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Help porting a PC plugin to Mac, coded with the SDK

Community Beginner ,
Aug 04, 2020

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Hello gang;

 

I'm at a loss here and I need some serious help. Let me explain the situation.

 

I learned how to code AE plugins on my PC using an older Visual Studio Express 2012 and the After Effects CS6 SDK. Again, I know it's old but it was easier to understand. I've since coded a few plugins and one complex one which I wish to port to have a Mac version as well.

 

That's where all the issues arise.

 

- I picked up a mid 2015 MacBook Pro with Catalina MacOS.

- I installed XCode 11.1 because I cannot install older XCode versions since they won't work with Catalina. (For instance, the After Effects CS6 SDK says it was meant for XCode 3.5 but Catalina won't allow me to install that)

- I installed the CS6 SDK for Mac and after fiddling with some settings, I think I actually got it to compile the skeleton project (after changing the BASE SDK). At least it seems to export skeleton.plugin but I don't yet have After Effects installed to check.

- Then I try it with my project. When I open my project, it has a bunch of errors. Things like not recognizing min and instead asking to switch it to fmin. There are a lot of code errors. I suspect it is doing this because the C version in Visual Studio Express 2012 is the older one (c99?) while the XCode 11.1 is probably using the new one. Is my hunch correct?

 

So I am caught between a rock and a hard place. I cannot go through and change all my code for every plugin to make it compatible with the newer C in XCode 11.1. That's a ton of work. I cannot install an older, more compatible version of XCode because it won't work with Catalina. I could install an older OS so as to be able to run an older version of XCode but that seems like a huge amount of work and time to get a ported plugin to work.

 

So what are you recommendations? Is there a simpler way to do this? Updating my Visual Studio Express 2012 and the After Effects CS6 SDK isn't an option as it took a lot of work to get it to compile succesfully. Surely it cannot be this challening to develop a port?

 

Any suggestions are welcome! 

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Help porting a PC plugin to Mac, coded with the SDK

Community Beginner ,
Aug 04, 2020

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Hello gang;

 

I'm at a loss here and I need some serious help. Let me explain the situation.

 

I learned how to code AE plugins on my PC using an older Visual Studio Express 2012 and the After Effects CS6 SDK. Again, I know it's old but it was easier to understand. I've since coded a few plugins and one complex one which I wish to port to have a Mac version as well.

 

That's where all the issues arise.

 

- I picked up a mid 2015 MacBook Pro with Catalina MacOS.

- I installed XCode 11.1 because I cannot install older XCode versions since they won't work with Catalina. (For instance, the After Effects CS6 SDK says it was meant for XCode 3.5 but Catalina won't allow me to install that)

- I installed the CS6 SDK for Mac and after fiddling with some settings, I think I actually got it to compile the skeleton project (after changing the BASE SDK). At least it seems to export skeleton.plugin but I don't yet have After Effects installed to check.

- Then I try it with my project. When I open my project, it has a bunch of errors. Things like not recognizing min and instead asking to switch it to fmin. There are a lot of code errors. I suspect it is doing this because the C version in Visual Studio Express 2012 is the older one (c99?) while the XCode 11.1 is probably using the new one. Is my hunch correct?

 

So I am caught between a rock and a hard place. I cannot go through and change all my code for every plugin to make it compatible with the newer C in XCode 11.1. That's a ton of work. I cannot install an older, more compatible version of XCode because it won't work with Catalina. I could install an older OS so as to be able to run an older version of XCode but that seems like a huge amount of work and time to get a ported plugin to work.

 

So what are you recommendations? Is there a simpler way to do this? Updating my Visual Studio Express 2012 and the After Effects CS6 SDK isn't an option as it took a lot of work to get it to compile succesfully. Surely it cannot be this challening to develop a port?

 

Any suggestions are welcome! 

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Aug 04, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 04, 2020

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the (sort of) good news, is that min and max always differ between windows amd mac. it's always a b1tch to handle. some surprisingly frequently-used functions don't exist in the same way on both platforms. for example: round.

i usually work on windows and then define macros for the missing functions on mac.

 

if the only thing that's stopping you from migrating to a modern IDE is the dear of the latest AE sdk, you can go ahead and do so. the major change came with SMART FX, and if i'm not mistaking CS6 already suported that. the next big change came with CC2015, where sequence_data handling changed a bit. most likely you won't event need to change your code to compile with the new SDK.

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Aug 04, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
Aug 06, 2020

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Hi Shachar;

 

Thanks for your reply. It's good to know the min / max issue is a common one.

 

I managed to successfully compile a Mac plugin yesterday! Yay!

 

I'll take this opportunity to ask you a couple of questions, if you don't mind:

 

1 - On Windows, there are several settings to change for release mode. On Mac, I've read I simply select Build For -> Profiling. Is that correct? I know that it's important to have any dependencies embedded in the file or it may not work on another machine.

 

2 - Right now compiling a plugin dumps it in its Xcode directory somewhere and I need to copy it each time to the After Effects plugins folder. If I change the Xcode output directory to the After Effects plugins folder in Xcode project settings, the build fails. Any ideas why?

 

3 - In Xcode settings, I can specify the MacOS version to compile for. I am compiling for the latest but does that mean the plugin won't work in earlier OSs? If that's the case, should I compile for the earliest OS option it gives me? I thank that is v10.6.

 

Do you have any other tips, suggestions or settings for compiling on a Mac correctly?

 

Thank you, as always, for your help Shachar.

 

Regards,

Richard

 

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Aug 06, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
Aug 07, 2020

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Any tips or suggestions on the compiling questions for Mac listed above?

 

Thanks,

Richard

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Aug 07, 2020 0