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Learn how to import a specific composition directly into your After Effects Projects.
Tags:How to Import a Composition in After Effects,adobe,after effects,animation,collecting,footage,importing,total training
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We have imported the specific layers or the entire merged document, however After Effects can also import a composition made up of all the different layers in our PSD or layered Illustrator file. We will import a Photoshop composition, I will select Photoshop because I want to import this document directly into the Photoshop folder then using COMMAND+I or CTRL+I on the Pc again, navigate up to my Photoshop documents and choose Flig here.
This time, instead of importing as footage, I will import it as a composition. We are going to see two different variations here. Let us look at the first one composition crop layers. I will select it then open it. You will notice that After Effects brings in an entire folder containing all of the different layers associated with that Photoshop document. Let us close that up again and at the top, you will see a composition. The compositions automatically named the name of the Photoshop document. Double clicking here, reveals that composition in my comp window. I do not keep the compositions in the Photoshop folder. I can simply move this down to where I keep my pre-comps by dragging it and placing it in my pre-comp folder.
Here, I can see After Effects has bit all the layer priorities in the Photoshop file. Now, quickly and move this up a bit so I can all of the different layers. In my comp, al of the layers are represented but the layers that are not visible in Photoshop are also not visible in After Effects. All the visibility and transfer modes come across from Photoshop. Next, let us import the arrows center Illustrator file as a composition. This time we will import it twice. The first time, I will select Illustrator, use COMMAND+I, navigate to our Illustrator folder and choose it. I am going to import it as composition crop layers and open it up. I want to rename this comp, so click on the name of composition, use your turn on the keyboard. Let me call this cropped.
Next, I will choose the Illustrator folder again. Go up to file, import file. Again, I will import the sane Illustrator document but this time I will import it as a composition. There is a difference here and we will see how that adds up in just a second. I will click open and this time I will rename this by using turn on the keyboard and call this comp. I move both of this down into the pre-comps folder. I need to close up a couple of this first so I can get a little more real state in my project pane.
Hold the shift key down or dragging our key around the two compositions and just drag them down at the right folder. With them both selected, I will double click opening both of those. Now, I have got my comp and my crop version in two separate compositions. Let us take a look of what this means to import one cropped or one is just a comp. when I import this document as a composition, each one of this layers is broad and separately and placed in a composition. After Effects places each of these layers in the composition using and anchor point and a position.
We’ll get to this preemptors a little bit later but it’s important to see them now. By twirling on this small arrow next to the layer name, I can see all the transformation properties for each of the layers. By twirling those down, I can see not only my anchor point but my position value. By importing as a comp, each one of these layers will have the same anchor point value and same position value. The anchor point data refers to a point relating to the layer. The position refers to the layer’s position in the entire composition. I will twirl this up and we can select all of this layers and look at the anchor point by selecting A on the keyboard, by holding down Shift and typing P on the keyboard, we can also open up the position parameters.
We can see that all these layers share the same position point and the same anchor point. In the composition, After Effects will look at the document’s boundaries to determine where the anchor point and the position are. Alternatively, if we take a look at the cropped composition import and select all the layers A on the keyboard to see our anchor point, hold down the shift and type P on the keyboard to see our position. You can see that in the crop version all of the layers do not share the same anchor point and position.
When we import as crop, After Effects will look at the layer’s boundaries and set the anchor point at the center of the layer rather than at the center of the composition, After Effects will also look that where that layers is placed inside the original document. So, here in the Illustrator file, I have placed this arrows a specific distance from one another along line horizontally. When I import the composition as a crop comp, After Effects will place all of those layers next to each other as they were in the Illustrator file.
You might wonder what the importance is between these two. Well, there are several different important reasons to use one over the other. The first to seem here in our crop version, in our crop version by selecting the individual layers, you can see that After Effects is placed in anchor point at the center of the layer itself. Now, this is important as we will see later in Key Framing because all of the transformation in After Effects happened around the anchor point.
So now, if I type R for rotation on anyone of these layers or all of them and rotate this slightly, we will see that the rotation occurs around the center of the layer. So, when we import as crop compositions, the anchor point is assigned to the center of the layer and that is where all the transformations occur. So, they will occur by default around the center of the layer. We will set those back to zero again. I can just use the TAB key to navigate through the different dialog boxes to input my value.
Next, let us go back to the previous composition where we well have imported all of these layers simply as a composition. I have got all of the layers selected so I will type R on the keyboard to reveal the rotation values. Next, I will deselect all of these layers by just clicking on the gray spot here and select one that I want to rotate. So, if I rotate anyone of these layers, I can see that the rotation is still happening around the anchor point but because the anchor point was determined on the center of the document rather than the center of the layer, all of these rotate around the Illustrator documents center. This might look like it is rotating around the center of the button but it does not necessarily have to do that.
What is important to know here is that, all of the transformations are happening around the anchor point. We will see how this places an important role on animating when we get into key framing. We have imported merged documents, specific layers and compositions. One last thing you might want to do is import an entire project. So, I will close this up allowing room for a new folder, because I have none of the folder selected when I import something, you will import generically into the project named here and that is what I want to do. So, use COMMAND+I to navigate to where the source projects are for chapter 3 and go into the After Effects projects folder.
Here I will find the Badshot folder, now open up the folder to see the After Effects project and all the footage associated with it. If I click on the Badshot project, After Effects already knows that this is a project file and select set so I can open it. Now, in my project pane, I have an entire folder just for that project. When I open it, I see all of the difference subfolders that I have set up previously for the project with the source material and the composition associated with the project. Now, all of these are contained inside its own folder. You may decide you want to move the source materials into different folders. After Effects is now incorporated all of the file paths into our current project.