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Modify text layers using program

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Jeff Rouric
Modify text layers using program
on Feb 2, 2014 at 10:56:09 pm

So, I have a project where I need to make multiple text layers in different places, and I figured it was basic enough that I could try to make a script to make the most menial tasks automatic. And it seemed to work...but it needs one change.

It's just an Applescript that goes down a list in a spreadsheet and works with an already made text layer where an expression on the layer is "this.name" so that whatever the name on the layer is, it's reflected on the text. All the applescript does is places the values in the cells into the name of the layer, by hitting Enter (the key that renames a layer) and then duplicating that layer and repeating the process until there are no more cells in Excel.

After that, another script sets the text layers to the times that they belong in the comp, but that's not the problem...

So, everything went great, until I realized that I can no longer modify the text that's created that way. If you need to fix typos, or make certain words bigger or something, you can't. Which ruins this plan that otherwise would've worked perfectly. It's unusable as it is.

So my question is does anyone know if there's another way to do this...maybe a better expression, or a way to APPLY (Make Permanent) an expression? Or just a better way to do this altogether would work too. The ability to edit the text to make certain words bigger is crucial. The typos not so much...those can just be fixed in the spreadsheet.

Thanks!


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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: Modify text layers using program
on Feb 3, 2014 at 12:22:56 pm

See if this helps - http://aescripts.com/compsfromspreadsheet/

Cheers
RoRK
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Walter Soyka
Re: Modify text layers using program
on Feb 3, 2014 at 3:56:26 pm

Instead of AppleScript, you might consider using After Effects's native scripting system.

Here's the basics on Ae's scripts:
http://helpx.adobe.com/after-effects/using/scripts.html

And here's the scripting reference:
http://blogs.adobe.com/aftereffects/files/2012/06/After-Effects-CS6-Scripti...


[Jeff Rouric] "So my question is does anyone know if there's another way to do this...maybe a better expression, or a way to APPLY (Make Permanent) an expression?"

You can "apply" expressions as follows:

Animation menu > Keyframe Assistant > Convert expression to keyframes

This will evaluate the expression at every frame and create a keyframe at each frame. Since "thisLayer.name" will never change with time, you can simply toggle off the Source Text stopwatch to keep the value but delete the keyframes.

Walter Soyka
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Jeff Rouric
Re: Modify text layers using program
on Feb 4, 2014 at 9:33:14 am

YES. Yes this is EXACTLY what I needed. Thank you so much you've made this work!


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