Copy to Clipboard Plug-in for AE

Not really ground-breaking but here is a simple plug-in we created to allow you to copy a frame from After Effects to the system clipboard so you can paste it in a program like Photoshop. This saves you from having to render a frame to a file and then reopen it and apparently it is not a new idea but we made it 64-bit and cs5 compatible if anyone needs it.

I was doing a lot of Photoshop work with stuff from After Effects and using this plug-in saved a lot of time getting screenshots into my PS canvas.

Install the plug-in to your AE plug-in folder. For CS3 and CS4, use the 32-bit version for CS5, use the 64-bit version. There should be a .aex for windows and a .plugin for mac users too.

Once installed you can navigate to a comp and then choose export, and select Copy Frame to Clipboard. Then open image application and choose, Edit-Paste!

Any bugs, post them here and we’ll try to fix them.

Download Here

Yan Chernikov
November 22nd, 2010 @ 8:40 pm
Thanks! This will be faster than rendering the frame. :D
John Nguyen
November 22nd, 2010 @ 8:43 pm
Cool. Thanks for sharing! Downloading it right now.
naim halif
November 22nd, 2010 @ 8:45 pm
November 22nd, 2010 @ 9:02 pm
thanks for sharing !!!
November 22nd, 2010 @ 9:06 pm
Awesome job. :) Optical flares is the best for space art :) and this will save me some time.
November 22nd, 2010 @ 9:13 pm
Terima Kasih banyak atas semua tutorialnya, .
Sangat membantu saya..

translate :

Thank you very much for all tutorials..
very helpful for me.

November 22nd, 2010 @ 9:17 pm
This is quite handy an came in a good moment!
Thanks for sharing.
Grant S
November 22nd, 2010 @ 9:21 pm
Awesome! My question is, how is the frame compressed?
November 22nd, 2010 @ 9:22 pm
Anything that can help shorten time is always a great help. Thanks AK!
November 22nd, 2010 @ 9:27 pm
GREAT..really needed this
November 22nd, 2010 @ 9:29 pm
well that was nice of you :)
November 22nd, 2010 @ 9:48 pm
Does the plug-in work with PPC macs?
November 22nd, 2010 @ 10:34 pm
WOW just tryed it works great thanks AK.
November 22nd, 2010 @ 11:12 pm
Amazing! I was working on a few project where I was rendering flares from Ae into Ai. I'm so glad you guys came up with this...Its saving me all kinds of time. THANKS!!
November 22nd, 2010 @ 11:27 pm
Great idea ! Thanks a lot !
Vid Malnar
November 22nd, 2010 @ 11:56 pm

thanks VC
November 23rd, 2010 @ 12:49 am
Thanks for the plug-in, Andrew! Cool ... Actually saves time. Very comfortable. But the best of all is that you do not leave us without our Master:-)
November 23rd, 2010 @ 12:49 am
Awesome idea~ It does save some time~ Thanks~
November 23rd, 2010 @ 12:50 am
No, it's not ground breaking, but this is still amazing! This will be such a time saver! Thanks Andrew! :)
November 23rd, 2010 @ 12:58 am
Very, Very , very useful Andrew! I will use always for export images and frame for my website! Thanks!
November 23rd, 2010 @ 1:23 am
Real timesaver ! thx
November 23rd, 2010 @ 1:44 am
Great idea! Was looking for something like that for a long time!
November 23rd, 2010 @ 2:12 am
You get a big wet kiss on the cheek for that one from me! ;-) Thanks!
jin kazama
November 23rd, 2010 @ 2:32 am
Really something that AE needed, I am sure they will make it native in there next update ;)
November 23rd, 2010 @ 3:27 am
Hi Andrew, i have a question about your new plugin: when i use it to export a frame with a shape layer the borders of the elements are crisp and have no smoth aspect like i see in AE. I don't know if i am doing something wrong or what. Thanks
November 23rd, 2010 @ 4:09 am
thanks Andrew! that's cool! good job. thanks to all VCP team!
lee penant
November 23rd, 2010 @ 4:13 am
ahh thats handy
November 23rd, 2010 @ 4:31 am
It does not work with my Photoshop CS5...? I can't edit/past
But it works with Paint.
    December 3rd, 2010 @ 10:10 am
    Same problem as Moebius (great name btw!: Copy to Clipboard and then try to Paste in Photoshop but it's grayed out as if nothing is in the clipboard - if I go to Paint it pastes just fine.
November 23rd, 2010 @ 5:00 am
Thanks for sharing!
November 23rd, 2010 @ 5:24 am
Thanks a lot! Save time increase creativity :)
And about the linear space in AE, how to obtain the good colors space in Photoshop?

