Use this page to know about the Essential Graphics panel in After Effects and how to work with Motion Graphics templates.

Overview

The Essential Graphics panel allows you to build custom controls for motion graphics and share them as Motion Graphics templates via Creative Cloud Libraries or as local files. Essential Graphics panel works as a bucket in which you can add different controls, modify them, and then pack them as shareable Motion Graphics templates. A new workspace for working with the Essential Graphics panel in After Effects, named Essential Graphics, is available from the workspace bar. You can access the workspace from the Window > Workspace.

The Essential Graphics panel in After Effects can be used in two main ways:

  • As a control surface within After Effects: Use the Essential Graphics panel as a control surface for your compositions. Drag parameters from your timeline into Essential Graphics panel to create shortcuts for the elements in your composition you change often.
  • To export Motion Graphics templates (.mogrt): Encapsulate your After Effects project into a Motion Graphics template that can be edited directly in Premiere Pro. All the source images, videos, and pre-comps necessary to maintain your design are packaged in the template. Only the controls you expose are available for customization in Premiere Pro that allows you to retain creative control of your design.

Creating Motion Graphics templates in After Effects

Creating Motion Graphics templates in After Effects
Watch this video to learn about creating Motion Graphics templates in After Effects

Work with Essential Graphics panel

Compositions in Essential Graphics panel

In the Essential Graphics panel, use the Master dropdown menu to select a composition in your project to start building a Motion Graphics template.

Viewing compositions from Master menu
Viewing compositions from Master menu

To open a composition in Essential Graphics panel in After Effects, do any of the following:

  • To open current composition, select Composition > Open in Essential Graphics.
  • To open a particular composition, right-click a composition in the Project panel, and select Open in Essential Graphics.
  • To open any composition in your project, click the Master menu in the Essential Graphics panel.

Master composition

The Master composition is the current composition in the Essential Graphics panel. You can add supported properties from the Master composition to the panel. You can also add properties from the composition that are in the hierarchy of the master composition.

Properties from composition that are not in the hierarchy of the master composition are considered unrelated properties. When you add unrelated properties to the Essential Graphics panel, a warning message is displayed. The properties are still added to the panel, but are highlighted in red and have no effect on the Motion Graphics template when exported. 

Tip: To use unrelated properties, nest the composition properties into the master composition or the hierarchy.

Note:

Unrelated properties do not work when the composition is exported as a Motion Graphics template.

Add and modify controls

Add controls

To add a control, drag supported properties from the timeline into the Essential Graphics panel.

You can add supported properties from any effect or any layer property group such as - Transform, Masks, and Material Options.

Types of supported controls:

  • Checkbox
  • Color
  • Numerical slider
  • Source text

If you add unsupported properties, After Effects displays a warning message, 'After Effects Error: Property type is not yet supported for use in Motion Graphics templates.'

Adding controls in the Essential Graphics panel
Adding controls in the Essential Graphics panel

View supported properties

If you want to only view the properties supported by the Essential Graphics panel, click the Solo Supported Properties button in the panel. The button filters the properties and displays the supported properties in the timeline.

Viewing solo properties
Viewing solo properties

Modify controls

You can use the Essential Graphics panel to customize controls in the following ways:

  • Rename a control: To rename a control, do any of the following:
    • Click the name field of the control and enter a new name.
    • Drag and highlight the current name and enter a new name.
  • Reveal source properties: To reveal the source properties of a control in the timeline, right-click the control name and choose Reveal in Timeline from the context menu. 
  • Reorder the controls: To reorder the controls, drag them up or down in the panel.

The controls that you add to the Essential Graphics panel are linked to the source properties. Changing the value of a control also changes the value of the properties in the composition. For example, if you change the Opacity to 50% in the panel, the value of Opacity in the composition also changes to 50%.

The composition values are simultaneously updated as you slide the value of numerical controls in the panel. To disable the live update feature, hold Option (Mac) or Alt (Win) as you slide.

Add comments in Essential Graphics panel

To add comments, click the Add Comment button at the bottom of the Essential Graphics panel. You can add multiple comments, rename them, and reorder them.

  • To rename, click the name field of the comment and enter a new name. 
  • To reorder, drag the comment up or down the panel.

To delete a comment, select the comment and press Backspace or Delete.

Modifying controls
Modifying controls

Export Motion Graphics templates

Name the template

To name or rename your Motion Graphics template, click the name field of the template, and enter a new name.

Set poster frame for the template

You can set the poster frame for your template. The poster frame is used as the thumbnail image for your template in Creative Cloud libraries and the Essential Graphics panel in Premiere Pro.

To set the poster frame, follow these steps:

  1. In the master composition, place the current-time indicator on the frame you want to select.

  2. Click the Set Poster Frame button in the Essential Graphics panel.

Export a template

To export your composition as a Motion Graphics template, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Export Motion Graphics Template button at the bottom of the Essential Graphics panel. Compositions in the hierarchy of the master composition are included in the template.

  2. In the Export As Motion Graphics Template dialog, click the Destination menu. The available destinations are:

    • Creative Cloud Libraries: Add templates to your Creative Cloud Libraries.
    • Essential Graphics: Add templates to the local folder by default. Templates stored in the Essential Graphics folder are directly available in the Essential Graphics panel in Premiere Pro.
    • Local Drive: Save templates to a local directory. The templates you save to your local directory are not automatically available in the Essential Graphics panel in Premiere Pro.
    Exporting the Motion Graphics templates
    Exporting the Motion Graphics templates

    For more information on adding assets to Creative Cloud Libraries, see Creative Cloud Libraries in After Effects.

  3. Select a checkbox under Verify Contains Only:

    • Typekit Fonts: Select the checkbox if you intend to verify that only Typekit fonts are exported in the file.
    • Basic Features: Select the checkbox if you intend to only export After-Effects independent features - for example, any third-party plug-ins.

    Note:

    These options only display warnings, they do not modify the content of the Motion Graphics template. If you need to make changes to the project to meet the requirements, cancel the export and make the changes, then export the Motion Graphics template again.

  4. Choose the export destination from the Destination menu and click OK.

Scripts can add properties to the Essential Graphics panel and export a Motion Graphics template.

Note:

You can author Motion Graphics templates (.mogrt files) that do not require the user to have After Effects installed on their computer in order to customize them. Make sure your templates meet the following requirements to ensure an After Effects install is not required for the user of your .mogrt: 

  • Only the Classic 3D composition renderer is supported; the CINEMA 4D and Ray-traced 3D renderers are not supported.
  • All effects included with After Effects are supported, except: 3D Camera Tracker, Apply Color LUT, Camera-Shake Deblur, Synthetic Aperture Color Finesse, Maxon CINEWARE, Puppet, and Warp Stabilizer.
  • Dynamic Link footage is not supported such as Premiere Pro sequences or Character Animator CC scenes in an After Effects composition.
  • FLV format footage and third-party plug-ins are not supported.

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