Okay, if you are wondering what scripting is, it’s the process of writing bits of code that you can run in After Effects for all sorts of good uses. Scripts can help you automate animation, they can help you work more efficiently and they can generally make your After Effects experience better.
There are loads of scripts that can be purchased or downloaded for free. You can just load these scripts into the program and make use of them. Take a look at aescripts.com for a range of script options.
But you are ready for a challenge. You want to try writing your own scripts. You want to take control of your destiny and your workspace by writing scripts that will be useful to you. So, how do you do that?
Well, we’ve gathered up some great places online that you can go to learn the ins and outs of scripting for After Effects, so you can take your AE game to the next level.
This complete course from Pro Video Coalition is probably the best place to start because it’s loaded with 14 hours of material and it’s free.
Just about everything you could think of is covered here from the basics of scriptwriting to advanced techniques. And each section includes a video that you can work along with.
If you are looking for a resource where you can quickly pick and choose what to learn, or where you can search for a specific topic, check out the After Effects Scripting Guide at aenhancers.com.
You can sort through the various sections to get an overall education, or you can grab bits of code and add them together to build something bigger. Either way, you should have this site bookmarked if you are writing scripts in AE.
When rounding up resources on a certain piece of software, we always like to go back to the source when we can, because no one should know more about how a piece of software works than the people who made it.
Adobe has a deep well of information on scripting in After Effects all housed in this development center. Here you’ll find links to Adobe’s scripting guides and all of the changes to the guides as each new version of After Effects comes out. This is important if you are updating your software regularly.
You’ll also find developer forums where you can ask questions and engage with the scripting community as well as links to outside scripting resources like the AE Scripting Guide listed above.
Additionally, you can read some interesting technical papers if you are so inclined and download the After Effects SDK’s (software development kits) from this page. So, check back often for updates.
Fxphd is an online visual effects training site with a monthly membership plan. For $79 a month, you can get access to the entire library of courses available. Particularly of interest are a couple of scripting courses.
The first one is called Introduction to After Effects Scripting. Although it was originally created in 2010, there is still plenty to learn from this course, as the scripting language doesn’t change dramatically from year to year.
The course description reads, “Teaching programming can be dreadfully boring so this course will aim to teach by example instead of by theory. The course will cover basic scripting and programming concepts that will then be applied to several real scripts that will be created over the term.” So, there should be plenty to take in here and lots of hands-on guidance.
After you’ve given the first course a spin, or before if you’d prefer, you can check out fxphd’s other scripting course called Scripting In After Effects.
This course created in 2016 and features a different professor. Although you can probably expect to find some redundant content between the two courses, scripting is something that will benefit from more practice. So, it’s not a bad idea to go other the same things a few times.
Additionally, you may find that you like the teaching style of one professor over the other, so it’s worth checking out both courses which are included in the monthly membership price.
Scripting in After Effects may seem scary if you haven’t ever done any programming, but just like with anything else, a little practice and some good resources will go a long way. And before you know it, you may just find yourself writing the next great script that will be used by artists around the world. Or maybe, you’ll just write something to make your life a little easier.