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Importing Photoshop Graphics in After Effects


Take the titles and graphics you created in Photoshop and import them into After Effects for the finishing touch. Here’s how to do it.

Independent filmmakers and videographers not only have to develop and film the content they produce, but they have to add the finishing touches to that content as well. These finishing touches can come in the form of editing their work down to a fine cut, mixing the audio, and even developing the opening titles or graphics for the content.

The easiest place to develop these titles or graphics for most users is Photoshop — but that shouldn’t be the end of the process. What many don’t realize is that things developed in Photoshop can be translated over to After Effects with relative ease. This is because Adobe includes a Photoshop rendering engine within After Effect, which makes it easy to add motion and animate your graphics. Let’s take a quick look at how to import Photoshop graphics into After Effects, giving you the ability to generate amazing motion graphics work like this:

Video via Sander van Dijk

Step 1: Develop Your Graphics

The first step in this process is to develop the graphics you’ll be importing into After Effects. These graphics can be just about anything, but are usually an adjusted text layer or logo. Just make sure that your Photoshop layers are organized and grouped, properly named, and unlocked, as After Effects will import these layers as they are.

Photoshop Design

Image via Sander van Dijk

Step 2: Import Your Graphics

1. In After Effects, go to File > Import > File or simply hit Command+I.

AE PSD Import

2. A dialogue window will appear where you can browse and find your PSD. Before you select OK, be sure to select Import As: Composition, as well as check the Photoshop Sequence box.

The other two choices Footage and Composition – Retain Layer Sizes allow users to import a series of images that act as a single frame in a sequence, or that are imported at the same resolution and size as the image in Photoshop.

AE PSD Import Options

3. An additional box will appear giving you options for importing the layers, simply leave this as is and click OK. Once you do this, it may take some time for your comp to be created based on how big the PSD file is.

AE PSD Import Layer Options

Step 3: Animate Your Graphics

Once you have your graphics imported, you can double-click the created comp in the Project Panel. This will open the comp for editing. From here you can begin exploring ways to animate your graphic by keyframing the layer’s attributes or using the Puppet tool. You can also use Photoshop to enhance or fix issues in your footage from After Effects, but that’s another tutorial for another day.

Video via PremiumBeat