November 10, 20201 Comment

No Admin Access? Install AE Scripts Anyway!

Here's a common freelance issue: you're working in-house at some studio (or remotely logged into a studio's workstation), and you don't have admin access to the computer. So how are you going to install all of your favourite After Effects scripts, presets, plugins, and extensions?!

Little known fact: on both MacOS and Windows, Adobe's actually given us specific folders to install our tools in that don't need Admin access.

That's right! You can stroll into Buck with your favourite scripts and install them into AE without needing to go bug IT for the fifth time this morning (how the heck is my Wacom still broken??).

All this to say, scripts, presets, and extensions can live in one of two locations:

  1. the User Path, which doesn't require Admin access (installs for just your user)
  2. the System Path, which does require Admin access (installs for all users on the computer)
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May 19, 20181 Comment

Visual Studio Code Stuff

At this point, the majority of my work is in developing scripts for Adobe After Effects. The language used here (Extendscript) is a fork of ES3 from 1999. It's old. This means that we're limited to very, very vanilla javascript when we develop, with polyfills or helper libraries taking a lot of the headache out of this process. Thankfully, we can use Visual Studio Code ("vscode") to help relieve some of the pain.

I use Visual Studio Code as my one and only code editor. Apart from providing a wonderful development experience, you can sort of trick it into using some modern functionality when you write, even though it's not quite expecting it (and there are a few hiccups).

Sometimes I get asked about my preferred extensions & settings, and so! Here is more or less how I use it. The writeups, settings and extensions listed below are solely a reflection of what I currently work on as of the time of this article; as I grow and evolve, so do my needs and preferences.

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November 1, 2017No Comments

AE Scripting Resources

Often I'll get asked about how you can learn After Effects scripting; what sites, resources, reference materials are great for learning from.

After giving the same set of links every time, I wanted to collect them all in a single place that I'll try to keep up to date.

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May 11, 2017No Comments

Extendscript Toolkit: Setting default document text

When I use Extendscript Toolkit, I always want to start with the same foundation, setting up an IIFE so I can play and not fuck with After Effects scripting global scope. For this example, the snippet below is what I want to start with.

(function () {
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October 3, 2016No Comments

CEP: Logging Errors

When working on Flow for After Effects, we were looking for a way to log standard JS console errors to a file, so that if something broke we'd be able to quickly diagnose the problem and fix it in a patch. Straightforward enough!

However, as the CEP standard is evolving, we found that there was some discrepancy in behaviors between different versions of AE with respect to how to enable logging and where the log files are saved. With any luck, this can help.

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July 22, 2015No Comments

ExtendScript: Delete Saved Settings

Working on some scripting in ExtendScript and need to delete a setting you've saved to your users' preferences file? Did some looking around and it seems there was no known way. Until now!

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Zack Lovatt focuses on toolkitting, building custom studio pipelines, expression rigging projects, and creating data-driven animation workflows.