Avoid Import Blues for After Effects

It’s very common to use Photoshop and Illustrator to prepare content for import into Adobe After Effects. Here are some practical tips to avoid problems when merging the software.

Import Tips

  • Double-Click in the AE Project Window
  • Shift-Click Multiple Items
  • Organize in Folder and Option+Drag (Alt+Drag) from Desktop
  • Keep file names less than 27 characters long


  • Assign unique names to each layer
  • Avoid using layer sets unless you want the layers to come in as a nested composition
  • If layers are not needed, reduce your render burden by importing as a flattened file such as a PICT, TIFF or TARGA
  • If you have applied an adjustment layer in Photoshop such as Levels, consider applying the effect directly to the individual layers in Photoshop instead


  • Be sure to use layers in Adobe Illustrator to split up elements
  • Change AI preferences to use AICB format (not PDF) for proper Copy/Paste