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Workflower 2

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Quick Overview

Messy After Effects comps? Create layer groups, apply adjustment layers to selected layers, clone layers, merge mattes, and more!

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Workflower 2 is here!
What's new?

(If you bought Workflower 1 in 2023, you get the upgrade for free. Others get a discount. See the upgrade notice for more.)

If you have questions, please read the F.A.Q. Also, you can check out the tutorials and/or the user guide.
Of course, you can send me a support ticket, too, ask on our Discord, or post a comment on this page.

Notice for Mac Users & Japanese Windows Users:
There are some limitations for Mac users as well as for Japanese users on Windows. The main limitation is that you can only use a maximum of 20 keyboard shortcuts. Also, if you have keyboard shortcuts applied to other scripts, the number of shortcuts you can use for Workflower functions gets reduced as well. Read up here about the limitations. Please test out the trial first to see whether it works for you.

 


Workflower changed my life. It can change yours, too.
I've used Workflower on numerous and complex projects for big brands and agencies and can honestly say, it will enhance your workflow in After Effects like no other tool has ever before.
It does so many things that should be built into the program, and that are sitting there explicitly requested by people for years.
Let me introduce you to Workflower, one of the best plugins I've ever used!
I use this ALL the time.
I am so in love with Workflower v2. Thank you for creating such an amazing script.
I have said it way too often about others in the past (Flow, kBar, etc) but WORKFLOWER is another one of those AE Scripts that Adobe should just fold into the system and make it native if they aren't going to do it themselves.
This is simply the most intelligent and useful toolset I have seen in decades. Well worth the considerable effort required to learn the shortcuts and remember the immense functionality.
This is really interesting.
Such an amazing script. Been using it since the new version launch.
You are a crazy person who loves pain.
I use the Workflower plugin. It takes a bit to get used to. But once you do, it's hard to go back. Highly recommend.

We're all in a very unhealthy love-hate relationship with After Effects. We love it for how intuitive it is. We get a rush when building a beautiful shot. But then ... there are precomps. And then ... there are comps cluttered with too many f*cking layers. And ... these GODDAMN different transforms of layers!

It could be so much simpler. Well, Workflower is here to help and it could be the perfect therapist for our relationship crisis with After Effects. But what can Workflower do for us?

 

Create Layer Groups

Create Layer Groups

Yes, you heard right! Workflower lets you create groups of layers within your composition. Get ready to organize the hell out of your next project! But you can even do so much more than just creating groups:


Create Groups & Sub-Groups

Collapse & Expand Groups

Select & Move Groups

Parent Group Layers

Disable, Solo & Lock Groups

Relabel Groups

Duplicate Groups

Create Group Mattes

Adjust Group Opacity

Convert Groups to/from Precomps

Group Header trimmed to Layers

... and more!
Like ungrouping, dissolving, and deleting groups. Or creating a group adjustment layer.
Also: Exchange projects with non-Workflower users by converting your comps to a Non-Indented Layout!

 

Create Adjustment Layers
only to Selected Layers

Adjustment Layers
only to Selected Layers

Ever wondered why you can't apply an adjustment layer only to certain layers? Well, me too. But wondering doesn't apply an adjustment layer only to certain layers. Workflower does, on the other hand:


Apply Effects!
Workflower will create a layer, onto which you can apply your effects. It will then copy these effects with linked expressions to all previously selected layers.

Update!
If you add new effects, change the effects order, or link new layers to the adjustment layer, just hit Refresh to update all linked layers.

All linked up!
Visibility of effects is linked by expressions as well. Also, the adjustment layer’s opacity. Or its visibility, too. Magic! (Or just a simple expression. Probably rather the latter. I'm sad now. Say something nice to me.)

... and even more!
Use multiple adjustment layers. Convert properties of effects to comp size to account for different transforms of linked layers. Unlink all properties when you’re done working.

 

Clone & Precomp Layers

Clone & Precomp Layers

Well, what would cloning and precomping layers be good for, you ask. A shit-ton. You just don't know it yet. What's the most dreaded nightmare when working on a comp? Correct, getting stuff to comp dimensions, so that we can reference it by another layer - to build a lightwrap - or to displace our layers - or to create a matte from them. Or, or, or, ... Our only option then: precomp 'em!

But what about the comp's camera? Or the layers' parents? Or other layers referenced by effects? Or expressions that reference the main comp but not the new precomp? And aside from that: Who likes constantly loosing layers from one’s composition and then having to dig through levels and levels of precomps just to find one layer?

Well, there might be some masochists out there. But for everyone else, there's now: Clone & Precomp!



Clone 'em!
Clone & Precomp will copy all selected layers (or an entire group) to a precomp and link the layers with expressions to their source layers. Parents, camera, lights, and layers referenced by effects will be copied too!


Refresh Connections
If you change non-linkable stuff like adding effects, changing a parent or blending mode, or turning on motion blur, just hit Refresh to update the clone layers.


