Create a new Composition
This method describes how to create a new composition in After Effects either by creating it entirely in After Effects, or by importing an Illustrator file. Also is describes the basic composition settings that you need to go through before creating a composition in After Effects.
Part of After Effects CS6
Part Type Method
Screenshot [[File:|320px]]


Project and Composition

One of the initial challenges with After Effects is understanding the difference between Projects and Compositions. In After Effects there is only ever one project open, which acts as a container for all of the compositions and other files needed which are all situated and accessed in the Project Panel. When saving an After Effects file, this is the Project file, which saves all the information regarding all the compositions contained within the project.

Create a new Composition

To create a new composition go to Menu --> Composition --> New Composition . Notice that a window pops up where you can adjust your basic composition settings, as well as name your composition. Some of the basic settings are:

  • Preset : The Preset allows you to select the resolution of you animation. You can choose either preset formats or customize your own.
  • Frame Rate : Sets the number of of frames per second.
  • Background Color : Sets the background color of your animation.
  • Duration : Allows you to set the duration of your entire animation.


Preset.JPG Select preset.JPG

Frame Rate

Frame Rate.JPG

Background Color




Import a file

This method allows you to combine Illustrator and After Effects, by importing an Illustrator file with organized layers To import the AI. file, launch Adobe After Effects, go to File --> Import --> File... --> Import as --> Composition

Notice that the layers organization in Illustrator has been maintained in the new composition that you created in After Effects.

To start editing your composition, double click on the icon next to it or drag it to a small filmstrip icon at the bottom of the Project panel . Notice that your composition appears now in your {cmd|Layer}} panel, as well as on the Timeline and is editable.


Please note that After Effects only references the Illustrator file locations and does not save it with the project. This can be problematic if sharing work with other designers or clients. However the advantage of this situation is that the external files are linked with After Effects, so whenever you change something in these reference files, they update in After Effects. After Effects Creative Cloud offers File Manager in File --> Dependencies Menu which has a wide range of options to allow the moving and organisation of the source files with the master After Effects project file.