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

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Ian Duncan
1 month ago
God send this is.
3 months ago
Thanks Andrew,

Is there an easy way to make the default size in PS (when creating a new canvas to paste the frame) the same size as the frame saved?

Just used it and thought it would save additional time. Not huge just a thought.

You rock!
    2 months ago
    if you open "new" on Photoshop, you can select as size "clipboard". So the size of the new photoshop document is the same size as the picture in the clipboard
9 months ago
Hi guys

This has been asked before (unfortunately no comments so far):

I have an AE comp set to a working space. Source has an assigned color profile as well.
When I copy frame to clipboard and paste it in Photoshop, colors are way off. I have assigned same profile in Photoshop.
So, back to AE, I cannot import identical image.

Am I doing something wrong? What is the correct procedure?
Please help.


Jari H/Postwork
12 months ago
Does it work with CC though?
1 year ago
THANKS!!! Before I found it, I use obviousfx Copy Image Plug-in, but it not work for GIMP 2 (for example). But yours plugin working, and its safe my nervous system.... Thanks!
1 year ago
I am running AE CS6 on Mac, and I installed the plugin as per the instructions included in the download. However, after restarting AE and trying to apply the Vibrance effect, I get the following error message:
After Effects error: Couldn't find main entry point for Vibrance.plugin ( 48 :: 72 )
I've tried reinstalling several times, but I keep getting the same result. Any advice?
1 year ago
Thanks for this - just made my life quite a bit easier. If you're looking for feature suggestions, a version that will copy non-square pixel footage as square pixels would definitely help when using this for emailing or putting together quick previews.
James He
1 year ago
Thank you very much!
2 years ago
thanks for this. nice and simple, but when doing things like pitches saves a huge amount of time.

im just wondering if the reverse is possible, copy clipboard to timeline in AE?

Jari H
2 years ago

A small request, how to handle things with color management in AE and PS. I ran too often into troubles finding a display profile is used instead the AE's working space (like ACES). Importing same image back into AE from PS looks incorrect.
How to do this correctly?

Despite color profile mess, this is a time saver, thanks.
2 years ago
How about making the reverse script? To paste images from the clipboard into AE.
or.....the same script for premiere......???
just saying....
2 years ago
Ah, it's the simple things in life. This plug-in is exactly what I needed! Will save a lot of time when exporting stills! Thanks VC!
3 years ago
Thank you so much... this is very helpful
Dan Weaver
3 years ago
Works great with CS6 (CC) just in case anyone scrolls this far down! :)

Thanks VC.
4 years ago
5 years ago
Thank you !!
I have been really missing obviousfx copy image plugin since I upgraded to CS5 !
5 years ago
I dont know but it dose not work for me
(i have AE CS5.5)
    5 years ago
    never mind it now works
5 years ago
Thank you Andrew.
This is what I was looking for!
5 years ago
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!!
5 years ago
Hi, Andrew
small tip but very useful save time to make render
5 years ago
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 ?
5 years ago
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
5 years ago
Wow, nice!! I was amazed ObviouxFX stopt making the plugin for CS5!!
zio Vanja
5 years ago
Thanks for all to whole videocopilot staff,
and greetings from Sardinia, Mediterranean sea. ^_^
fool potato
5 years ago
Great Man great stuff,
Many Thanks
5 years ago
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)
5 years ago
Great help! Why is this not included in CS5?
6 years ago
i like you very much andrew i like your all tutorials
thank u
6 years ago
Very useful plugin actually. This just started saving me quite a bit of time on a project I'm working on. Thanks!
6 years ago
Hey, nice plugin :D
6 years ago
Actually Adobe could make this function happen.. by holding SHIFT key and pressing "take snapshot" button. That would be logical.
George Andreoni
6 years ago
As we say here, this plug is wild.
6 years ago

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?
6 years ago
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.
6 years ago
Simply awesome!

6 years ago
Awesome! thank you. I just used it. What a time saver!
6 years ago
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
6 years ago
I translated this blog to Farsi language and Posted on my website.

