How to open and edit MP4 files in After Effects smoothly

Have trouble importing MP4 files into After Effects for further editing? If so, follow the quick-start guide to learn how to prepare MP4 videos for editing in After Effects CS5/CS6/CC without quality loss.


When you add video files like MP4 to After Effects, you may come across problems. This could happen because of the different codec in a number of MP4 files as After Effects (even the latest After Effects CC) might not support all of these codecs. First of all, have a look at the related issues:

“I’m having this problem that every time I import a .mp4 file in to After Effects, there’s no video just the audio. I deleted the preferences and the only way I was able to see the video was when I changed the file extension to .mov. Is there a way that I can see the .mp4 in After Effect without having to change the extension on the files? ”

Since MP4 can contain various video codecs, it would be difficult for you to find and install the codec. In fact, there is another easy option to get all MP4 video and After Effects to play nicely. The quick workaround is to convert MP4 to After Effects supported MPEG-2 codec (the most compatible video format for AE) file format and then transfer the converted MP4 videos to After Effects for editing.

Just to experiment I used EaseFab Video Converter to convert the MP4 to MPEG-2 and surprisingly it works perfectly in Adobe AE.

This video app can help you change MP4 into a different format (e.g. .mov, .wmv, .mpg) with least quality loss. You should then be able to import the new file into After Effects with smooth editing without any trouble. If you are Mac users, please get the Mac version here.

Transcode and Import MP4 to After Effects

This quick start guide takes Video Converter Windows version screenshots as an example. The method to convert MP4 to AE on Mac is the same. All that you should take care is to download the right version according to your situation.

Step 1. Load MP4 files to the program

Launch the MP4 to After Effects converter, and you can either click “Add Video” button to import .mp4 files, or directly drag and drop the files into this program. Batch conversion is available here, so you are allowed to import several files at one time.


Step 2. Choose the output format

To encode MP4 to After Effects, you can select MOV, WMV or MPEG-2 from “Editing Software” as the output format. All output videos will keep the original quality of MP4 video and seamlessly fit After Effects CC, CS6, CS5.5, CS5, CS4 and more.


Tip: If the default settings do not fit you requirement, you can click “Settings” icon to adjust video size, bit rate, frame rate, sample rate and audio channels.

Step 3. Convert MP4 to After Effects

Hit Convert, let this smart Video Converter to do the rest for you! After a while, your MP4 files will be converted into another format which can be imported into After Effects CC/CS6/CS5.5/CS5/CS5 for editing smoothly.

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