AFTEREFFECTS

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opening After Effects projects from previous versions and saving back to previous versions


opening and importing projects from previous versions of After Effects

Each version of After Effects can open and import projects made with that version and several other versions, but only going back a limited number of versions:

  • After Effects CC 2014 (13) can open projects from After Effects 7 through After Effects CC 2014 (13).
  • After Effects CC (12) can open projects from After Effects 7 through After Effects CC (12).
  • After Effects CS6 (11) can open projects from After Effects 7 through After Effects CS6 (11).
  • After Effects CS5.5 (10.5) can open projects from After Effects 6.5 through After Effects CS5.5 (10.5).
  • After Effects CS5 (10) can open projects from After Effects 6 through After Effects CS5 (10).
  • After Effects CS4 (9) can open projects from After Effects 5 through After Effects CS4 (9).
  • After Effects CS3 (8) can open projects from After Effects 4 through After Effects CS3 (8).
  • After Effects 7 can open projects from After Effects 3.0 through After Effects 7.

There are two main reasons for us incrementing the oldest version that can be imported or opened from one version to the next: 1) this limits the amount of testing that we need to do and 2) sometimes there are conversions from one project format to another that are very difficult or buggy or otherwise problematic.

Note that we haven’t incremented the oldest version that can be opened or imported in the past several versions. This is in part because our automated testing has improved, so the testing burden is less of a problem, and it’s in part because we haven’t had any technical limitations that would cause the conversion to be too tricky. We’re trying to keep the backward support as long as possible so that you can still easily use your old projects as needed.


saving backward

In After Effects CS5.5, we added the ability to save a copy of a project backward so that it could be opened by the previous major version.

  • After Effects CS5.5 (10) has the command Save > Save As > Save A Copy As CS5.
  • After Effects CS6 (11) has the command Save > Save As > Save A Copy As CS5.5.
  • After Effects CC (12) has the command Save > Save As > Save A Copy As CS6.
  • After Effects CC 2014 (13) has the command Save > Save As > Save A Copy As CC (12).

If you need to save back from, say, After Effects CC (12.2) to After Effects CS5 (10), you’ll need to go through a multi-step process, saving back one version at a time.

Or, if you don’t mind spending a few dollars on a very handy script, pt_OpenSesame, you can save to a text-based format that preserves much (though not all) of a project’s information and can be opened in any version of After Effects from CS3 (8) onward. This script is also terrific for automated workflows when you want to be able to edit a project file without opening After Effects to do so, such as when just replacing a little bit of text.

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