Lloyd Alvarez, creator of aescripts.com as well as some of the most useful After Effects scripts available, released a new version of the site that may finally put an end to the need to google for the best available After Effects scripts. All of the scripts listed from the half dozen top current developers are freeware except for one – Immigration, which also appeared in its final version today as the first script shareware product.
Scripts have moved from a marginal, obscure and difficult-to-create feature introduced in After Effects 6.0 to an outlet for After Effects artists who are also coding nerds to add what might otherwise be considered new features to After Effects. One key to this change has been that many of the most useful scripts, among them Immigration and BG Renderer, appear in the After Effects UI as regular panels.
Immigration transforms what was a major After Effects deficit – difficulty importing and replacing image sequences via an import dialog that does not recognize them as such – and created one of the best sequence-handling interfaces available in any software in its place. Not only can Immigration tell how multiple sequences in a folder are grouped, it can automatically scan existing sequences already present in an After Effects project and intelligently replace updated versions all at once.
The cost for an Immigration license is $20, marking the first time a script has been offered other than as freeware. Is this an ominous trend or a fair way to compensate innovation, coding effort and time savings? Immigration is an excellent test case, as it offers clear added efficiency for those who want it and want to pay for it. It also helps compensate Lloyd for releasing the most valuable script of all time, BGRenderer, which literally can replace a Nucleo Pro license (not available for CS4 until Tuesday, August 4) or even obviate the need for an extra rendering workstation on a big project.
Why, I have a BGRenderer terminal session running even as I type this.