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UX motion design with the tools you like

AEUX is a set of panels for After Effects and Sketch 52+ and a converter for Figma to transfer layers into After Effects with the least amount of friction from visual design to motion.

Formerly known as Sketch2AE, AEUX is designed to keep up with the newest ways people are designing for screens. Spell it out or say it like A-Yo.

Download free

Workflow

Transfer animatable layers right into Ae with a couple clicks

Sketch

  • Open the plugin panel in Sketch from the top Plugin menu
  • Select layers in Sketch
  • Transfer shapes with either:
    • Selection to Ae - layer data is transfered behind the scenes
    • Export AEUX.json - layer data is saved as a file
  • Images (if necessary) will be exported to disk in a location you specify
  • A message will pop up within the panel when the export is finished
  • Switch to After Effects

Figma

  • Copy Figma file URL
    • Open a Figma file in the browser and copy the whole URL
    • or in Figma, click SHARE in the top right, then click Copy Link
  • Paste into the URL field at the top of the Figma converter
    • A list of frames within the file will load
    • Select from the available pages directly above the frames list
    • An option to download thumbnails is available but disabling will speed things up
  • Locate the desired frame and download a JSON file
  • Drag this JSON file into the AEUX panel After Effects

Note: At this time, it is not possible to add a plugin panel to the Figma interface. Unlike the Sketch AEUX plugin, it is not yet possible to select individual layers from a frame. Instead, all layers within an artboard will be downloaded.

Targeting specific layers within a frame is possible by hiding unwanted layers (the eyeball icon). Hidden layers will be skipped when converting a frame.

After Effects

  • Install and open AEUX inside of After Effects
    • Located in the top menu Window>Extensions
  • Set your desired comp options
  • Click to build layers automatically from Sketch or drag a JSON file from Figma/Sketch into the panel
  • Watch those layers build 😬

Ae Options

Customize the way layers are built

New Comp

While most design apps are able to work at a lower resolution for different pixel densities Ae needs real pixel values. The size of the new comp is defined by the Comp size multiplier. When creating a new comp, a comp size multiplier dropdown will be visible.

Current Comp

When adding new layers to an existing comp, the current comp’s width is measured and used to define the comp size multiplier of the incoming artboard. The comp size multiplier will scale the new layers so the width of the artboard and the width of the comp match.

Layer build options

Detect parametric shapes

You may prefer rectangles and ellipses or you may love paths. Limit conversions by transfering shapes the way you want.

Precomp groups

By default, groups are created as invisible parent layers to the visible layers in the main comp. This option will automatically precomp these grouped layers. Precomps may also be ungrouped with the grouping buttons.

Auto build artboards

Enabling this option will create layers as soon as they are available from Sketch using the other currently selected options.

Ae Precomp/Un-precomp

Organizing layers into groups just like all the other design apps

Ae Layer Grouping

Group and ungroup

Precomping can simplify a long list of layers in a single comp but creates multiple inaccessible comps. It is now possible for the first time in After Effects to precomp and un-precomp groups with a click.

Show and hide

Group layers are rectangle guide layers that do not render but can help transform multiple elements. Interacting with these is possible by switching layer visibility eyeball or adjusting the transform properties. Click to toggle all guild layer visibility with a click.

Delete all guide layers

If groups aren’t your thing and you end up with a bunch of unnecessary layers, click to remove all guide layers from the comp.

Sketch Layer Prep

Simplify selected Sketch layers for cleaner transfers

Detach symbols

Symbols may be nested, overridden, transformed or constrained and this can lead to a lot of confusion in Ae (usually with image overrides). If layers build incorrectly inside of Ae, try detaching the symbol from its master. This removes the symbols dependence on nested data in order to draw its layers more accurately.

Flatten shapes

Building icons from simple shapes is a flexible way to design and can make animation possible inside of Ae. AEUX supports Boolean operations, but mixing different operators (like an Add then a Subtract) within a single group can be a little hard for Ae to draw. Click to flatten and combine shapes into a single element.

Images to symbols

Sketch can only export what it sees on an artboard. That means if part of an image is beyond the artboard bounds, it will be trimmed and the placement of the image inside of AE will be misaligned. Converting images to symbols creates a parent artboard sized to the image. No cropping will occur and everything will align correctly.

FAQ

Images getting cropped? Blank images?

Sketch can only export what it sees on an artboard. That means if part of the image is off the edge it will get trimmed, and the placement of the image inside of AE will be misaligned (Ae is expecting something 500px wide and it gets an image 400px wide and gets confused). The way around this is to convert the image into a symbol which gives the image a parent artboard that is sized to the image. No cropping will occur and everything will align correctly.

Blending modes not blending?

Ae shape layers have multiple blending modes. Internal blending modes (on fills and strokes) will mix internally but not with other layers. This behavior is different than in Sketch where a layer’s fill color will mix with other layer’s below it. So if colors are looking a little off between layers, this is why.

Layer aligned to top left?

Layers positioning is relative. Meaning, if a selected layer is inside a group the layer’s comp position will be zeroed out by the parent group layer. Manually align these layers or select the whole group hierarchy.

Lottie not exporting everything?

Ae shape layers have multiple blending modes. Internal blending modes (on fills and strokes) will mix internally but not with other layers. This behavior is different than in Sketch where a layer’s fill color will mix with other layer’s below it. So if colors are looking a little off between layers, this is why.

Layers misaligned?

Great care has been taken to align layers as pixel-perfect as possible, but that doesn’t always work quite right. Text can be problematic with the differences in metrics between apps. The easiest solution is to export an image of your artboard from Sketch, import it into Ae and place it on top of your layers with a reduced opacity. This will give you something to manually align layers.

Why don't mixed styles and fonts work?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to programmatically create text layers in Ae with multiple styles (bold and italic), weights or fonts. These variations will be ignored and text will be styled uniformly with the first font and weight used.

Where are drop shadows on groups?

Inside of Sketch, a drop shadow may be applied to a group and that shadow will apply the layers within. Since Ae does not natively support grouping, this drop shadow will be applied to the parent layer of the group, which is not really visible. In order to preserve the appearance, be sure the Precomp Groups.

Download and Install

 

Download AEUX v0.6.9

Sketch

Requirements: Sketch 52+

  • Double click AEUX.sketchplugin
  • Sketch will open and tell you the plugin is installed
  • Navigate to the Plugins menu up top
  • Click to open the panel

After Effects

Requirements: After Effects CC2014+

  • Download ZXP Installer from aescripts + aeplugins
  • Drag AEUX.zxp into ZXP Installer
  • Close and reopen After Effects
  • Open the Window menu, find the Extension group and will see AEUX

Troubleshooting

If you follow all the instructions of the standard installation and AEUX still isn't showing up in the AE Window>Extensions menu you're gonna need to do a manual install. You didn't do anything wrong, it just happens sometimes wth extensions.

  • Change the extension of the AEUX.zxp file to .zip. It might give you a dialog warning about changing the file type but ignore it.
  • Unzip this file to get a folder called AEUX
  • Navigate to the Adobe extensions folder:
    • [Mac]: /Users/**username**/Library/Application Support/Adobe/CEP/extensions/
    • [Win]: C:/Users/**username**/AppData/Roaming/Adobe/CEP/extensions/
  • Copy this AEUX folder to the /extensions/ folder
  • Restart Ai/Ae and look for AEUX in the Window>Extensions folder

Figma Converter

Nothing to install. Designs are converted online. 🙌