If you animate a lot with shape layers in After Effects using material from Adobe Illustrator, then you understand the whoas of trying to manage taking what you have in Illustrator and what needs to be animated in After Effects.

Do you deal with a lot of shape layers, or shape layers from Adobe Illustrator?

Too often, a large chunk of time is spent rearranging layers so that they will be more effective in After Effects. Explode Shape Layers can easily streamline this workflow.

Explode Shape Layers, written by Zack Lovatt, will take your shape layer and split each shape out into its own individual layer. The script has been around for a while, but recently got a pretty significant update, reaching version 3.



Explode Shape Layers 3

Explode Shape Layers 3 adds the ability to convert any .ai layer in After Effects to a shape layer. No more right clicking on a layer and choosing “create shapes from vector layer”. This can save you the time by automatically converting vector layers into After Effects shape layers.

Another great new feature of Explode Shape Layers is “Remove Artboard”. If any of your Illustrator layers have non-100% opacity or go outside of the frame, you’ve probably noticed that converting brings in an empty artboard artifact that gets in the way. This is no longer true with version 3.

New in v3.0

New buttons:

  • Convert, convert a vector layer to a shape layer
  • Remove Artboards, for use after converting a vector layer to a shape layer
  • Select Fills & Select Strokes, for selecting all fills or strokes in the active comp

Revised UI

  • New toolbar layout
  • Responsive design! Resize the panel to fit your layout
  • Show or hide any buttons you want
  • Switch between graphic & text buttons
  • Help text in options panel

Fixes & Updates

  • Revised the way Merge & Explode work, with respect to ‘Use All‘ — see above!
  • Updated headless modifier controls to implement new explode & merge features
  • Added progress bars, so you can watch the magic happen!
  • Merge now works with animated properties
  • Major bug with Merge resulting in empty layers fixed!
  • Many bug fixes and under-the-hood code tweaks

Pricing and Availability

Explode Shape Layers 3 can be found on AeScripts.com and is 20% off the price, until February 20, 2015, making it $23.99 ($29.99 regular). Check out Explode Shape Layers to learn more.