After Effects ExtendScript Training: Ep. 13

ExtendScript Script Writing Training

Welcome to episode 13 of the After Effects ExtendScript Training series. Today is a special day. Today, I am releasing my ExtendScript Developer Utility (E.D.U.) script.

It can be purchased over at aescripts + aeplugins.

What is this script? This is a script I created a few years ago to help myself make scripts (yo dog…) and learn the ExtendScript code options. The After Effects Scripting Guide pdf contains most of the code you are going to need to make scripts and it contains explanations, samples, and requirements for said code. The pdf is a very helpful resource if you already know what you are doing in some respects, but it's very confusing to most who are starting out and trying to learn this stuff. Hence this video series.

I built the E.D.U. script to reveal the properties and methods that are available, but in a more direct way. This means that when you are accessing the app object for example, you would like to easily just get the available options for app, and not have hunt around too much in a pdf for the answer. Now app is an easy one, but there are many other objects that are not as easy to find the properties and methods for. This script will reveal those options as well allow you to run snippets of code right there inside of After Effects without having to jump out into another app. There is also a code area that can launch your code. This is handy for quick code snippets that you want to debug or for a simple process you may want to run on your currently open project.

Today's video will serve a dual purpose, one as a demo video for the E.D.U. script, as well as another episode of the After Effects ExtendScript Training series. I will be going over some of the options the E.D.U. script has, plus show you how to create a helpful script that will return a list of all of your footage file paths. This is helpful in checking if you have assets that are not in the same folder or on the same hard drive for a project. I will be using the E.D.U. script in video, but it is not required to write the code I will go over. You can still use ExtendScript Toolkit as we have been in the previous episodes. Let's get started.

If you missed any of the previous episodes in this series, follow the links below.

Previous episodes in the series:

Episode 1 (Intro)

Episode 2 (Javascript Basics p1)

Episode 3 (Javascript Basics p2)

Episode 4 (After Effects Object Model structure overview / Script Preparation and development tips / Single Item Access of various project items, comps and layers)

Episode 5 (Access Renderqueue items, output modules and file paths / Multiple item access of project items, comps and layers / Batch change all renderqueue items file paths)

Episode 6 (Collecting data into an Array() / Changing values / Various tips)

Episode 7 (Create new comps and folders / Create Null, Solid, and Text layers)

Episode 8 (Create multiple comps of various sizes / Use Undo group / Add solids to match each comp / Various tips)

Episode 9 (Globally change blue solids to red / Replace solid name blue with red)

Episode 10 (Build a custom function to collect all CompItem objects / Modify function to dynamically allow for choice of CompItem, FolderItem or FootageItem)

Episode 11 (Build floating GUI)

Episode 12 Part 1 & 2 (Build dockable/floating combo GUI)

In this episode:
– ExtendScript Developer Utility script overview
– Retrieve a list of all project item footage file paths.


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David Torno is a Visual Effects professional based in Los Angeles, California. His work over the years has included commercials, feature films, music videos, and multimedia projects. During his free time, David enjoys expanding his…