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41327687 Adobe After Effects Scripting Guide

41327687 Adobe After Effects Scripting Guide

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Published by Amarthya Kaushik

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Published by: Amarthya Kaushik on Jul 27, 2011
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HelpUsing Help
Using Help
About Help
Adobe Systems Incorporated provides complete documentation in an Adobe PDF-basedhelp system. This help system includes information on all tools, commands, and featuresof an application. It is designed for easy on-screen navigation and can also be printed andused as a desktop reference. Additionally, it supports third-party screen-reader applica-tions that run in a Windows environment.
Navigating in Help
Help opens in an Adobe Acrobat window with the Bookmarks pane open. (If theBookmarks pane is not open, click the Bookmarks tab at the left edge of the window.) Atthe top and bottom of each page is a navigation bar containing links to this page (UsingHelp), the table of contents (Contents), and the index (Index). To move through pages sequentially, you can click the Next Page and the PreviousPage arrows; click the navigation arrows at the bottom of the page; or click Back toreturn to the last page you viewed.You can navigate Help topics by using bookmarks, the table of contents, the index, or theSearch (Acrobat 6) or Find (Acrobat 5) command.
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HelpOverview
Overview 
The
 Adobe After Effects 6.5 Render Automation & Scripting Guide
demonstrates how to take procedural controlof your After Effects projects via scripting. This feature set is available only in Adobe After Effects 6.5 Profes-sional Edition.With the use of system-level scripting, you can streamline your render pipeline and avoid a lot of repetitivepointing and clicking. If you have used expressions or other JavaScript-like techniques for animating, orworked with system scripting in AppleScript or Visual Basic, you will recognize the power of applicationscripting in After Effects. With some practice, and with sufficient experience using the JavaScript language, you can take control of your graphics pipeline.
If you know nothing about scripting
After Effects 6.5 is a visual tool with a graphical user interface; you are used to interacting with it via interfaceelements such as menus, palettes and icons. For the most part, this is the most accessible way to work.Scripting is designed for situations in which this methodology involves tedious repetition or painstakingsearching and sorting that could be automated. It is also useful for leveraging the power of networkedrendering in situations where Watch Folder is less powerful (and less convenient to set up).Scripting is designed to help users of After Effects get past these types of obstacles, and it is available even tousers who have no inclination to learn the JavaScript language. If you are this type of user, you can still harnessthe power of scripting via third party solutions such as Rush Render Queue, a graphical user interface to setup distributed renders from any computer on the network without having to set up on individual machines.You can also leverage the contributions of scripting users who share scripts with other users. Larger studiosmay have such users in-house, while other users can visit forums such as those found at www.adobe-forums.com.
After Effects objects
You may not think of After Effects as a collection of hierarchical objects, but when you make use of renderqueue items, compositions, and projects, that is how they appear in scripting. Just as the expressions featuresin After Effects give you access to virtually any property of any layer inside any composition of your project(each of which we refer to as an object), scripting gives you access to the hierarchy of objects within AfterEffects and allows you to make changes to these objects.After Effects scripting is based on ECMAScript (or more specifically, the 3rd Edition of the ECMA-262Standard). Further documentation on this standard can be found at www.ecma-international.org.
Expressions and motion math
Because scripting can access individual layer properties, and because it utilizes JavaScript, one might assumethat expressions and scripting are one and the same. However, they are two entirely distinct entities. Expres-sions have no ability to access information from scripts (such as variables and functions), although a scriptcan be written to create or edit an expression.The similarity between expressions and scripting is, however, apparent in that they are both drawn from thesame language, ECMA standard JavaScript. Thus, knowing how to utilize one is helpful in understanding theother.

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