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. You can create lower-thirds, titles, brand identities (logos, texts), or other graphics and share them with your team.

You can perform three main tasks in the Essential Graphics panel:

  • Author: Add controls for your composition to the Essential Graphics panel. Open a master composition and drag frequently used effect and layer properties from the Timeline panel. You can modify the names of the properties, reorder them, and add comments. You can use the Essential Graphics panel as a control panel for your compositions.
  • Share: Share your composition as a Motion Graphics template through Creative Cloud libraries or save it to your local drive as a Motion Graphics template (.mogrt) file. The template includes all the source images, videos, and properties.
  • Apply: The compositions you share as Motion Graphics templates are accessible in Premiere Pro. You can browse these templates in the Essential Graphics panel in Premiere Pro and apply them in Premiere Pro compositions. You can change variables such as text, color, layout, or mood of the graphics.

Note:

You need a trial version of After Effects installed on your computer to use templates created using After Effects. For more information, see Motion Graphics templates/Common Questions.

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

For more information on working with Motion Graphics templates in Premiere Pro, see how to work with Motion Graphics templates in Premiere Pro.

Working with Essential Graphics panel

Compositions in Essential Graphics panel

You can view the list of compositions in your project in the Master menu. The menu is divided with a line. The compositions above the line are open in the Essential Graphics panel, and the compositions below the line are not open in the panel.

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

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 child pages that are in the hierarchy of the master composition to the panel.

There are two categories of properties from the child composition:

  • Related properties: Properties from child compositions that are in the hierarchy of the master composition are related properties.
  • Unrelated properties: Properties from child pages that are not in the hierarchy of the master composition are unrelated properties. Essential Graphics panel does not read the unrelated properties. When you add the 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. 

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.

Adding and modifying 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%.

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

Working with Motion Graphics templates

Rename the template

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

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