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After Effects Plugin Match Names

After Effects Plugin Match Names

After Effects Plugin Match Names

After Effects plugin match names have been a highly sought after bit of info for script coders. They are names that help with cross language compatibility of scripts and are hidden from view for most users that are unfamiliar with how to obtain them. While match names are tied to almost every aspect of After Effects in some way, the most commonly asked for match names, have been for plugin effects. So if you have been looking for a collection of After Effects Match Names gathered into one document, then you are in the right place. Some years ago, 2011 to be specific, I had put together a clunky post on Facebook of a large list of plugin match names that I had access to at the time. There were a lot of 3rd party plugins on that list as well as the native stock plugins that ship with After Effects. Since then though I have gathered and built a bigger more organized listing, and simply never got around to updating the public one.

That is, until now. As of today you can now download a pdf of this massive list. It currently contains the native stock plugins for After Effects CC, CC 2014, CC 2015, and has the third party developers broken out into their own sections. You will see update times and dates in the top left of each section, noting when it was last updated. For some third party companies that have shorter list of released plugins, like Video Copilot, Mettle, Rowbyte, etc… they have been consolidated into one “Misc” section to conserve space in the overall document. You can easily search this pdf for easy access to the plugin Categories, Names, Match Names, and Version numbers (for AECC 2014 and newer only) of those plugins. I’ve tied the pdf download below to a Google spreadsheet, so that when I do make an update, it will be instantly available at the same link below. This makes updating the list easier for me and gives you the latest information as soon as I enter it.

What are plugin match names you may ask. They are names assigned to a plugin by the developer, and are used behind-the-scenes by the application. Once a user applies a plugin to a layer, they are allowed to customize the name of the applied plugin to suit their needs, such as describing the function that the effect is being used for. For example, if a user applied the “Slider Control” effect and named it “My Offset”. If this has happened, then when a script is being used to retrieve plugin names, it would end up retrieving the name “My Offset” instead of the native name “Slider Control”. This same situation applies to third party plugin effects (plugins bought separately) like Trapcode, Red Giant, Video Copilot, Boris Continuum Complete, etc… If you were trying to see what plugins were being used in your project via a script, and you got information like “Red rays”, “Car 1”, or “Fast Particles”, you wouldn’t be able to tell what plugins those really were. However if you retrieve it’s .matchName attribute instead of it’s .name attribute, then you would get names like “tc Shine”, “VIDEOCOPILOT 3DArray”, “tc Particular”.  Not only are these names more descriptive (mostly, not all of them are), but they are consistent between languages. If you compared three different language installs of After Effects and searched for Trapcode Shine, then all three would return “tc Shine” as the match name, whereas the name could be just about anything if the user changed it. Even if they didn’t change it, the plugin itself may have a language localization assignment to it so each user can see the name of the plugin in their native language. This is why match names are important if you plan to make a script that will be used outside of your local area. It will help with compatibility and portability of your script.

The pdf list below is packed with a lot of information, but is far from being 100% complete, so I am also enlisting the help of any After Effects users out there who would like to submit a plugin list for any missing plugin in this pdf list. I have built a simple open source script to aid in extracting the required information, it is available below this article. The script will make a simple txt document on your Desktop with all of the installed plugin Names, MatchNames, Categories, and Version numbers. Along with the After Effects Version number, and OS platform name and version number. The format will comething look like this


After Effects Plugin Matchname List (Tue Aug 09 2016 13:19:48 GMT-0700)
App Version: 13.2×49
OS Platform: Macintosh OS 10.9.5/64

—– Begin Plugin List —–
3D Channel 3D Channel Extract ADBE AUX CHANNEL EXTRACT 1.5×1
3D Channel Depth Matte ADBE DEPTH MATTE 1.6×1
3D Channel Depth of Field ADBE DEPTH FIELD 1.6×1
3D Channel EXtractoR EXtractoR 1.9
3D Channel Fog 3D ADBE FOG_3D 1.5×1
3D Channel ID Matte ADBE ID MATTE 1.5
3D Channel IDentifier IDentifier 1.9
…and so on for the remaining plugins you have installed

The plugin list itself will be tab delimited, and both the app version and the OS platform info help in organizing the list on my end. This helps make sure I can update and organize the information correctly into the master pdf.


Want to contribute to the Match Name list?

Download the After Effects contributor script and follow the enclosed instructions:
After Effects Plugin Match Name Contribution Script


Download the latest PDF of the master Match Name list:
After Effects Plugin Match Names PDF

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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…