trying to work with an AI file in after effects. I noticed that all my sub layers within AI are invisible within AE. I can see all my top layers but nothing nested within them. IE I have a group of layers with various vector elements that together make a windmill but in AE all I can see is the windmill with no individual parts accessible.

Is there a way to get to these layers without ripping all my sub layers out of their groups in AI before importing to AE? Thanks!

1 Answer 1


Actually, a screenshot could be better but I will try to explain you as I understood.

Let's think that you have an AI file with layers under layers and you need to control them in AE as seperate layers. At first gather all shapes and objects under one layer. After that choose the main layer and click the drawer button (options - righ top corner of the layers menu) and choose release to layers as sequence. And after all shapes converted to layer, move them to the top and delete their old main layer. Just save it.

And now let's go back to the AE. Click file>import>file and choose your AI file. On file selection screen, choose sequence at the bottom of browser window. And it will import all layers without hiding or groupping them but be careful. If you have tons of layers in AI, you will have a little bit messed layers in AE too.

Edit: Typo correction

  • Thank you very much! I have actually figured out a large portion of this myself but you gave me a couple of new things to think about and try Commented Dec 9, 2019 at 15:19

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