4 Replies Latest reply on Aug 7, 2009 10:51 AM by NachoVilla243

    Automatically adding text to a composition


      Is there any way to add the name of a file imported into the project panel to the composition itself as a text layer? I have been through all the effects, but maybe there is something in scripting or expressions that I have not tried yet. I know its an odd question. Just have to make multiple quicktimes to be viewed for a bunch of different sequences that are to be viewed by some executives. They wanted to be able to see the sequence name on each quicktime, which is fortunately also part of the image sequence filenames. Thanks in advance for any help out there.

        • 1. Re: Automatically adding text to a composition

          Editable text layers can only be generated from within AE. You can't import a file and make it a text layer to edit words or letters.


          If your project simply requires multiple versions with different text, you can use Photoshop to generate text layers.


          Make the PS file exactly the size of your final movie, create a text layer for each version, import that into AE and you're good to go. If you need to make changes to the text just open the PS file, edit the text and re-import. However, importing the same file or layer will not replace original AE project assets. You'll need to select the AE layer you want to replace, hold down the option/alt key and click/drag the new asset onto the layer.


          Re: layer names, AE's project panel will show imported layer names before the file name, but it will also include the file name (as well as layer folders). This can get complex. I would create a numbered cheat sheet so each layer can be easily referenced and viewed quickly in the panels.


          Hope this helps.

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          • 2. Re: Automatically adding text to a composition
            Todd_Kopriva Level 8

            You can certainly get to the name of the source items with expressions. For example, this expression on the Source Text property writes the name of the source footage item for the layer below it:




            I just saved an animation preset that consisted of nothing but the Source Text property with this expression on it, so I could easily zip through a bunch of layers in a bunch of different compositions and apply this animation preset to a bunch of text layers.


            Tip: To apply the most recently applied animation preset to one or more layers, select the layers, and then press Ctrl+Alt+Shift+F (Windows) or Command+Option+Shift+F (Mac OS). (from "Apply an effect or animation preset")


            If you wanted to get more efficient, you could script that, but this should be enough to point you in the right direction.


            Oh, and here's a post in which I show how to create and change a text layer with a script.

            • 3. Re: Automatically adding text to a composition
              Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

              If you need to do this on a mass basis, you may wish to check out somne of the lower thirds and slates scripts found via AEnhancers. Todd's suggestion for an expression is not bad, but since expressions require explicit references to the layer they are supposed to draw data from, may be a bit clunky with a lot of compositions and possibly require additional code to make it safe and more automated... Also be aware, that you can also add a watermark image directly in Quicktime Pro by adding another track on top of the existing video track. Might save you from having to do lengthy renders, though, on the other, hand you still have to prepare the images.



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              • 4. Re: Automatically adding text to a composition
                NachoVilla243 Level 1

                Thanks a bunch guys, save the day for me. I am in your debt!