Common Errors with After Effects Templates and How to Fix Them

After Effects 26/02/2019 4 min read

It can be quite a shock when you open a freshly downloaded After Effects template only to be bombarded with error messages popping up in your face. Whatever you do don’t freak out, take a deep breath, and try to stay calm. Together we can, and
we will get through this.

For the most part, these errors are not a big deal and can be quickly remedied. Let’s go ahead and take a look at the first and most common errors.

Error #1: Missing Files

Message: After Effects warning: 9 files missing since you last saved this project.

The Problem:

Ah, the ol’ Missing File error. I’ve been working in After Effects for over 10 years, and this one still baffles me from time to time. I create a project. I collect the project. I share the project. Someone opens the project. BOOM. They get the Missing File error!

This error happens when the After Effects template or project you’re trying to use contains assets (images, footage, music, etc) that After Effects can’t locate. Sometimes it’s because whoever collected the project didn’t collect it properly, and the assets are actually missing. Other times the assets are there on your computer, but somehow the asset’s file path has become broken.

The Solution:

Show the assets the way home. In the project panel search for missing. This will bring up any missing files that are in the project. Right-click on one, highlight Replace Footage and click on File. You can then do a search on your computer for the missing file. Once you find it, highlight and click open.

This will relink the missing file, and often times if there are multiple missing files it will relink them all. Score.

We’ve also created a tutorial on how to reconnect missing files you can watch here.

Error #2: Missing Fonts

Message: The following layer dependencies are missing: Text Layer: Font family….

The Problem:

The Missing Font error is pretty straightforward. The After Effects template or project you’re trying to use was created using fonts that you don’t have installed on your computer.

The Solution:

To fix this issue, you simply need to install the fonts that are missing. After the error message pops up, jot down the font’s exact name so you have it for reference. You can then do a Google search to find where you can download it.

Download the font, install it, restart After Effects, open the template, and you’re good to go.

With our After Effects templates, we provide a text document in your download package that contains the font’s name and where it can be obtained. For the most part, all fonts we use in our templates are free to download and use.

Error #3: Missing Effects

Message: This project contains 25 references to missing effects. Please install the following effects to restore these references…

The Problem:

The Missing Effect error isn’t a good one, and can result in you forking over some cash for a new After Effects plug-in you didn’t realize you needed.

This error is shown when an After Effects template or project was created using third-party plug-ins that you don’t have installed on your computer.

At Motion Array we try to always pre-render any third-party effects we use in our templates so that our members don’t have to make any additional purchases to take advantage of our templates. In the rare event, we do use a third-party plug-in, it will be listed on the product’s detail page.

The Solution:

When you open a project and receive the Missing Effect error, write down the name of all of the effects. You can do a Google search for the plugins to find out where you can buy them.

Tip: You can buy most all After Effects plugins from at a discount!

After buying the plugin, make sure After Effects is closed, and install the plugin. Restart After Effects, open the template, and you’re now on your way to animated awesomeness.

Error #4: Project Must Be Converted

Message: This project must be converted from version 10.0 (Macintosh Intel). The original file will be unchanged.

The Problem:

Out of all of these errors, this is the one you want to get. There’s not really a problem. After Effects is simply letting you know that the project or template you’re opening was created in an older version of After Effects and that it will convert it to whatever version of After Effects you’re currently using.

The Solution:

Click OK.

After having worked in After Effects for over 10 years, these are the most common errors I’ve come across. I hope this post helped solve some of your problems and curb some of your anxiety. If you’re still having trouble with these errors or any other errors, post a comment below and we’ll do our best to help you out.

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