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working in Illustrator I have multiple layers that I want to retain before bringing into After Effects. Some of my elements have been filled using a Wacom and not filled the traditional way (pictured).

I'm aware of Select > Same > Fill color.

Is there a way of selecting all the same fill colour (yellow for example) and expanding them BUT leaving the objects on their current layer, not grouping that selection together.

There's literally hundreds of layers.

Hoping for a script or something.

Hope someone can help.

Adam

enter image description here

****UPDATE****

Ok. Bringing an element as messy as the screenshot I posted into aftereffects creates a massive amount of paths and slows the performance of the file. This is just one element of a massive illustrator document with hundreds of layers. I can't post that cause the campaign hasn't launched.

Aftereffects recognises the layers from the illustrator document, so merging destroys those layers and combines colour fills of different layers, which I don't want.

Sound like the answer is no for an 'easy' option, which I kinda knew would be the answer. I just need to go through each layer individually.

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    Your question is really unclear. Expanding allready preserves layers. Do you mean merging? If so how do you want them merged? – joojaa Oct 24 '19 at 5:56
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    Why can't you just group? can you edit the question to add more details, what are you planning to do with these shapes in AE? Why can't you merge? Are you aware of the difference between objects and layers in Illustrator? – Luciano Oct 24 '19 at 8:22
  • Ok. Bringing an element as messy as the screenshot I posted into after effects creates a massive amount of paths and slows the performance of the file. After effects recognises the layers from the illustrator document, so merging destroys those layers and also combines colour fills of different layers. – Adam Oct 25 '19 at 2:01
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No

Any method to combine objects of similar appearances will always place them on the same layer. In addition, often a group or compound shape may be created on that single layer.

Illustrator offers no ability to "combine" objects which fall on separate layers and retain layers.


That being posted....

It is possible to save a selection of objects on different layers. After using Select > Same, merely use Select > Save Selection to create a saved selection of the objects with a name of your choice.

The selection will then be available at the bottom of the Select menu. Choose that menu item and all the objects will once again be selected. Nothing is altered in the layer structure.

  • OP does not mention he wants to combine, just expand.. on the otherhand how would combining and retaining layer even work. – joojaa Oct 24 '19 at 4:01
  • But the sample image shows expanded objects. I merely assumed terminology use was perhaps incorrect. I could be wrong. – Scott Oct 24 '19 at 5:43
  • I agree the question is weird. However how would merging work while preserving layers? First question is does op call objects layers (thank you adobe)? If so does he mean only inter object merging (for loop over each object then merge)? or does he want to merge per layer or sublayer (hide layers enable one select merge... loop). Or something else. In either case question makes no sense. – joojaa Oct 24 '19 at 5:54
  • The screenshot has been expanded, yes. Now I want to merge it to get rid of all those useless points. This will help performance in aftereffects and just not be so messy. So how do I do that across heaps of layers without them all combining to a new layer. At this stage, my process will be to lock all layers but the one I'm working on and just go through each layer one at a time. – Adam Oct 25 '19 at 2:26
  • @Adam yes, or you could use the different selection tools for the job. Maybe a combination of selecting by similar color, lasso-ing shapes in an area and moving back-and-forth between preview mode and outline to make sure it's all correct. – Luciano Oct 25 '19 at 11:31

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