Prime Clones
In a Prime Clone, a special kind of clone, all contained source layers will be set to 0% opacity while their corresponding clone layers inherit the original opacity.
That way, you can apply effects to the precomp layer and then continue to work on the contained layers.
However, unlike working within a precomp, you will see the changes update including the effects on the precomp layer. Revolutionary! (Maybe not quite like French Revolution revolutionary. But almost.)
You can show the actual layers again, too, by executing Show Clone Layers.


Unlink it!
When you're done working on your Precomp Clone, you can unlink all layers. That will remove the expressions and make your After Effects lightning fast! (Well, okay, so just as fast as your regular layers would be. So maybe like medium lightning speed then.)


... and mooooooore!
Like expression-linked visibility of layers and effects. Or Clones IN Comp (not Precomp ones) that require less refreshing. Or Custom States for Precomp Clone layers. Or Custom Sizes for Precomp Clones. Or other refreshing modes (even quicker ones).

 

Create & Merge Mattes

Create & Merge Mattes

Matting can be quite confusing. The track matte works great. But what if you want to use multiple mattes at once? Well, there's the Set Matte effect. But what about layers with other transforms? Or ones without Collapse Transformation? Ugh ... It's annoying. That's why Workflower provides different tools for matting:


Create
Now you can quickly create an empty track matte to the selected layer. Or create a matte to multiple layers at once. Neat.

Merge
Merge Mattes will merge several mattes on one track matte. For layers that neither have comp dimensions nor Collapse Transformation enabled, a Precomp Clone will be created - that way they will be fit to comp size and transforms are set correctly!! (Mind = Blown.)

Modify
Calculations effects will be added for every merged matte. That way, you easily change the blending mode (Normal, Stencil Alpha, Stencil Luma, Silhouette Alpha, Silhouette Luma), the opacity, or the order in which the mattes are applied.

 

New in version 2

New in version 2

Almost a year in the making, Workflower 2 is finally here! It is yet again a massive update and Workflower is now featuring 2x (= 100%) the amount of (handwritten, no A.I.!!!11!11!!1!) code since version 1.0 launched. We all know everyone mostly cares about the size of the code base but for those who are also interested in the features included, here you go:


After Effects 2023/24+ Ready


Workflower is finally After Effects 2023/24+ compatible!
Literally hundreds of sections within the code - across matting-, cloning-, and adjustment layer-functions - had to be completely rebuilt, mostly relating to AE's new track matte system.
But now you can take full advantage of AE's new track matte system as well as other new AE features (like the Advanced 3D renderer) while at the same time enjoying Workflower's various functions!

ScriptUI Panel


Staying true to how After Effects features are supposed to be developed, the most requested while at the same time most basic feature, took the longest to develop ... But here it finally is: The option to use Workflower as a ScriptUI Panel!
The ScriptUI Panel is resizable and available in 4 different configurations:
1.) Row layout, 1 line
2.) Row layout, 2 lines
3.) Column layout, 1 column
4.) Column layout, 2 columns
You can even customize which buttons are supposed to appear on the panel!

Tag Layers & Groups


Workflower now features the ability to tag layers. That way, you can create groups of layers not bound by the layer hierarchy and perform various actions on them. You can even tag Workflower's regular groups.
Afterwards, perform an action on a Tag Group:
● Activate / Deactivate
● Enable / Disable
● Solo / Unsolo
● Lock / Unlock
● Select / Deselect
● Toggle effects
● Toggle motion blur
● Jump to top-most Tag Group layer

Improved & Faster Matting Tools


All matting tools within Workflower have been overhauled in a major way to conform to AE 23's Selectable Track Mattes and in turn, are easier to use and execute way faster.
Group Mattes, for example, perform many times faster now since the Group Matte only has to be calculated once, whereas, in AE 22 and below, Group Matte layers have to be applied to every group layer individually, slowing down your comp the more group layers you have.
However, now, you can add as many group layers as you want and AE will stay super fast and responsive! (Well, okay, as super fast and responsive as things were back in 2005. But that's not my fault!)

Easier Ways to Learn Workflower


Workflower now provides various ways that help with learning Workflower.
This is especially useful for newer users. However, even older users can find it insightful since they might still learn a thing or two about the functions that way.
The new ways to learn Workflower include:
Extended tooltips
Pop-up tips when first executing a function
Direct links to user guide & tutorial chapters when right-clicking on a function

Double-Click to Expand/Collapse Groups


Expanding and collapsing groups never has been easier: Now you can simply double-click on a group header to expand/collapse the group!
Also:
Alt/Option+double-click to select
Shift+double-click to enable/disable
Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+double-click to solo
BAM!!!
(Needs the WQ plug-in installed that can be found in the installation files.)


But wait, there's more!
● Relabel Keyframes using the Relabel Panel
● Reveal ALL Opacity Properties (e.g. from Effects or other Properties) in the Timeline using Reveal Layer Opacity
● New Functions: Trim Layer to Keyframes & to Layer
Precompose Super-Duper-Mega-Charged:
Precompose each Selected Layer, Add Handles, Adjust Duration to Layers when Leaving all Attributes, etc.
● ...and so much more!




Also: Check out what was new in v1.1! (Also please click for the stupidly time-consuming promo trailer I produced and I don't want it to disappear just because the version isn't advertised anymore on here. So please, please click!!)