Thanks to VC team!
November 23rd, 2010 @ 5:40 am
Thanks Andrew !
November 23rd, 2010 @ 5:52 am
Please make a tutorial about: "how to create a plug-ins?" :)
November 23rd, 2010 @ 5:55 am
this is so useful ! :)
November 23rd, 2010 @ 5:59 am
Nice tool. But How does it work with 16/32 bit Projectsettings in AE? Do I have to setup my PSD as 16/32 bit and then just paste it, or can it only transfer 8 bit?
November 23rd, 2010 @ 6:09 am
thx for the help. u may not know it but on my CV it says VideoCopilot college that is where i studied.
November 23rd, 2010 @ 6:31 am
Thanks Andrew!!!
Good Job!!!
November 23rd, 2010 @ 6:45 am
Thanks, anything that saves me time is always appreciated----now if you guys could get to work on robots to do my projects for me there MAY be a christmas card in there for you-----its not a bribe----just an incentive.
November 23rd, 2010 @ 6:48 am
tanks andrew
good job
November 23rd, 2010 @ 7:03 am
COOLLL!!!! Thanks Andrew!!! IS A VERY USEFUL TOOL!!
November 23rd, 2010 @ 7:06 am
Working fine here!
November 23rd, 2010 @ 7:23 am
Very very nice!
I noticed it uses the preview window, so for the best result you should set the preview window in "Full" mode.
November 23rd, 2010 @ 7:25 am
Sorry for double posting i forget too say something important in my older message.
THIS IS GREAT too share your work with friends on MSN. You won't have to render it and all things, you know?
November 23rd, 2010 @ 7:35 am
Just what i currently need. Saves me "some" time. Thanks
November 23rd, 2010 @ 7:39 am
mac users can press shift cmd 4

then drag the area to create a still of the desktop. shift cmd 3 will do the whole screen. their .png if anyone is wondering.
November 23rd, 2010 @ 7:41 am
andrew thank you very much for this plugin would really be very useful, for a long time I needed something like this to work, greetings from Venezuela and looking forward to your new tutorials.
November 23rd, 2010 @ 7:52 am
Cool it work with Premiere too?
November 23rd, 2010 @ 8:06 am
Dude! You just saved me so much time!!
November 23rd, 2010 @ 8:24 am
Awesome. This is definitely a great little plug-in and definitely will be handy for future stuff. Great timesaver. Thanks Andrew!
November 23rd, 2010 @ 8:47 am
You are an excellent team, the world will give you back what you are giving.

Thank you from Spain!
November 23rd, 2010 @ 8:55 am
i was just looking for something like this 2 weeks ago. thanks.
Jeff Winney
November 23rd, 2010 @ 9:06 am
Great. Just tried it. Works like a charm! SWEET!!
November 23rd, 2010 @ 9:56 am
I have to ask again: But How does it work with 16/32 bit Projectsettings in AE? Do I have to setup my PSD as 16/32 bit and then just paste it, or can it only transfer 8 bit?
November 23rd, 2010 @ 10:17 am
I was looking for something like this about a month ago!
Glad I have it now! Thanks!
November 23rd, 2010 @ 10:22 am
Awesome! Thanks Andrew. I have been wanting AE to add this feature ever since my first AE purchase. I wish they would put this in AE permanently. THANKS!
November 23rd, 2010 @ 10:40 am
As for the 32 bit /8 bit. I think it is a BMP screen pixels. I think that makes it 8-bit but it could be 16. Definitely not 32-bit. Just think, what ever the pixels are currently at, that is what is copied.
Ant Pain
November 23rd, 2010 @ 11:19 am
Awesome :D that'll be really useful when re-creating time lapse footage :P Cheers AK!!!
November 23rd, 2010 @ 4:08 pm
Saving time is essential, thanks!
November 23rd, 2010 @ 4:20 pm
Thank you, very helpfull.
November 23rd, 2010 @ 5:12 pm
cool . thanks lol
November 23rd, 2010 @ 5:24 pm
Thanks andrew,
great little add on. Cheers Mate
November 23rd, 2010 @ 5:42 pm
Hi VC Team

Thx for sharing, it looks great!
Just one request : the possibility to keep the alpha channel when exporting in the clipboard.

I don't know if it's technicaly possible.

Anyway, thanks for all
November 23rd, 2010 @ 7:07 pm
Thanks you sooo much for this !
November 23rd, 2010 @ 10:11 pm
Brilliant. Thanks Andrew, some of these little tools are as invaluable as the big paid ones.
November 23rd, 2010 @ 11:08 pm
Thanks Andrew! I've been using Copy Image plugin for a long time and was very sad to see that there was no plans to update it for CS5.

On a side note C2C2 is a bit buried in menus... perhaps if possible make it part of edit sub-menu?

