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Update multiple textfields with external data

New Here ,
Aug 12, 2020

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Hi all,

I have a project in which I have to create animated rankings from a cycling-event with around 200 cyclists. Only the first 10 winners of the day are displayed. The tricky part is that I only have say around 10 minutes to generate the rankings, render the animation and hand it over to playout to be shown during a liveshow that is happening at that moment. If I had to do that once by hand it wouldn't be such a big deal. But I have to do it for 20 broadcasts and with different "score-cards" (result of the day, overall standings and from time to time on request the standings of the cyclists for a particular country).

In the rankings I have to fill in the name of the cyclist, shortcode for the team, time and a flag for the country the cyclist is from. So it is rather cumbursum to do this all by hand (which I had to last year 😞 ).

Now, I am looking for a way to be able to choose the cyclists name out of a (dropdown) list and by doing that populate the flag, name and team. If I have such an option, this would greatly reduce the amount of time I am putting in during the liveshow.

Is there a way to make this possible? I read about the new "Dropdown Menu Control". Could it be done with that? Ie. by dynamically populating the dropdown-options through an expression and then programming an expression per name, flag and team by connecting the id from the dropdown menu to a row in a .csv-file? Or am I overcomplicating this and is there an easier way?

I have a bit of programming-experience, but only a little experience with expressions. Always eager to learn things.

Thanks in advance for your help and sorry for the lengthy post.

Kind regards,

Marc

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Expressions, Scripting

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Update multiple textfields with external data

New Here ,
Aug 12, 2020

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Hi all,

I have a project in which I have to create animated rankings from a cycling-event with around 200 cyclists. Only the first 10 winners of the day are displayed. The tricky part is that I only have say around 10 minutes to generate the rankings, render the animation and hand it over to playout to be shown during a liveshow that is happening at that moment. If I had to do that once by hand it wouldn't be such a big deal. But I have to do it for 20 broadcasts and with different "score-cards" (result of the day, overall standings and from time to time on request the standings of the cyclists for a particular country).

In the rankings I have to fill in the name of the cyclist, shortcode for the team, time and a flag for the country the cyclist is from. So it is rather cumbursum to do this all by hand (which I had to last year 😞 ).

Now, I am looking for a way to be able to choose the cyclists name out of a (dropdown) list and by doing that populate the flag, name and team. If I have such an option, this would greatly reduce the amount of time I am putting in during the liveshow.

Is there a way to make this possible? I read about the new "Dropdown Menu Control". Could it be done with that? Ie. by dynamically populating the dropdown-options through an expression and then programming an expression per name, flag and team by connecting the id from the dropdown menu to a row in a .csv-file? Or am I overcomplicating this and is there an easier way?

I have a bit of programming-experience, but only a little experience with expressions. Always eager to learn things.

Thanks in advance for your help and sorry for the lengthy post.

Kind regards,

Marc

Topics

Expressions, Scripting

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37

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Enthusiast ,
Aug 12, 2020

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Hi Marc,

 

You may be able to use Adobe's JSON footage item.  You import vaild JSON and then AE interprets it as an item that can be used as a layer in a composition.  Then, you can map various properties from other layer items to the paremeter values inside that JSON footage layer — the JSON data is translated into properties that you can map data to.  In this way, when you want a new output, you can alter the external JSON file and after you save it, AE should update everything after you save changes to the linked JSON file.

 

Or, there may be a way that Dataclay's Templater tool can help streamline your workflow.  In this case you can have a shared data source, like a Google Sheet, mapped to layers.  With Templater there is a direct connection to the data that can be managed by someone other than the artist if need be.

 

Hope this helps!

 

—Arie

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 13, 2020

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If you want to try the JSON variant, as Arie suggests, take a look at my free tool mamoworldJSON. It makes this process much easier and comes with an in-depth tutorial series to explain each step.

Here is the first tutorial to give you an idea:

You find the next parts of the tutorial series on the mamoworldJSON product page.

 

Templater is definitely the more powerful (but not free) solution. You should definitely consider it if you need to replace a lot of footage files.

Finally, if you want to learn how to write your own scripts in After Effects for these kinds of automations, I am teaching a hands-on four hour long workshop about exactly that at Adobe Video World next month. See session "Getting Started With After Effects" on the program website. Last tip: Soon at mamoworld we will have a raffle to give away one free pass to attend Adobe Video World. Subscribe to our mailing list if you don't want to miss that raffle.

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New Here ,
Aug 14, 2020

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Hi Arie and Mathias,

Thanks for your replies. I am going to look intro the possibilites with JSON. Looks like that could help me.

I'll let you know how it goes.

kind regards.

 

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