Highlighted

How to do something similar to mail merge in AE ?

New Here ,
Jan 05, 2018

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Hi,

my apologies that this question may be somewhat weird and completely noob, but here we go anywayz:

I have 100 names and one short video clip, that I want to use as a template. What would be an easy way to create 100 short video clips that at the beginning of each video show one name from the list immersed into the video clip template? Obviously the name should be different in each video clip.

Any ideas/pointers are highly appreciated. And if this appears to be a mission impossible or something very stupid to go for, then just let me know : )

BR Markku

There is no easy way to do this that I'm aware of, but there is a basic hack that involves a source text expression and a spreadsheet... However, If you're new to AE in general, doing this would be like jumping off the 10 meter board on your first day at diving school...

If you want to find out more, google 'referencing an external text file in after effects', and see this thread for some syntax:

What is the correct syntax for file path names in layer property expressions?

Mike

Views

757

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more

How to do something similar to mail merge in AE ?

New Here ,
Jan 05, 2018

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Hi,

my apologies that this question may be somewhat weird and completely noob, but here we go anywayz:

I have 100 names and one short video clip, that I want to use as a template. What would be an easy way to create 100 short video clips that at the beginning of each video show one name from the list immersed into the video clip template? Obviously the name should be different in each video clip.

Any ideas/pointers are highly appreciated. And if this appears to be a mission impossible or something very stupid to go for, then just let me know : )

BR Markku

There is no easy way to do this that I'm aware of, but there is a basic hack that involves a source text expression and a spreadsheet... However, If you're new to AE in general, doing this would be like jumping off the 10 meter board on your first day at diving school...

If you want to find out more, google 'referencing an external text file in after effects', and see this thread for some syntax:

What is the correct syntax for file path names in layer property expressions?

Mike

Views

758

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Jan 05, 2018 0
Advisor ,
Jan 05, 2018

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

There is no easy way to do this that I'm aware of, but there is a basic hack that involves a source text expression and a spreadsheet... However, If you're new to AE in general, doing this would be like jumping off the 10 meter board on your first day at diving school...

If you want to find out more, google 'referencing an external text file in after effects', and see this thread for some syntax:

What is the correct syntax for file path names in layer property expressions?

Mike

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Jan 05, 2018 0
New Here ,
Jan 05, 2018

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Hi Mike,

thanks for the tip. I think I will be able to follow it, I just need some time to fill in the details. Following your googling tip I found

https://www.provideocoalition.com/expression_shorts_-_read_external_text_document/

which shows one way to go: using javascript and linking external values through composition name.

BR Markku

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Jan 05, 2018 0
Advisor ,
Jan 05, 2018

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Yep - that's what I was thinking of. David knows his stuff, so that's a good tutorial to follow. The syntax can be picky on this, but it does work - I've used the method myself a few times. Hope you get it sorted.

PS: Good thought from IDEAS above - not something I've tried in Ps either...

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Jan 05, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 05, 2018

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Photoshop supports Variables using data sets and supports video. However, I have not tried this combination of video and variables (just with still images), but it could/should work.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Jan 05, 2018 0
New Here ,
Jan 05, 2018

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Just a quick follow up: the method described in

https://www.provideocoalition.com/expression_shorts_-_read_external_text_document/

definitely works. Just some tips to users that are not used to working with AE:

  • to enter your javascript: alt-click the stop watch symbol and magically a simple text editor opens
    (this was the most time consuming part to figure out in my case)
  • on AE 2018 / WIN10 I had to use  var myPath = "D:\\markku-docs\\data\\names.js"; for the path (double backslashes)
  • then just shift-select all your comps and drag them to render queue and click render

And voilà: enjoy a cup coffee while AE takes care of the heavy lifting for you.

Thanks for everybody for tips and suggestions.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Jan 05, 2018 0
Advisor ,
Jan 05, 2018

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Glad you got it running OK :thumbs up:

- and welcome to the wonderful world of AE expressions : )

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Jan 05, 2018 0
New Here ,
Jun 08, 2020

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

While this post may be a few years late, the solution has been around since 2014: Dataclay's Templater plugin for After Effects does give you a simple way to accomplish a data merge in After Effects. You can use a Google Sheet as a data source and dynamically swap text, images, and video and change colors and other elements inside a composition. Use it to version hundreds of videos - you can even set it up as a fully automated backend for a website or app and let it create customized videos for your clients in your sleep! 

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Jun 08, 2020 0