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scripting changes in After Effects CS5.5

other useful scripting posts:

Check out the “Scripts” section of After Effects Help on the Web, which provides links to useful scripting resources. You can also search the After Effects Help document and After Effects Community Help for specific scripts.


Changes to bundled scripts, script execution, and script loading

  • Added Double-Up.jsx script to the set of scripts included with After Effects. To run this script, choose it from the File > Scripts menu. This script duplicates the selected layer and places the duplicate alongside the original in a single composition. This is useful for setting up side-by-side comparisons of effects and various settings for a layer.
  • New on Mac OS: You can select .jsxbin files from the File > Scripts > Run Script File dialog box.
  • The Scripts folder can now be an alias or shortcut, pointing to a different folder that actually contains the scripts.

Changes to After Effects scripting language


changes related to timecode and time display format

  • removed from Project object:
    • timecodeDisplayType attribute
    • timecodeBaseType attribute
    • timecodeNTSCDropFrame attribute
    • timecodeFilmType attribute
    • TimecodeDisplayType enum
    • TimecodeFilmType enum
    • TimecodeBaseType enum
  • The timeToCurrentFormat scripting method matches results returned using the timeToCurrentFormat expression method.
  • The Project object’s displayStartFrame attribute is now a read/write integer with accepted values of 0 and 1.
  • Added read/write dropFrame attribute to the CompItem object. The dropFrame attribute is a Boolean value that indicates whether the composition is drop-frame or non-drop-frame, corresponding to the setting in the Composition Settings dialog box.

    example:
    app.project.item(1).dropFrame = true;

  • Added framesCountType attribute to Project object. The framesCountType attribute is a read/write enumerated value representing the the setting in the Frame Count menu in the Project Settings dialog box.
    • framesCountType.FC_START_1
    • framesCountType.FC_START_0
    • framesCountType.FC_TIMECODE_CONVERSION

    example:
    app.project.framesCountType = FramesCountType.FC_TIMECODE_CONVERSION;

  • Added feetFramesFilmType attribute to Project object. The feetFramesFilmType attribute is a read/write enumerated value representing the setting in the Use Feet + Frames menu in the Project Settings dialog box. Use this attribute instead of the old timecodeFilmType attribute.
    • feetFramesFilmType.MM16
    • feetFramesFilmType.MM35

    example:
    app.project.feetFramesFilmType = FeetFramesFilmType.MM35;

  • Added framesUseFeetFrames attribute to Project object. The framesUseFeetFrames attribute is a read/write Boolean value representing the state of the Use Feet + Frames checkbox in the Project Settings dialog box.

    example:
    app.project.framesUseFeetFrames = true;

  • Added footageTimecodeDisplayStartType attribute to the Project object. The footageTimecodeDisplayStartType attribute is a read/write enumerated value representing the value of the Footage Start Time setting in the Project Settings dialog box, which is enabled when Timecode is selected as the time display style.
    • footageTimecodeDisplayStartType.FTCS_START_0
    • footageTimecodeDisplayStartType.FTCS_USE_SOURCE_MEDIA

    example:
    app.project.footageTimecodeDisplayStartType =
    FootageTimecodeDisplayStartType.FTCS_USE_SOURCE_MEDIA;

  • Added timeDisplayType attribute to the Project object. The timeDisplayType attribute is a read/write enumerated value representing the time display style, corresponding to the Time Display Style section in the Project Settings dialog box.
    • TimeDisplayType.FRAMES
    • TimeDisplayType.TIMECODE

    example:
    app.project.timeDisplayType= TimeDisplayType.TIMECODE;

changes related to text layers

  • Added addBoxText method to the LayerCollection object. The addBoxText method creates a new paragraph text layer. The addBoxText method takes one or two parameters:
    • (required) Array of two values specifying the width and height of the paragraph, in pixels. The new paragraph box is created centered on the anchor point.
    • (optional) Text string to use as the paragraph text.

    example:
    var paraText = myComp.layers.addBoxText([960, 540], "After Effects CS5.5");

  • Added boxText attribute to TextDocument object. The boxText attribute is a read-only Boolean value that is true if a text layer is a layer of paragraph text.

    example:
    var isParaText = textLayer.text.sourceText.value.boxText;

  • Added pointText attribute to TextDocument object. The pointText attribute is a read-only Boolean value that is true if a text layer is a layer of point text.

    example:
    var isPointText = textLayer.text.sourceText.value.pointText;

  • Added boxTextSize attribute to TextDocument object. The boxTextSize attribute is a read-write array ([width, height]) specifying the size of a paragraph text layer. Produces an error if used on a layer of point text or path text.

    example:
    var paraTextProps = textLayer.text.sourceText.value;
    paraTextProps.boxTextSize = [150, 150];
    textLayer.text.sourceText.setValue(paraTextProps);

miscellaneous

  • Added lightType attribute to the Layer object. The lightType attribute is a read/write enumerated value representing a light layer’s light type. Trying to set the attribute on a non-light layer produces an error.
    • lightType.PARALLEL
    • lightType.SPOT
    • lightType.POINT
    • lightType.AMBIENT

    example:
    spotlightLayer.lightType = LightType.SPOT;

  • If the RenderQueueItem object’s duplicate method is used on an item with the status “Done”, the method sets the new item’s status to “Queued”. This matches the behavior of duplicating a render item using the standard After Effects graphical user interface.
  • Added read-only effects attribute to the Application object. The effects attribute is an array, with each element containing the following properties:
    • displayName: string representing the localized display name of the effect as seen in the Effect menu
    • category: a string representing the localized category label as seen in the Effect menu. This can be "" for synthetic effects that aren’t normally shown to the user.
    • matchName: a string representing the internal unique name for the effect. This name does not change between versions of After Effects. Use this value to apply the effect.

    example:
    var effectName = app.effects[12].displayName;

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