A great way to layout and start a project is to create Illustrator Content that you can eventually bring into After Effects and breathe some life into.
That is the premise, however, the practicality can be complicated. There is actually quite a bit to know about not only designing Illustrator content, but also bringing it into Ae. It is not as cut and dried as it seems.
how layers in Illustrator translate to layers in AE, the different ways to import your AI file
Here, School of Motion’s Amy Sundin covers everything you need to know about bringing in Illustrator Content, talking about EPS files, converting RGB, how the layers in Illustrator will translate to the layers in After Effects. She also shows a few different ways to import the Illustrator content, along with other great tips.
The tutorial looks at using Zack Lovatt’s Explode Shape Layers 3 script which gives control over your shape layers. It allows you to explode & merge layers for greater precision. The newest version of Explode Shape Layers allows you to remove the Art Board from Ai.
Version 3 adds the ability to convert any .ai layer in After Effects to a shape layer. This means no more right clicking and choosing “create shapes from vector layer”. This can save you a bunch of time by converting vector layers into After Effects shape layers.
Check out the tutorial over at School Of Motion here.