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I have an Illustrator file that contains several animation frames for a game. Every frame is a single group and they are all on the same layer. How can I quickly export all these groups, each to a separate PNG file?

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I recently worked on a mobile game and was searching for a similar solution. I found this article Export layers as PNGs in multiple resolutions The author created a script to automate the process, however your frames will need to be on separate layers; it doesn't matter if they are in groups.

You designate each layer for auto-export with a # at the beginning of the layer name, e.g., #frame1.

While the article says, "multiple resolutions" you can export in a single resolution only by editing the script.

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Uncertain but, would it be just as easy to copy and paste your frames/groups to separate art boards and using export? This may save the necessity to save a new script to your computer.

Go to file> Export> and then tick the box that says "Use Artboards" Although you would need to reposition your groups.

enter image description here

Illustrator CC

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Repositioning the groups is exactly what I'm trying to avoid. They need to be positioned perfectly otherwise the animation would jitter. – Paul Manta Sep 23 '14 at 11:59
Hmm, a based a little bit on the previous answer from Nathan then I can only think of moving the artwork on separate layers (Paste in Front, same position - Control/Command F) with each frame of the animation saving the only the visible layer and hiding the ones behind if that makes sense? – user3082874 Sep 23 '14 at 13:12
Hello Paul, I have just stumbled on this. I was wandering if this could be of use? Sounds good. – user3082874 Oct 10 '14 at 8:36
As simple as this answer is, it did help me. Thanks! – SeanKendle Dec 8 '15 at 15:21

This worked for me:

  1. Copy the group to the clipboard
  2. Open Photoshop
  3. Go File-New
  4. Tick Presets: Clipboard, Background Contents: Transparent.

This will give you a non-background in exactly the right size, and then you just hit Paste (as Smart Object), and there's your image. Then you File-Save As and pick out png.

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Artboards. Easy to create and they already come automatically numbered. You can batch create them or batch-create rectangles and then convert them into artboards. Only limitation: can't create more than 100.

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Select group

Ctrl C

Ctrl N


Ctrl V

Ctrl Shift Alt S


Yes its 2016... Illustrator has Million options, not a million and 1.

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