Importing Photoshop layers into an Adobe After Effects project is a lot easier than you might think at first. Since After Effects is designed with the Photoshop rendering engine included in the program, After Effects can import all attributes of Photoshop files, including position, blending modes, opacity, visibility, transparency, layer masks, layer groups, adjustment layers, layer styles, layer clipping paths, vector masks, image guides and clipping groups.
To begin, navigate to the top menu bar and click File — Import — File. Find the Photoshop document you want to import in the Import File dialog box that appears. Before you click Open, make sure you set the Import As drop down menu to Composition.
This will make After Effects view and import the file as one element through Photoshop will all the layers attached.
Once you click Open, you’ll see another dialog box, where you can choose to have After Effects Merge Layer Styles Into Footage.
*Checking the box next to Live Photoshop 3D will cause the Photoshop layers to be viewed from the perspective of the compositions camera. This may or may not apply to you, depending on whether or not you have any 3D elements in your Photoshop document.
Once imported, you’ll see the Photoshop files located in the Project window. Additionally, each layer should be neatly organized into a single folder for quick access.
With the ability to integrate Photoshop files into After Effects while preserving the layer format, Adobe makes it extremely easy to work on a single project across multiple platforms.
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