14 Replies Latest reply on Dec 11, 2017 1:42 AM by Max Kovpak

    After Effects CC 2017 (14.0) New Scripting Functionality

    Tim Kurkoski Adobe Employee

      After Effects CC 2017 (14.0) includes new scripting access to tools, composition markers, the Queue In AME command, and GPU acceleration options.


      The documentation and sample code below explains how to use this new functionality. We plan to post this to our blog, later in November as a part of series of in-depth articles about the new features in After Effects CC 2017, but we heard enough interest today that we thought you might appreciate seeing this sooner.


      (Please pardon any formatting errors that may have occurred when pasting the sample code into this forum. I did my best to clean it up.)


      Scripting Access to Tools

      You can now get and set the active tool in the Tools panel using the new app.project.toolType attribute. This read/write attribute returns or accepts an enumerated ToolType value, of one of the following:


      ValueTool Name

      Selection Tool


      Rotation Tool


      Unified Camera Tool


      Orbit Camera Tool


      Track XY Camera Tool


      Track Z Camera Tool


      Brush Tool


      Clone Stamp Tool


      Eraser Tool


      Hand Tool


      Zoom Tool


      Pan Behind (Anchor Point) Tool


      Rectangle Tool


      Rounded Rectangle Tool


      Ellipse Tool


      Polygon Tool


      Star Tool


      Horizontal Type Tool


      Vertical Type Tool


      Pen Tool


      Mask Feather Tool


      Add Vertex Tool


      Delete Vertex Tool


      Convert Vertex Tool


      Puppet Pin Tool


      Puppet Starch Tool


      Puppet Overlap Tool


      Roto Brush Tool


      Refine Edge Tool


      The following sample code checks the current tool, and if it is not the Unified Camera Tool, sets the current tool to that:

      // Check the current tool, then set it to Unified Camera Tool (UCT).
          // Assume a composition is selected in the project.
          var comp = app.project.activeItem;
          if (comp instanceof CompItem) {
              // Add a camera to the current comp. (Requirement for UCT.)
              var cameraLayer = comp.layers.addCamera("Test Camera", [comp.width/2, comp.height/2]);

              // If the currently selected tool is not one of the camera tools, set it to UCT.
              if (( app.project.toolType != ToolType.Tool_CameraMaya) &&
                  ( app.project.toolType != ToolType.Tool_CameraOrbit ) &&
                  ( app.project.toolType != ToolType.Tool_CameraTrackXY) &&
                  ( app.project.toolType != ToolType.Tool_CameraTrackZ))
                      app.project.toolType = ToolType.Tool_CameraMaya;


      The following sample code uses the new app.project.toolType attribute to create a 360° composition (environment layer and camera) from a selected footage item or composition selected in the Project panel. This script a good starting point for building VR compositions from equirectangular footage:

      // Create a 360 VR comp from a footage item or comp selected in the Project panel.

      item = app.project.activeItem;

      (item != null && (item.typeName == "Footage" || item.typeName == "Composition")) {

          // Create a comp with the footage.
          var comp = app.project.items.addComp(item.name, item.width, item.height, item.pixelAspect, item.duration, item.frameRate);
          var layers = comp.layers;
          var footageLayer = layers.add(item);

          //Apply the CC Environment effect and create a camera.
          var effect = footageLayer.Effects.addProperty("CC Environment");
          var camera = layers.addCamera("360 Camera", [item.width/2, item.height/2]);
          comp.openInViewer(); app.project.toolType = ToolType.Tool_CameraMaya;
      else {
          alert("Select a single footage item or composition in the Project panel.");


      Scripting Access to Composition Markers

      Composition markers can now be created and modified via the new comp.markerProperty attribute. Composition marker scripting has the same functionality as layer markers.


      The following sample code creates a project and composition, then creates two composition markers with different properties:

      // comp.markerProperty allows you add markers to a comp.
      // It has the same functionality as layer.property("Marker")
          var currentProj = app.newProject();
          var comp = currentProj.items.addComp("mycomp", 1920, 1080, 1.0, 5, 29.97);
          var solidLayer = comp.layers.addSolid([1, 1, 1], "mylayer", 1920, 1080, 1.0);

      compMarker = new MarkerValue("This is a comp marker!");
          compMarker.duration = 1; compMarker.url = "http://www.adobe.com/aftereffects";

      compMarker2 = new MarkerValue("Another comp marker!");
          compMarker2.duration = 1;

          comp.markerProperty.setValueAtTime(1, compMarker)
          comp.markerProperty.setValueAtTime(3, compMarker2)


      Scripting Access to Queue in AME

      The Queue In AME command, introduced in After Effects CC 2015.3 (13.8), can now be triggered via scripting. This requires Adobe Media Encoder CC 2017 (11.0) or later.


      The new method app.project.renderQueue.queueInAME(render_immediately_in_AME) calls the Queue In AME command. This method requires passing a boolean value, telling AME whether to only queue the render items (false) or if AME should also start processing its queue (true).


      Note that when AME receives the queued items, it applies the most recently used encoding preset. If render_immediately_in_AME is set to true, you will not have an opportunity to change the encoding settings.


      The new read-only boolean attribute app.project.renderQueue.canQueueInAME indicates whether or not there are queued render items in the After Effects render queue. Only queued items can be added to the AME queue.


      The following sample code checks to see if there are queued items in the render queue, and if so queues them in AME but does not immediately start rendering:

      // Scripting support for Queue in AME.
      // Requires Adobe Media Encoder 11.0.
          if (app.project.renderQueue.canQueueInAME == true)
              // Send queued items to AME, but do not start rendering.
          else {
              alert("There are no queued item in the Render Queue.");


      Scripting Access to Available GPU Acceleration Options

      You can now use scripting to request which GPU acceleration types are available on the current computer. The new read-only attribute app.availableGPUAccelTypes returns an array of gpuAccelType enums.


      Use this in conjunction with app.project.gpuAccelType to set the value for Project Settings > Video Rendering and Effects > Use.

      The following sample code checks the current computer's available GPU acceleration types, and sets it to Metal if available:

      // app.availableGPUAccelTypes returns GPU acceleration types available on the current system.
      // You can use this to check before setting the GPU acceleration type.
          var newType = GpuAccelType.METAL;

          // Before trying to set, check which GPU acceleration types are available on the current system.
          var canSet = false;
          var currentOptions = app.availableGPUAccelTypes;
          for (op in currentOptions) {
              if (currentOptions[op] == newType)
                  canSet = true;

      (canSet) {
             // Set the GPU acceleration type.
              app.project.gpuAccelType = newType
          else {
              alert("Metal is not available on this OS.");