Know your audience

It’s tough to “aim” the After Effects SDK; it could be used for so many different things.
One could learn the rudiments of C or C++ based image processing, just fiddling around with the samples. One could learn about workflow automation just reading through the headers (AE_GeneralPlug.h would make most integration engineers’ mouths water).
The SDK Guide could be a reference manual, a cookbook, a tutorial…
What do YOU hope to get out of the next After Effects SDK? Besides the XCode and .NET 2005 samples, I mean?
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6 Responses to Know your audience

  1. Matt Blackler says:

    I’m beyond this point now, but when I started using the After Effects API I found it hard to get high level information eg the differences between AEGP/Effects/Artisan plugins, and which type I should use. I hadn’t used After Effects before starting to code for it, and found it hard to understand what was going on. Explicit documentation of function parameters could help eg are indeces 0 based or 1 based? Sometimes it’s difficult to work out if AE objects need to be disposed of.

  2. Bruce Bullis says:

    Thanks, Matt!
    A higher level overview of the plug-in types sounds good. I’ve tried to indicate which objects must be disposed of by the caller, but I’ll ask a nit-picky AE engineer to audit the SDK docs just in case.

  3. Jeff Almasol says:

    Has there been any interest in supporting the free VS Express (Visual C++ 2005 Express Edition, http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/express/visualc/) environment for plug-in development on the cheap?

  4. Bruce Bullis says:

    I haven’t had any requests for it. However, I’ve been speculating about evangelizing the SDK to computer graphics professors and students, for whom “free” is a really attractive feature…
    Perhaps I’ll download the free one and give it a shot.

  5. As an animator with a soft spot for scripting (ActionScript, VBScript, JavaScript), I’ve been wondering if plugin development is out of my league. If I must fiddle with memory allocating in C, I might as well forget it, but I’d love to be able to write a simple plugin mashup of some sort. Is there hope for me, or should I just stick to expressions?

  6. Peder Norrby says:

    I’d like to see:
    1. 3D coord parameter type (with a 3D motion path UI)
    2. a “3D Generator” layer. A new layer-type that always covers the comp and nothing else – it cannot be moved. This would be used by effects that create their own 3D world by reading the comp camera. Useful for your own 3d plugs like “Shatter”.