Please check this out:
6 years ago
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!
6 years ago
thanks man this cool
6 years ago
but thanks! again VC
Melvin Romero
6 years ago
i have a question. does it export with transparency or not. thanks
Melvin Romero
6 years ago
just what i was thinking about. thank you andrew
6 years ago
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.
6 years ago
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.
6 years ago
So... Is this that "Dragon" plug-in we've been waiting for?
6 years ago
What a Great Stuff Mr.Kramer...Thanks A Lot For This Special Gift:)
sunil thapa
6 years ago
u r really cool ........u r creating helper to bust our cabalility thnx a ton ...........for such a cool plugin.......
6 years ago
This Plugin works perfectly! Nice Job!
6 years ago
Great Job! Works perfectly!
6 years ago
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.
6 years ago
Brilliant. Thanks Andrew, some of these little tools are as invaluable as the big paid ones.
6 years ago
Thanks you sooo much for this !
6 years ago
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
6 years ago
Thanks andrew,
great little add on. Cheers Mate
6 years ago
cool . thanks lol
6 years ago
Thank you, very helpfull.
6 years ago
Saving time is essential, thanks!
Ant Pain
6 years ago
Awesome :D that'll be really useful when re-creating time lapse footage :P Cheers AK!!!
6 years ago
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.
6 years ago
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!
6 years ago
I was looking for something like this about a month ago!
Glad I have it now! Thanks!
6 years ago
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?
Jeff Winney
6 years ago
Great. Just tried it. Works like a charm! SWEET!!
6 years ago
i was just looking for something like this 2 weeks ago. thanks.
6 years ago
You are an excellent team, the world will give you back what you are giving.

Thank you from Spain!
6 years ago
Awesome. This is definitely a great little plug-in and definitely will be handy for future stuff. Great timesaver. Thanks Andrew!
6 years ago
Dude! You just saved me so much time!!
6 years ago
Cool it work with Premiere too?
6 years ago
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.
6 years ago
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.
6 years ago
Just what i currently need. Saves me "some" time. Thanks
6 years ago
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?
6 years ago
Very very nice!
I noticed it uses the preview window, so for the best result you should set the preview window in "Full" mode.
6 years ago
Working fine here!
6 years ago
COOLLL!!!! Thanks Andrew!!! IS A VERY USEFUL TOOL!!
6 years ago
tanks andrew
good job
6 years ago
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.
6 years ago
Thanks Andrew!!!
Good Job!!!
6 years ago
thx for the help. u may not know it but on my CV it says VideoCopilot college that is where i studied.
6 years ago
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?
6 years ago
this is so useful ! :)
6 years ago
Please make a tutorial about: "how to create a plug-ins?" :)
6 years ago
Thanks Andrew !
6 years ago
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!
6 years ago
Thanks for sharing!
6 years ago
It does not work with my Photoshop CS5...? I can't edit/past
But it works with Paint.
    6 years ago
    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.
lee penant
6 years ago
ahh thats handy
6 years ago
thanks Andrew! that's cool! good job. thanks to all VCP team!
6 years ago
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
jin kazama
6 years ago
Really something that AE needed, I am sure they will make it native in there next update ;)
6 years ago
You get a big wet kiss on the cheek for that one from me! ;-) Thanks!
6 years ago
Great idea! Was looking for something like that for a long time!
6 years ago
Real timesaver ! thx
6 years ago
Very, Very , very useful Andrew! I will use always for export images and frame for my website! Thanks!
6 years ago
No, it's not ground breaking, but this is still amazing! This will be such a time saver! Thanks Andrew! :)
6 years ago
Awesome idea~ It does save some time~ Thanks~
6 years ago
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:-)
Vid Malnar
6 years ago

thanks VC
6 years ago
Great idea ! Thanks a lot !
6 years ago
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!!
6 years ago
WOW just tryed it works great thanks AK.
6 years ago
Does the plug-in work with PPC macs?
6 years ago
well that was nice of you :)
6 years ago
GREAT..really needed this
Anything that can help shorten time is always a great help. Thanks AK!
Grant S
6 years ago
Awesome! My question is, how is the frame compressed?
6 years ago
This is quite handy an came in a good moment!
Thanks for sharing.
6 years ago
Terima Kasih banyak atas semua tutorialnya, .
Sangat membantu saya..

translate :

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

6 years ago
Awesome job. :) Optical flares is the best for space art :) and this will save me some time.
6 years ago
thanks for sharing !!!
naim halif
6 years ago
John Nguyen
6 years ago
Cool. Thanks for sharing! Downloading it right now.
Yan Chernikov
6 years ago
Thanks! This will be faster than rendering the frame. :D