How to Combine After Effects Files or Templates
Working with After Effects templates can be a great time saver but what if you need the final animation to be longer or need more placeholders?
Combining two After Effects template files together is the most effective way to achieve both of these goals without the fear of messing up a project.
Some After Effects beginners may not realize that you can actually import an entire project into another- this opens up lots of possibilities when searching for templates to create your next video. You can use parts of one template, combine it with another, then you’ve got lots of control over the final output.
Watch the video below to see how easy it is to combine two template files together to add another scene or placeholder to the Simple Grid Slideshow After Effects template.
How to Combine Two After Effects files
Save your original After Effects file.
Go to File/Save/Save A Copy..
Open the Copy file then customize the template with your new photos or videos. Be sure to Save when you’re done.
Now open the original After Effects file.
Go to File/Import/File.. Select the Copied After Effects file (it will have an .aep file extension) and click Open.
You’ll see in the Project Panel that After Effects has imported the Copied After Effects file as a folder. Inside this folder you’ll find all the compositions, solids, and any assets used in this After Effects file.
Now here’s the fun part! With your Render Comp timeline selected to go the Composition menu then select Composition Settings. In the pop up window go to the Duration section and add some time to the composition’s duration. This setting will give you more space (and therefore time) in the timeline so you can add more scenes or placeholder compositions.
Now you’re ready! In the Copied After Effects file’s folder select the comps you want to use then drag and drop them into your final Render composition. Move them around in the timeline as needed.
“SCAP” After Effects Script
If you don’t need import an entire copied project and just want to export one single composition there’s a great script available at aescripts.com called “SCAP” or “Save Composition As Project”. The script saves a selected composition timeline as it’s own project file complete with all the assets- solids, pre-comps, etc.
Hopefully this knowledge will help you when creating a video with a template that’s almost perfect but needs just a few more seconds.
Also in FluxVFX
Data-driven expressions are a powerful way to easily make infographics templates from spreadsheets in After Effects and export for use in Premiere Pro! I recently worked with Adobe Stock to create data-driven templates available to download *for free* here!