 

V2 Upgrade Notice

If you're eligible for an upgrade discount, please make sure you are logged into the same account and you will see the discount pricing automatically (this does not apply for the free upgrade, see note below). If you need any help, please open a support ticket. Here's what the upgrade costs:

  • If you purchased Workflower 1 before October 18, 2022 (the release of AE 23), the upgrade costs 59.00 $.
  • If you purchased Workflower 1 between October 18, 2022 and January 1, 2023, the upgrade costs 29.00 $ (this includes everyone who bought it during the Cyber Week).
  • If you purchased Workflower 1 after January 1, 2023, the upgrade is free! Please note: Unfortunately, AEScripts can only accommodate two upgrade prices (and we have three prices including the free one), that's why you need to put in a discount code on checkout to get the upgrade for free. Please send me a message via this pre-filled support ticket in order to request the discount code. Make sure to fill in the name/organization to whom the purchase of Workflower 1 was billed so I can verify the purchase.

 

Work quickly with Shortcuts!

Work quickly with Shortcuts!

Workflower has been designed to be used with shortcuts, so you can work as quickly as possible. Shortcuts can be applied to more than 40 (!) functions.

 

Compatibility

Compatibility

Workflower is compatible with:

  • After Effects 2024
  • After Effects Beta *
  • After Effects 2023
  • After Effects 2022
  • After Effects 2021
  • After Effects 2020
  • After Effects CC 2019
  • After Effects CC 2018

It works on Windows and Mac. However, for Mac users as well as for Japanese users on Windows, there are a few limitations. Read up here for more information.
Projects created with Workflower can be easily exchanged between Windows and Mac. Please read the F.A.Q. section on Can projects be exchanged between Windows and Mac without problems? for more information.

* Workflower's comp layout is currently not compatible with the new Spectrum UI in AE's Beta on Windows


KBar Support!
As of version 1.0.4, Workflower supports the use of KBar buttons for almost all functions. Click here for instructions on how to set it up.


Exchangeable with Non-Workflower Users
An After Effects user that doesn't own Workflower can easily open up a project created with Workflower without any issues!
However, it's recommended to use Workflower's batch-conversion function to convert your comps to one of the Non-Indented Layouts before handing over the project so the non-Workflower user doesn't have to deal with the indented layer names.
Please read the F.A.Q. section on Can I open up a project that was created with Workflower when I don't have the script? for more information.


Left: Indented Layout; Right: Layout without Indent


Compatible with Add-Ons that Depend on Specific Layer Names
Some After Effects add-ons require that certain layers have a very specific layer name. In order to keep these add-ons functional, Workflower allows you to exempt their layer name from indentation.
Please read the F.A.Q. section on Will Workflower's comp layout break scripts/plugins that depend on specific layer names? for more information.

 

Try it!

Try it!

There is a free trial version available which is usable for 10 days. It is almost fully functional and only has a few limitations. The following functions are deactivated:

  • Quick Refresh Connections (A faster mode to refresh Precomp Clones. However, you can still use the regular Refresh Connections function.)
  • Matted Adjustment Layers (An alternative to the Workflower's regular Adjustment Layer to Selected Layers.)
  • Layer Storing (Often used layers can be stored and then pasted again using a shortcut. So it's some kind of an extended clipboard. With multiple store spaces!)
  • Rename Layers by Number

 

User Guide

User Guide

Workflower has an extensive User Guide, detailing every function. Check it out!

 

Tutorials

Tutorials

There are several tutorials available, covering every core function of Workflower. Don't feel overwhelmed, though. You don't need to watch all tutorials to get started! Simply choose what you're interested in. For example, just watching most of the Groups tutorial would be enough to get you started:

Tutorial 1: Overview

NOTE: If you want to go straight into learning more in-depth about Workflower, you can also skip this tutorial, as I will be teaching everything from scratch in the other tutorials. However, if you still want to get a basic overview of the functions and/or just a very quick start on how to use Workflower, this tutorial is for you.

Tutorial 2: Installation & Using the ScriptUI Panel

Tutorial 3: Groups, Renaming & Relabeling

IMPORTANT: As of version 2.0, due to AE now occupying Shift+J & Shift+K, the default shortcut for 'Parent Layers to Group' has been changed to Ctrl+Alt+3 & for 'Set Parent Exception Layer' to Ctrl+Alt+Shift+3.

Tutorial 4: Precomp Clones & Clones in Comp

Tutorial 5: Creating & Merging Mattes

IMPORTANT: Please note that Workflower's matting tools (creating mattes, group mattes & multi-layer mattes, as well as merging mattes) work a bit differently in AE 23 and upwards. So if you're using AE 23 or upwards, make sure to watch the section about matting in the tutorial on Workflower v2.0 in addition to this tutorial.

Tutorial 6: Adjustment Layers & Storing Layers

Tutorial 7: Version 1.1 New Features Overview

Tutorial 8: Version 2 New Features Overview

NOTE: Please note that the sections 'How to Install' as well as 'ScriptUI Panel' are almost identical to the sections in the 'Installation' tutorial which was updated with the release of version 2.0.

After Effects 2024, 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, CC 2019, CC 2018