After Effects CC 2017 (14.0) includes new scripting access to tools, composition markers, the Queue In AME command, and GPU acceleration options.
The documentation and sample code below explains how to use this new functionality. We plan to post this to our blog, later in November as a part of series of in-depth articles about the new features in After Effects CC 2017, but we heard enough interest today that we thought you might appreciate seeing this sooner.
(Please pardon any formatting errors that may have occurred when pasting the sample code into this forum. I did my best to clean it up.)
You can now get and set the active tool in the Tools panel using the new
app.project.toolType attribute. This read/write attribute returns or accepts an enumerated ToolType value, of one of the following:
Unified Camera Tool
Orbit Camera Tool
Track XY Camera Tool
Track Z Camera Tool
Clone Stamp Tool
Pan Behind (Anchor Point) Tool
Rounded Rectangle Tool
Horizontal Type Tool
Vertical Type Tool
Mask Feather Tool
Add Vertex Tool
Delete Vertex Tool
Convert Vertex Tool
Puppet Pin Tool
Puppet Starch Tool
Puppet Overlap Tool
Roto Brush Tool
Refine Edge Tool
The following sample code checks the current tool, and if it is not the Unified Camera Tool, sets the current tool to that:
// Check the current tool, then set it to Unified Camera Tool (UCT).
The following sample code uses the new
app.project.toolType attribute to create a 360° composition (environment layer and camera) from a selected footage item or composition selected in the Project panel. This script a good starting point for building VR compositions from equirectangular footage:
// Create a 360 VR comp from a footage item or comp selected in the Project panel.
Composition markers can now be created and modified via the new
comp.markerProperty attribute. Composition marker scripting has the same functionality as layer markers.
The following sample code creates a project and composition, then creates two composition markers with different properties:
// comp.markerProperty allows you add markers to a comp.
The Queue In AME command, introduced in After Effects CC 2015.3 (13.8), can now be triggered via scripting. This requires Adobe Media Encoder CC 2017 (11.0) or later.
The new method
app.project.renderQueue.queueInAME(render_immediately_in_AME) calls the Queue In AME command. This method requires passing a boolean value, telling AME whether to only queue the render items (false) or if AME should also start processing its queue (true).
Note that when AME receives the queued items, it applies the most recently used encoding preset. If
render_immediately_in_AME is set to true, you will not have an opportunity to change the encoding settings.
The new read-only boolean attribute
app.project.renderQueue.canQueueInAME indicates whether or not there are queued render items in the After Effects render queue. Only queued items can be added to the AME queue.
The following sample code checks to see if there are queued items in the render queue, and if so queues them in AME but does not immediately start rendering:
// Scripting support for Queue in AME.
You can now use scripting to request which GPU acceleration types are available on the current computer. The new read-only attribute
app.availableGPUAccelTypes returns an array of
Use this in conjunction with
app.project.gpuAccelType to set the value for Project Settings > Video Rendering and Effects > Use.
The following sample code checks the current computer's available GPU acceleration types, and sets it to Metal if available:
// app.availableGPUAccelTypes returns GPU acceleration types available on the current system.
comp markers = hallelujah
Tim, many thanks for posting that beforehand!
Also the question, I've wanted to ask for so long. Is that possible to create a sticky thread where all scripting changes will be gathered in one place?
They are collated on the Adobe Developer connection page...
But! The is a hell of a lot of info from Region of interest that could be filtered out and
curated to a separate blog or something dedicated just to scripting updates / fixes / workarounds etc.
Hey Alan-- Rune Gangso (and myself a little bit) have brought the After Effects Scripting Guide up to date, and given it a nice online home, here: After Effects Scripting Guide
If you were looking for a single source to see all of the publicly announced changes to the scripting API since CS6, you can view the changelog here: Changelog — After Effects Scripting Guide
Hopefully this helps! The project is open source, anyone is welcome to contribute: motiondesign / After Effects Scripting Guide — Bitbucket
Thank you, very helpful.
And i thought aehancers were dead, they were only morphing!
Wow that's amazing Zack, Adobe employees ? Perhaps a contribution towards Zach is in order !
You guys beat me too it. I've was working on a script version of an AE ExtendScript guide a few months ago, but have had to place it on the back burner. I was adding options to toggle a specific version of AE which would exclude items not relevant to that version. Also has a text box at the bottom that prints the syntax out for copying into your script. If you want to continue/pursue it further Zack, I can chat with you more offline. I had left off building the info arrays, but I'm sure there may be a faster way, if you guys already have those databases. Let me know.
This is an awesome resource, and so well organized! Thanks for taking initiative on this and for sharing with the community.
On GitHub exists a small group of devs which want to collect all knowledgement about extendscript.
Also a changelog should be integrated. It's not very far at the moment but maybe you find it usefull when its filled.
Yes! +1 It would be great if there could be a single manual that reflects the current state of the scripting API. It is challenging to open the AE CS6 scripting guide, and then load up all the blog and forum posts from the intervening years to know what functions are actually available 🙂
Thanks for the update too Tim. Always helpful to know what has been added/changed.
If I starting rendering in AME from the script is it possible to be noticed when rendering would be done? Maybe some callback?
Or maybe is possible to run some script after render?