Also it would be nice if there was a way for alpha channel to be transferred in one go, but I guess we are asking tooo much :D

Once again Thanks Andrew & Team.
November 24th, 2010 @ 3:52 am
Great Job! Works perfectly!
November 24th, 2010 @ 3:53 am
This Plugin works perfectly! Nice Job!
sunil thapa
November 24th, 2010 @ 4:16 am
u r really cool ........u r creating helper to bust our cabalility thnx a ton ...........for such a cool plugin.......
November 24th, 2010 @ 5:01 am
What a Great Stuff Mr.Kramer...Thanks A Lot For This Special Gift:)
November 24th, 2010 @ 9:54 am
So... Is this that "Dragon" plug-in we've been waiting for?
November 24th, 2010 @ 2:30 pm
Nice plug!
Maby a bug? When I set Working Space (SDTV PAL 16-235)the picture will not have the correct gamma. Have set the correct Color Management mode for the imported footage. Still need to render a still to make it work with Color Management.
November 24th, 2010 @ 8:11 pm
Wow, normally I would have to set up the comp to only render the one frame I want in an image sequence. It is very annoying but this is a brilliant solution to that problem. Thanks heaps.
Melvin Romero
November 24th, 2010 @ 8:30 pm
just what i was thinking about. thank you andrew
Melvin Romero
November 24th, 2010 @ 8:38 pm
i have a question. does it export with transparency or not. thanks
November 24th, 2010 @ 8:41 pm
but thanks! again VC
November 26th, 2010 @ 6:11 am
thanks man this cool
November 26th, 2010 @ 10:06 am
Nice, but the other way around would be even sweeter. When its possible to paste stuff directly from clipboard in the AE project > photoshop like!
November 27th, 2010 @ 3:25 am
I translated this blog to Farsi language and Posted on my website.

Please check this out:
November 28th, 2010 @ 7:21 am
This is good ... very good ... maby You guys from VC could take it to the next level and asign keyboard shortcut for this plugin and make things even faster ... for example if we press CTRL+PrntScrn that combination could execute this unique plugin :D
November 28th, 2010 @ 7:04 pm
Awesome! thank you. I just used it. What a time saver!
November 29th, 2010 @ 8:23 am
Simply awesome!

November 30th, 2010 @ 9:55 am
Doesn't work... lol. no seriously, I downloaded your glow tut and exported a full resolution frame to show you what is going wrong. here is the example.
November 30th, 2010 @ 10:34 am

First off thanks alot for sharing this!
Tried it out today but it didn't really work for me.
Don't know if I'm doing something wrong but here's the result:

VC plugin:

Original image:

Any clues?
George Andreoni
December 10th, 2010 @ 5:38 am
As we say here, this plug is wild.
December 13th, 2010 @ 12:08 pm
Actually Adobe could make this function happen.. by holding SHIFT key and pressing "take snapshot" button. That would be logical.
December 29th, 2010 @ 1:08 pm
Hey, nice plugin :D
January 13th, 2011 @ 8:06 am
Very useful plugin actually. This just started saving me quite a bit of time on a project I'm working on. Thanks!
January 14th, 2011 @ 6:29 pm
i like you very much andrew i like your all tutorials
thank u
May 19th, 2011 @ 10:36 am
Great help! Why is this not included in CS5?
July 20th, 2011 @ 7:09 am
Cool, didn't see this before the 'After Effects for Photoshop work' post. I always use AE for my PS work, so this is very handy, instead of having to set up the render format and everything for a single frame :) Thanks VC(p)
fool potato
July 20th, 2011 @ 7:02 pm
Great Man great stuff,
Many Thanks
zio Vanja
July 21st, 2011 @ 4:58 pm
Thanks for all to whole videocopilot staff,
and greetings from Sardinia, Mediterranean sea. ^_^
July 22nd, 2011 @ 7:01 am
Wow, nice!! I was amazed ObviouxFX stopt making the plugin for CS5!!
July 27th, 2011 @ 12:03 am
Hi,thanks for the useful plug-in,now I got a problem about it.I import a 1600x1200 jpeg image into AE,when I tried to use the plug-in,I pasted it in to PS or other software,I can only get a half-size image(800x600),and I don't know why,I changed the preview size and it still didn't work.I'm not sure If this is a bug,hope there might be some solution to it,thanks again:D
July 29th, 2011 @ 11:44 pm
Hello Andrew does this plug-in work for cs5.5, if i try to copy in cs5.5 AE, the system hangs, why does this happen ?
August 4th, 2011 @ 8:32 am
Hi, Andrew
small tip but very useful save time to make render
August 25th, 2011 @ 10:29 am
Hi Andrew, thanks for the plug in. so I made a comp, with a picture and i made a distortion so when i export to PS it's open a black color inside the new layer, did i something wrong ? ( I have production premium cs5.5) Thanks!!
November 10th, 2011 @ 10:36 pm
Thank you Andrew.
This is what I was looking for!
December 20th, 2011 @ 3:33 pm
I dont know but it dose not work for me
(i have AE CS5.5)
    December 20th, 2011 @ 3:38 pm
    never mind it now works
March 1st, 2012 @ 7:03 am
Thank you !!
I have been really missing obviousfx copy image plugin since I upgraded to CS5 !
February 13th, 2013 @ 10:51 am
Dan Weaver
May 26th, 2013 @ 5:28 pm
Works great with CS6 (CC) just in case anyone scrolls this far down! :)

Thanks VC.
June 3rd, 2013 @ 2:15 am
Thank you so much... this is very helpful
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