Adobe Creative Cloud

favorite features in CC versions of After Effects: file name and location templates, plus automatic creation of folders for image sequences

In the After Effects CC (12.2) update, we extended the output file name templates feature to include output paths. As part of setting up an output module, you can specify a folder in which to place the output file(s), and this can be a folder that After Effects will automatically create at output time.

This helps to keep your outputs organized, and it really helps to prevent you from doing something like accidentally dumping an image sequence onto your desktop because you forgot to point the output to a specific folder. (Yes, we’ve all done that a few too many times.)

There is a new preset output file name and location template, called ‘Comp Folder and Comp Name’.

There is a new projectFolder element in the Add Property menu in the File Name And Location Template dialog box. Adding the projectFolder element to a file name and location template specifies that that output file should be placed in the same folder as the one in which the project is saved.

For example, the following template specifies that the output file file should be placed in a folder named ‘output’ inside the project folder, and that the name of the output file should begin with ‘final_’ and end with the composition name followed by a dot and the file-name extension:

[projectFolder]/output/final_[compName].[fileextension]

You can also use the .. operator to go up one level in a path. For example, the following template specifies that the output file file should be placed in a folder named ‘output’ that is next to the project folder, and that the name of the output file should begin with the composition name, followed by ‘_matte’, followed by a dot and the file-name extension:

[projectFolder]/../output/[compName]_matte.[fileextension]

Also, when you are specifying an output file name and location through the Output Movie To dialog box, you can choose the Save In Subfolder option to create a new subfolder at output time.

Image sequences and movie files have different defaults for output file name and location templates, with the primary difference being that image sequences will be placed into subfolders. When you choose an image sequence output module template, if your current file name and location template is the default, then After Effects will switch to using the ‘Comp Folder and Comp Name’ template, which will create a new folder for the image sequence.


Go ahead and try this out now in the current version. If you’re not already a Creative Cloud subscriber, you can try the free 30-day trial. For information about purchasing a Creative Cloud subscription, see this page about plans and this page with current promotional offers.

If you want to let us know what your favorite changes in After Effects have been since After Effects CC (12.0), come and tell us here, whether your favorite change is a new feature, a bug fix, or a little tweak in behavior.


After Effects, General, Region of Interest