Free Function Friday removeUnusedSolids
Welcome to Free Function Friday episode 33 removeUnusedSolids. This week we build a function that removes those pesky solid items that are not being used in our project. This also goes for nulls too, since nulls are actually SolidSource items as well. Some users are not aware that a null object can only exist in layer form. The main source for that layer is actually a Solid, so when iterating through the project items you have no direct way of knowing what is a Solid or a Null. There is a lengthy workaround to discover which is which, but it involves searching every single comp and it’s layers to figure out what is actually a null. Something to discuss in another tutorial though. Today’s function will focus only on SolidSource items, and remove the one’s that are not being used in a composition. This is handy to cleanup a project a little without effecting footage that you would otherwise lose if you ran the “Removed Unused Footage” menu command.
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 33 removeUnusedSolids:
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.