The point of scripts in After Effects is to reduce tedious tasks, although the best of them effectively add functionality because what they allow you to do would never be worth the trouble to do manually. Therefore if you find yourself faced with a tedious task, it’s not a bad idea to try and find a script that will help. Some sites do this better than others, and today I’m highlighting Jeff Almasol’s Redefinery as a site you can go visit right now and find the solution to one or many problems you’ve faced in the past, and are likely to re-encounter.
There are other sites that offer great scripts: NABscripts has a whole bunch of them. There are other sites that are designed to let you review and request specific scripts, such as aenhancers, and there are even sites that already provide as nice an environment for exploring what all is there, like aescripts. And the comments section is the perfect place to add favorite script links of your own.
But for today, try this: if you’re a regular After Effects user, go to the ae scripts page on Redefinery and run through the list in the right-hand column as if you were shopping for useful plug-ins from a site like Toolfarm. Read the clearly written description and download any that solve a problem you’ve confronted in the past, or one that seems otherwise familiar. This will take about 15 minutes, as there are quite a few of them, but that investment will save you much more time when you put these to use, and if you’re not already a regular user of scripts, this may help you get started with them.
Only a small percentage of After Effects artists ever use a script, and only a tiny handful ever write one (if you want to learn to do that, Jeff even contributed a chapter on the subject to my latest book). Jeff Almasol is particularly successful not only at addressing perceived needs but at clearly documenting his efforts, which may be why he now works for Adobe on the After Effects development team.
Note: if you find a good number of these useful, please note the hours each one takes to develop and test and the virtual tip jar on the site’s home page or even the rd:Donate script in the list, where the donations are directed to charity.