Introduction to After Effects Scripting Video Course

  • Compatibility After Effects
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Author: Lloyd Alvarez

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Quick Overview

By popular demand we partnered with fxphd to offer this course that teaches you how to create scripts for After Effects starting with no programming knowledge.

Course Introduction

This course, taught by Lloyd Alvarez, will provide an introduction to the main scripting tools available in Adobe After Effects.  Scripting automates tedious tasks that can be done by hand in After Effects so a good working knowledge of After Effects is strongly recommended before taking this course.  However no prior programming experience is required.  After Effects can be scripted in ExtendScript (Adobe’s extended implementation of JavaScript.) on both mac and windows as well as Applescript on the mac and Visual Basic on Windows.  This course will only cover ExtendScript because of its cross-platform nature and larger resource base due to its JavaScript foundation.

Teaching programming can be dreadfully boring so this course will aim to teach by example instead of by theory.  The course will cover basic scripting and programming concepts that will then be applied to several real scripts that will be created over the term.  The scripts that will be developed will all focus on real world needs..  

Based in New York City, Lloyd Alvarez is a highly demanded multidisciplinary freelancer, from art directing and design to compositing and animation.  Lloyd began scripting in After Effects to solve workflow problems for his freelance projects and soon began sharing them with the community starting with his very popular BG Renderer script.  He has since released several more very popular scripts and is now the curator of, which is the top destination for the best After Effects scripts from the top authors from around the globe. 

This course was previously only available by enrolling at and is available here exclusively as a direct purchase.
I literally just finished that course last term on FXPHD. solid class.  -Matthew Law
Thank goodness, [...] every new media designer should learn scripting no matter what.  -Daniel Durkee

Class Syllabus

  • Class 1: Basic overview of what scripting is and a brief overview of what will be learned over the whole course. We will also begin writing our first script that will cover the fundamentals covered in lessons 1-3. Introduction to the After Effects DOM model and variables. Overview of the resources available for AE scripting and how to use them. Finally a quick overview on how to install and run scripts.
  • Class 2: Introduction to ExtendScript Toolkit - the full-featured JavaScript debugger that comes with After Effects and the application in which we will create all the scripts in this course. Introduction to variables, operators, arrays and basic user interface controls.
  • Class 3: Introduction to conditionals, loops and functions.
  • Class 4: Script assignment 1: DSLR cinematography workflow offline clip creator script. Subjects covered: Basic error checking. Looping through project and create comps from footage items. Add a text layer to each comp with an expression, add items to the render queue and set a custom destination.
  • Class 5: Script assignment 1 continued.
  • Class 6: Script assignment 2: Promo version maker script. Subjects covered: Importing data from a text file, iterating through comps, replacing text layers' source text property, adding items to the render queue. Basic regular expressions.
  • Class 7: Script assignment 2 continued. Subjects covered: Creating and using custom objects.
  • Class 8: Script assignment 3: Search projects for layers and do... script. Subjects covered: Creating a ScriptUI user interface, searching entire project for layers, working with individual layer properties.
  • Class 9: Script assignment 3 continued.
  • Class 10: Script assignment 3 continued.
After Effects 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, CC 2019, CC 2018, CC 2017, CC 2015.3, CC 2015, CC 2014, CC, CS6
View all Lloyd Alvarez products