Owen demonstrates how to install third-party scripts into After Effects in two different ways using two pay-what-you-wish scripts, Shapes & Masks and After Spell. http://aescripts.com/shapes-and-masks/ http://aescripts.com/after-spell/
- [Instructor] Throughout this course, we will be using lots and lots of scripts, most of which are pay-what-you-wish, or, free, if you wish to not pay anything at all. I will state here and now, that people put a lot of work into creating these awesome scripts for your personal use. So come on, let's toss at least a buck or two at them for their effort. Okay. With that out of the way, we're going to look at how to install scripts into After Effects. Now, before installing any scripts, you should read through any readme file or instructions for installation on the script's website, just to be sure you're doing it the right way.
Some scripts will have an installation program or prompt, and some, you just have to install the classic way of dragging the scripts into your After Effects scripts UI folder. I will go over installing two different kinds of scripts that install two different ways, though there are several ways scripts might need to be installed. So make sure to read that readme file included when you download a new script. Prior to installing these scripts, I want to make sure I have the right preference setting selected for using third-party scripts in After Effects.
So let's set up those preferences here in After Effects real quick. I'm going to go to After Effects dropdown, I'll go into preferences, and general. Here, I want to make sure I have this: "Allow scripts to write files and access network" checkmarked. Now that I have this checkmarked, I'm going to click OK, then I'll just shut down After Effects, and when I restart it, that preference will take effect. All right, now on to installing scripts. First, let's take a look at the most common way you'll install scripts, using Shapes and Masks.
Here in my internet browser, I'm already at aescripts.com, and at the shapes and masks script page. Here in my navigation window, I'm already at aescripts.com/shapes-and-masks. If you need to find it, you can just go to aescripts.com, go into the search and type in shapes, up will come shapes and masks, and you can click on that, and it will take you directly to this exact same window. Now, you can download this for pay-what-you-wish. Right here it has a suggested payment of $19.99, but if you click in there, you can actually type in whatever you want, like $500,000, if you'd like.
That's a lot, but, the person who makes it would be really happy. You can also do it for free, if you'd like. You need to set up an aescripts account, but, everything you download, as long as you put in a price of $0, you can download it for free. I do suggest at least giving them a buck or two for the download. It's just the nice thing to do. I've already downloaded this script, so I'm just going to minimize my Chrome window. Now each script will download in a zip file, just unzip it, and open up the folder, and you'll see the readme file, and the script. Now, make sure to read this readme file.
It has all the information you might need to know, such as right here, "Note: To be able to display a user interface with icons and save the text file from the get mass data function of the tool section, you need to check for the allow scripts to write files preferences in "Preferences" - "General" enable "Allow scripts to write files and access network."" Does that sound familiar? Well, it's what we just went over in the After Effects preferences. If you've launched the shapes and masks scripts, and you don't see any icons or even text in the script window, or if you get an error, perhaps, an error saying it's unable to execute the script at some line or number, it's probably because you didn't have this preference checkmarked.
Make sure it is checkmarked. This will download the icon folders for this script. If it is checked, and you're still getting this error, then go the the Shapes and Masks page on aescripts.com, and there are instructions and a link to download the icon folder in the comments. But this should only be a problem if you don't have your preferences set up correctly. So, anytime you install a new script, read this readme so you don't get these errors. All right, let's move on. Once you have this, you can go ahead and open up a new finder window, or navigate to where scripts are loaded in your Windows menu, I'm sorry all I have here is a Mac.
I'm going to go into applications, I'll go to Adobe After Effects CC 2017, and you'll see that there is a scripts folder. I can click on that, and you'll see I have a ton of scripts in here already, but more importantly, I want to go to the scripts UI panels folder. If I click on this, this will bring up all the scripts I have loaded for UI panels. Now, the reason I want to load a script into the scripts UI panels is this makes it a dockable panel that I can dock into my workspace. I'm just going to move this over here, click on my Shapes and Masks folder, and I can just click and drag.
