Photoshop Layers Not Importing Into After Effects

This is just a friendly reminder to myself and anyone else out there having trouble importing Photoshop layers into After Effects.  There are two basic things you need to have in order to get your .psd file to import as a layered comp or group of assets in After Effects. First,  when importing your PSD After Effects you will need to import the file as Composition instead of as Footage.  Selecting Composition and Retain Layer size will also work. On a mac you may need to select the options button on the import file dialogue before you will see the “import as” options just described. If all goes well you will be presented with a After Effects dialogue asking what you want to do with layer effects.  If you do not see this layer effects dialogue box, but rather After Effects just imports your PSD, you may notice that the layers were not imported. This is usually because your PSD is set to CMYK instead of RGB.  Go back into photoshop and change the mode of the file to RGB, save and reimport your layered file as a composition and your troubles should be over. Good luck.

Aaron Robbins

Aaron Robbins is educational marketing consultant, web developer, author, illustrator and frequent podcaster. He is the creator and producer of the fantastic children's quiz podcast, Best Quiz Ever, the author of Who Made Campfires and Baby's First Comic Book and a documentary filmmaker at