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How to Import Illustrator Files in Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Learn how to Import Illustrator Files in Adobe Premiere Pro CC
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When putting together a sequence it’s sometimes necessary to have a custom asset created. These assets are a lot of times created in something like Adobe Illustrator. These files are generally vector files, which means that they are mathematical paths that can expand or decrease with any zoom level.

This is different from Raster images and videos that you would normally work with in Premiere Pro. If these images are expanded, then they tend to pixelate or get blurry. The larger the change, the larger the pixelation.

Today I am going to show you how to import an illustrator asset into Premiere Pro while still maintaining the illustrator file’s vector properties.

I am going to show two techniques. The first one just exports a large image that will simulate a vector file as it won’t pixelate until the zoom is at an astronomical number. The second technique will export the image as a vector using Adobe’s built in work flow.

How to Import Illustrator Files in Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Technique 1: Using a Raster image that simulates a Vector Image

  1. In Illustrator go to File->Export->Export for Screens…
  2. Look for the section named Formats: and click on the dropdown arrow next to Scale. Select Height.
  3. Set the Scale textbox to 5000px (or size you wish the image to be able to scale to without pixelating)

Note: If you are working with 4k footage you may want to go to 10000px.

  1. Leave Suffix and Format to their defaults. Format should be PNG (maintains alpha channel).
  2. Under the Export to: section select the folder on the right and select a place you wish the file to be saved to.
  3. Click Export Artboard.
  4. Open up Premiere Pro.
  5. Right click in the Project Panel, select Import…
  6. Select the asset you just exported from Illustrator.
  7. The asset will now be in the project panel. Drag the asset onto the timeline.
  8. You will probably notice that it takes up the entire view. Go into the Effect Controls panel of the illustrator image and bring down the Scale until it fits onto the footage at the desired size.

This technique will generate a file that takes up a lot of storage space. It however, is effective if you have less processing power as the second technique generally requires Preimere Pro and After Effects to both be open.

Technique 2: Using a Vector image directly

  1. In Premiere Pro right click the footage you wish to have the illustrator asset added to and then select Replace with After Effects Composition.
  2. In After Effects, in the Project panel right click and select Import->File… .
  3. Select the Illustrator file you wish to import. This will be a .ai file. NOT a file that was exported as a raster image from Illustrator.
  4. Drag the imported file onto the footage timeline.
  5. On the bottom of the Footage panel select the Toggle Switches/Modes button until you see a set of toggles next to the Source Name or Layer Name section (this is NOT the mode where you see mode or .TrkMat.
  6. On the Illustrator layer select the toggle for the 2nd to farthest from the left toggle that looks similar to a compass. (if you hover over the toggle header it should say For Comp Layer:….; for Vector Layer…). This will turn on continual rasterization.

That is two different ways to get a vector image into Premiere Pro. If you ever need a true vector image in your footage make sure to use the second technique. The first technique will generate a file where it is still possible that it can pixelate if zoomed in too much.

Other Premiere Pro Tutorials:

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