And, once that's in there, we're good to go. Now, if I go into my exercise files and open up my tips and scripts 2, After Effects will load, and I will be able to access Shapes and Masks inside my Windows dropdown. I'll go into Windows, down at the bottom will be where all of your scripts are. And mostly it will be in alphabetical order, though, you'll see at the bottom some things aren't quite. So where is it? Shapes and Masks. I'll click on it, and you can see the Shapes and Masks panel.
And I can even click here on Shapes and Masks, drag it over, and dock it inside one of my windows. Then just hover over until I get that double arrow, hover over the blue line, bring it down. Shapes and Masks is pretty big, but you can see I have everything I need right here with it. Just so you know, I'm working in the essentials mode, which keeps it a bit smaller for a smaller screen, like I'm working on now. It might look different if you're in something like standard mode, but let's go back to essentials. There we go.
All right, let's look at how to install After Spell, which installs a little bit differently. I'm going to go ahead and quit After Effects, I'm going to close out this exercise files, I'm going to close out all of these guys here, and I'm going to double-click on After Spell. Now, After Spell, I downloaded this before, you'll see After Spell is here in aescripts and it's available for pay-what-you-wish, suggested $5. Now, one thing different about After Spell, if I double click to open that up, how to install in OS10, if I open that up, you'll see "Step 1 download and install and run the ZXP installer from aescripts.com." Now, if you look at the After Spell script, it is a .zxp, which is different than the general extension for a script, so we can't just click and drag it into the scripts UI folder.
We need to download this installer as it suggests. If you click on the link, it will bring you here to aescripts.com/learn/zxp-installer. You can just download this for Mac, click and open this up, and it will actually give us the zxp installer which you should drag into your applications window. Now, I already have it installed. So, as you can see, it's giving me the keep both, stop, or replace, I'll just hit stop because I do not need to actually put it in there. But I can go into my applications, I will find the zxp installer, double-click to open it up.
Now all I have to do in order to install this, I'll minimize that, is open up my After Spell, I can just drag this right into here. I just need to put in my password really quick, and the extension was successfully installed. Okay, it has installed it into all of these different programs here, which is fantastic. All right, now let's go back into Adobe After Effects, I'll double-click on my exercise files, and open up this tips and scripts again.
When you actually install a script, you need to restart After Effects to actually have it install. Just so you know. Otherwise, you might not see it. All right, I'll click on the OK for that warning there, I'll click on Window, and if you look, you will not find After Spell here, in the actual scripts area of Window, After Spell is an extension, so you need to go to extensions, and click on After Spell. This is all in that readme file. You will open this up, and I can actually dock it like anything else, and currently I have no text layers here in this window, so as it says "no text layers found in composition," let's just say, I'll go into one of my typography ones and we can look here, and it will show all of the different texts here and this will be a spellcheck.
But we'll go over that later. So, going back to my welcome window for you all, one last thing to be aware of about scripts. I'm going to go ahead and hide After Effects and back to my scripts UI panel. You'll see I have tons and tons of scripts in here. Now, if you update After Effects to the next version, not all scripts will copy over. Some won't at all. You might have a fresh scripts UI folder. And you'll have to actually copy over all of these. Now, you can just click and select and just duplicate them into a new scripts UI folder, but not everything will install properly, like Duik, which is one of my favorite scripts, which we can see right here.
Duik, you might need to install all over again. Or even After Spell, because it's an extension, you might need to install this all over again the same way. Now, it's a little bit of a hassle, but it's a small price to pay for the convenience of really awesome free scripts. Now, once again, I want to implore you to please donate and pay a little bit money for some of these scripts. It helps more of them to be developed in the future. It's good for the developer, it's good for you, and it's good for every animator and designer in After Effects out there.
- Focusing on contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity
- Creating vector graphics with the Shapes & Masks script
- Aligning with the Align3D script
- Developing color palettes with Adobe Color Themes and Swatcher Script
- Randomizing colors with Randomatic
- Saving custom fonts with the Font Styles Library plugin
- Animating text with TextEvo
- Texturing quickly with Ray Dynamic Texture
- Customizing font files with FontForge
- Creating infographics