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?


6 Answers 6


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.

  • I was able to use the script when it was available and it was really useful. Sadly the link is now broken. I wonder if the script and it's tutorial was re-uploaded somewhere else... Does anyone knows the URL? Thanks!
    – Metafaniel
    Sep 28, 2016 at 18:19

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.


In Illustrator CC, go to Window drop-down menu, select Asset Export. In the Asset Export window, drag and drop each grouped art into the Asset Export window panel. Then at the bottom of that window, click Export Settings to change the file output you'd like. Once completed, click the Export button in the lower right corner of the Asset Export window. Big time saver!

  • This deserves another upvote or five! It works even better than you might expect: if you drag three different groups to the panel simultaneously, you'll obtain three separate assets. That is very efficient indeed and much less work than creating separate artboards.
    – Ideogram
    Jun 30, 2023 at 7:28

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.

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Illustrator CC

  • 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, 2014 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? Sep 23, 2014 at 13:12
  • Hello Paul, I have just stumbled on this. I was wandering if this could be of use? creative.adobe.com/addons/products/2955#.VDeaFecVNCU Sounds good. Oct 10, 2014 at 8:36
  • As simple as this answer is, it did help me. Thanks! Dec 8, 2015 at 15:21

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.


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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