Dynamic Link and After Effects

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  18. Working with other applications
    1. Dynamic Link and After Effects
    2. Working with After Effects and other applications
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  19. Memory, storage, performance
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About Dynamic Link

In the past, sharing media assets among post-production applications required you to render and export your work from one application before importing it into another. This workflow was inefficient and time-consuming. If you wanted to change the original asset, you rendered and exported the asset again. Multiple rendered and exported versions of an asset consume disk space, and they can lead to file-management challenges.

Dynamic Link offers an alternative to this workflow. You can create dynamic links between After Effects and Adobe Premiere Pro. Creating a dynamic link is as simple as importing any other type of asset. Dynamically linked assets appear with unique icons and label colors to help you identify them. Dynamic links are saved in projects generated by these applications.

Create and link to After Effects compositions with Dynamic Link

You can create new After Effects compositions, and dynamically link to them from Adobe Premiere Pro. You can also dynamically link to existing After Effects compositions from Adobe Premiere Pro.

Create a composition from clips in Adobe Premiere Pro

You can replace selected clips in Adobe Premiere Pro with a dynamically linked After Effects composition based on those clips. The new composition inherits the sequence settings from Adobe Premiere Pro.

  1. Open Premiere Pro and select the clips you want to replace.

  2. Right-click any of the selected clips.
  3. Select Replace With After Effects Composition.

    After Effects opens (if it is not already open) and a new linked composition is created.

Create a dynamically linked composition from Adobe Premiere Pro

Creating a new dynamically linked composition from Adobe Premiere Pro launches After Effects. After Effects then creates a project and composition with the dimensions, pixel aspect ratio, frame rate, and audio sample rate of the originating project. (If After Effects is already running, it creates a composition in the current project.) The new composition name is based on the Adobe Premiere Pro project name, followed by Linked Comp [x].

  1. In Adobe Premiere Pro, choose File > Adobe Dynamic Link > New After Effects Composition. In the 2014 version of Premiere Pro, you can import compositions using Media Browser. See the following sections in Premiere Pro for more information:

  2. If the After Effects Save As dialog box appears, enter a name and location for the After Effects project, and click Save.


    When you create a dynamically linked After Effects composition, the composition duration is set to 30 seconds. To change the duration, select the composition in After Effects, choose Composition > Composition Settings. Click the Basic tab, and specify a new value for Duration.

For best results, match composition settings (such as dimensions, pixel aspect ratio, and frame rate) to the settings in the Adobe Premiere Pro.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • In Adobe Premiere Pro, choose File > Adobe Dynamic Link > Import After Effects Composition. Choose an After Effects project file (.aep), and then choose one or more compositions.

    • In Adobe Premiere Pro, choose an After Effects project file and click Open. Then choose a composition in the displayed dialog box and click OK.

    • Drag one or more compositions from the After Effects Project panel to the Adobe Premiere Pro Project panel.

    • Drag an After Effects project file into the Premiere Pro Project panel. If the After Effects project file contains multiple compositions, the Import Composition dialog box opens.


You can link to a single After Effects composition multiple times in a single Adobe Premiere Pro project.

Modify a dynamically linked composition in After Effects

Use the Edit Original command in Adobe Premiere Pro to modify a linked After Effects composition. Once the composition is open in After Effects, you can change the composition without having to use the Edit Original command again.

  1. Select the After Effects composition in Adobe Premiere Pro, or choose a linked clip in the Timeline, and choose Edit > Edit Original.

  2. Change the composition in After Effects. Then, switch back to Adobe Premiere Pro to view your changes.

The changes made in After Effects appear in Adobe Premiere Pro. Adobe Premiere Pro stops using any preview files rendered for the clip before the changes.


You can change the name of the composition in After Effects after creating a dynamic link to it from Adobe Premiere Pro. Adobe Premiere Pro does not update the linked composition name in the Project panel. Adobe Premiere Pro does retain the dynamic link, however.

Delete a dynamically linked composition or clip

You can delete a linked composition from an Adobe Premiere Pro project at any time, even if the composition is used in a project.

You can delete linked clips from the timeline of an Adobe Premiere Pro sequence or timeline at any time.

  1. In Adobe Premiere Pro, select the linked composition or clip and press the Delete key.

Create a linked sequence in Adobe Premiere Pro with Dynamic Link

Creating an Adobe Premiere Pro sequence from After Effects launches Adobe Premiere Pro. Adobe Premiere Pro then creates a project and sequence with the dimensions, pixel aspect ratio, frame rate, and audio sample rate of the originating project. (If Adobe Premiere Pro is already running, it creates a sequence in the current project.)

  1. In After Effects, choose File > Adobe Dynamic Link > New Premiere Pro Sequence.

For best results, match sequence settings and project settings in Adobe Premiere Pro (such as dimensions, pixel aspect ratio, and frame rate) to those settings in the After Effects project.

Do one of the following:

  • In After Effects, choose File > Adobe Dynamic Link > Import Premiere Pro Sequence. Choose an Adobe Premiere Pro project, and then choose one or more sequences.

  • Drag one or more sequences from the Adobe Premiere Pro Project panel to the After Effects Project panel.

Dynamic Link performance

A linked clip can refer to a complex source composition. Actions you perform on the source composition require additional processing time depending on the complexity. After Effects applies the actions and make the final data available to Adobe Premiere Pro using the global performance cache and the persistent disk cache features. These features improve the After Effects performance by using the cached frames when Premiere Pro requests the frames.

To reduce playback delays, do one of the following:

  • Take the linked composition offline

  • Disable a linked clip to temporarily stop referencing a composition

  • Replace the dynamically linked composition with the rendered file using the Render and Replace feature in Premiere Pro (Clip > Render And Replace).  

If you commonly work with complex source compositions, increase your RAM or upgrade to a faster processor.


A linked After Effects composition will not support Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously multiprocessing. See Improve performance by optimizing memory, cache, and multiprocessing settings.

Export to Adobe Media Encoder

To encode After Effects compositions, you must add the item to the encoding queue in Adobe Media Encoder, and then select encoding presets or create your own custom settings for rendering. In After Effects, you can add a composition to Media Encoder queue using one of the following options:

  • File > Export > Add to Media Encoder Queue
  • Composition > Add to Media Encoder Queue

When you add a composition or project to Adobe Media Encoder queue, After Effects launches Adobe Media Encoder with the compositions listed in the queue.

The encoding process is explained in the following articles:

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