Free Function Friday getSelLayBlendMode

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Welcome to episode six of Free Function Friday. This week we dive into accessing a layer’s blending mode. The blending mode is an option on an After Effects layer that offers a variety of ways to stack your layers to help them literally blend together for better compositing, as well as to help create interesting color effects. There is a large list of modes to choose from and there can be the need to find all of the layers set to specific mode so you can then change them, or you may be looking for data from your project to make sure an artist is using the proper mode that you or the client has chosen for your project. For a small project file this can be easy enough to do manually by just looking at the layers, but there can be times in a larger build for say, lower thirds, or a series of animations where it may not be very time efficient to search through the project manually. This is where scripting can be very helpful, and relieve you of the mundane tasks so you can focus on the more important details of a project.

So far the current blending modes available as of After Effects CC 2015 are:

BlendingMode.ADD
BlendingMode.ALPHA_ADD
BlendingMode.CLASSIC_COLOR_BURN
BlendingMode.CLASSIC_COLOR_DODGE
BlendingMode.CLASSIC_DIFFERENCE
BlendingMode.COLOR
BlendingMode.COLOR_BURN
BlendingMode.COLOR_DODGE
BlendingMode.DANCING_DISSOLVE
BlendingMode.DARKEN
BlendingMode.DARKER_COLOR
BlendingMode.DIFFERENCE
BlendingMode.DISSOLVE
BlendingMode.DIVIDE
BlendingMode.EXCLUSION
BlendingMode.HARD_LIGHT
BlendingMode.HARD_MIX
BlendingMode.HUE
BlendingMode.LIGHTEN
BlendingMode.LIGHTER_COLOR
BlendingMode.LINEAR_BURN
BlendingMode.LINEAR_DODGE
BlendingMode.LINEAR_LIGHT
BlendingMode.LUMINESCENT_PREMUL
BlendingMode.LUMINOSITY
BlendingMode.MULTIPLY
BlendingMode.NORMAL
BlendingMode.OVERLAY
BlendingMode.PIN_LIGHT
BlendingMode.SATURATION
BlendingMode.SCREEN
BlendingMode.SILHOUETE_ALPHA
BlendingMode.SILHOUETTE_LUMA
BlendingMode.SOFT_LIGHT
BlendingMode.STENCIL_ALPHA
BlendingMode.STENCIL_LUMA
BlendingMode.SUBTRACT
BlendingMode.VIVID_LIGHT

If you haven’t done so already there is a Free Function Friday introduction video located here that has some important information pointing to a few resources that will come in handy when scripting for After Effects.

Episode 6 getSelLayBlendMode:

Legal note: The Adobe ExtendScript code talked about in this article and accompanying embedded video(s), and/or graphic images are not guaranteed to be compatible with every version of After Effects. David Torno, ProVideo Coalition, and Moviola will not be held liable for any misuse or incorrect use of the provided ExtendScript code. Use at your own risk.

All of the code I provide in this series, has been created and tested in After Effects CC 2014. Unless otherwise specified in the episode, the code should be compatible with After Effects CS6 through CC 2015. I’ve done my best to avoid depreciated code (code that Adobe removed at some point), and made these functions as compatible as possible. There will however be the occasional piece of code that is brand new as of a certain version of After Effects and therefore will not be backwards compatible from that version. I will mention these if that is the case.

With that said, all the code I provide in this series is open source and free to use in your scripts. I highly encourage you to expand and improve upon the code I provide and start making your own custom functions as well, but please do not repost the code I show in this series as is and claim it as your own. If you use any of the code provided in this series please give credit where credit is due. This series is meant to provide, what I feel is useful code, as well as to hopefully further explain ExtendScript and it’s quirks. While the functions we build throughout this series can perform a task all on their own, they are not meant to be a solo script. How you combine them together and expand upon them is when you will gain the most from these functions.


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David Torno

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 knowledge in Visual Effects by learning new softwares and techniques that are being used. Along the way he also contributes to the visual effects community by offering helpful tools, and tutorials that creative professionals around the world can benefit from.