Tricks for Editing 4K videos in After Effects CC

Diana Joan

Jul 25, 2017 09:42 am / Posted by Diana Joan

With more and more 4K resolution camera and camcorder into the hands of consumers, like Panasonic Lumix GH5, Sony Alpha A7S II, Sony Alpha A6500, Canon XC10 and more, editing 4K videos demand has become the mainstream. After getting 4K videos from your camera or other devices, you can import them into NLEs like popular After Effects CC for editing, so that you can play them, share them nicely. However, due to format restrictions, we may not perfectly editing a variety of 4K video files in After Effects CC, such as 4K MXF, 4K XAVC, 4K Prores, and so on. What if you are having problems editing 4K videos in After Effects CC? Read on to learn details.

After Effects CC Supported video Types

In fact, After Effects CC supported video types to import are very limited. The following lists show the types of media file you can import into Adobe After Effects CC.

Video formats

DV (in MOV or AVI container, or as containerless DV stream)

MPEG formats (MPEG, MPE, MPG, M2V, MPA, MP2, M2A, MPV, M2P, M2T, VOB, MOD, AC3, MP4, M4V, M4A)

QuickTime (MOV; 16 bpc, requires QuickTime)

Video for Windows (AVI, WAV; requires QuickTime on Mac OS)
Note: You can import 10-bpc uncompressed YUV AVI files created in Adobe Premiere Pro into 16-bpc RGB After Effects projects. You can also render with 10-bpc YUV compression. (See Specify Video for Windows compression options.)

Windows Media File (WMV, WMA, ASF; Windows only)

Audio formats

Advanced Audio Coding (AAC, M4A)

Audio Interchange File Format (AIF, AIFF)


Video for Windows (AVI, WAV; requires QuickTime on Mac OS)

Waveform (WAV)

Convert and Compress 4K Video for After Effects CC

To make your After Effects CC read 4K video files smoothly, the only way for you is to make sure your 4K video format is among the list above. Otherwise, you will fail to edit 4K video files in After Effects CC flawlessly. How to solve this issue? The quick and easy workaround is to transcode the 4K videos to a native format - MPEG-2 for the demanding After Effects CC. What's more, only the latest version of Adobe After Effects CC can native support 4K video. Previous versions of After Effects CS6/CS5/CS4 have not been updated to 4K support. So, if your After Effects CC is the previous version that is unable to handle 4K videos, you may need to downscale 4K to 1080p for smooth editing.

The process is surprisingly easy and can be done with the help of iMedia Converter Ultimate for Mac. It is the ideal 4K video converter for you, which can help you convert all 4K videos to supported format like MPEG-2 for editing in After Effects any version. Plus, this best video converter program also enables you to downscale videos resolution without notice the difference by your eyes, like 4K to 1080p, 720p,etc. as the users want.

Besides After Effects CC, this software can also export DNxHD for Avid Media Composer, Apple ProRes for Final Cut Pro, Apple InterMediate Codec for iMovie and more NLE systems for native editing.

Free Download this 4K video converter for After Effects CC for Mac:

For Windows users, simply turn to Pavtube Video Converter Ultimate to convert and transfer 4k videos on Win.

How to convert and Compress 4K video for After Effects CC?

Step 1: Load the 4K videos to the program

Install and run the 4K Video Converter for After Effects CC, and then import the source 4K videos to it. To do so, you can directly drag & drop the files onto the main interface, or you can click the “Add File” icon to locate the videos from your local disk.


Step 2: Choose After Effects CC native format - MPEG-2

Since we have known the best format for After Effects CC, just go to the output format list where you need to follow “Adobe Premiere/Sony Ve…”> “MPEG-2 (*.mpg).”

after effect

Step 3:  Advanced Settings (Optional)

If you’d like to customize advanced audio and video parameters like Video Codec, aspect ratio, bit rate, frame rate, Audio codec, sample rate, audio channels, please turn to “Settings” page. 

If you are using After Effects CS6/CS5/CS4 which does not fully support native 4K files, 1080p would be the best settings. You can downscale 4K to 1080p here. Of course, if you wanna get a 4K workflow in After Effects CC, you can keep the original 4K video resolution.


Step 4. Edit 4K Videos (Optional)

As a video converter and video editor, you’ll find this converting tool can be helpful in both conversion and editing. You can cut and get the video clips you want from a large size video file, which saves the conversion time tremendously. And you can edit the video files by using other functions like cropping, adding watermarks, affix special effects, etc.


Step 5: Start 4K to After Effects CC conversion

Hit the convert button to start transcoding 4K video to After Effects CC. After the conversion, click Open output folder to get the output videos.

The converted 4K file will be ready for After Effects CC. Just enjoy your smooth editing process.


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