adjustment layers
      7m 28s
    3. Building backgrounds with effects
      6m 50s
    4. Creating animated strokes
      5m 36s
  8. 40m 15s
    1. Introducing cameras
      10m 3s
    2. Working with 3D layers
      6m 37s
    3. Positioning layers
      6m 13s
    4. Adding lights and working with Material Options
      9m 21s
    5. Using 3D precompositions
      2m 5s
    6. Adjusting depth of field
      5m 56s
  9. 28m 31s
    1. Caching and prerendering
      6m 33s
    2. Understanding the alpha channels
      5m 18s
    3. Using the Render Queue
      4m 34s
    4. Rendering with Adobe Media Encoder
      7m 15s
    5. Archiving finished projects
      4m 51s
  10. 44m 27s
    1. Creating type animators
      12m 16s
    2. Animating type in 3D space
      6m 35s
    3. Adding and animating type on a path
      8m 45s
    4. Composing 3D type
      8m 41s
    5. Animating shape layers
      8m 10s
  11. 32m 45s
    1. Creating stylized video
      6m 47s
    2. Retiming video footage
      9m 31s
    3. Retouching with the Rubber Stamp tool
      10m 19s
    4. Smoothing shaky camera footage
      6m 8s
  12. 14m 19s
    1. Understanding keying
      3m 19s
    2. Creating a garbage mask
      4m 27s
    3. Getting started with Keylight
      6m 33s
  13. 15m 56s
    1. Importing Photoshop documents
      6m 11s
    2. Importing Illustrator files
      4m 24s
    3. Working With Premiere Pro projects
      5m 21s
  14. 1h 15m
    1. Adjusting ray-tracing quality
      8m 19s
    2. Tracking footage
      8m 15s
    3. Extruding shapes
      8m 39s
    4. Bending layers
      8m 38s
    5. Adjusting ray-traced lighting and materials
      9m 22s
    6. Adding environment maps
      4m 58s
    7. Beginning compositing
      8m 52s
    8. Creating render passes
      10m 17s
    9. Building a final composite
      8m 14s
  15. 1m 8s
    1. What's next
      1m 8s

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