when I import an AI file into AE, when I drag a layer into the composition the selection size is the same size as the AI file's artboard. When I am importing 30+ layers its very annoying.

How can I import layers from AI into AE with a normal sized selection?


made selection same as layer, not artboard

  • Welcome to GraphicDesign! Let us know if you have any questions Feb 14, 2016 at 21:17
  • did you find the solution? I have the same problem...
    – user75668
    Sep 5, 2016 at 16:50

3 Answers 3


When you import, through the import window select the .ai file and under "Import As" select "Composition-Retain Layer Sizes"

That will make the bounding box the size of the layer as opposed to the artboard.

enter image description here

  • sorry I already know this, it seems when I right click a layer and select 'create shapes from vector path' it creates a huge selection box which is a pain to work with (like the image above)
    – user51511
    Feb 16, 2016 at 14:48
  • Ah, I see. I misunderstood. Is there any way you have random anchor points surrounding the graphic on the layer? They could be invisible unless you select the whole layer in Illustrator? I've tried the same thing in mine and the bounding box is staying the size of the layer, so I'm sorry that's not much help, since I can't reproduce it.
    – K_Crawford
    Feb 16, 2016 at 22:22

"it seems when I right click a layer and select 'create shapes from vector path' it creates a huge selection box..."

Answering your question 3 years later...

  • The selection box size seems to depend on "Group" and "Clipping mask" in AI. You can ungroup and release clipping mask for unnecessary stuff when you need the selection box size to fit exactly.
  • If a huge selection happens when you create shape from vector layers, try to look under group and delete the "merge path" and "group" above merge path.
  • enter image description here

  • However I do not encourage you to create shapes from layers that contain a gradient or any complicated effects from AI.


When I had this problem, I found that if some random layer with gradients was deleted then it would import correctly in AE. Just look around your layers and see if one of them is causing this problem.

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