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Getting Started

Automation Blocks is an infinite collection of premade, one-click tools for any task. With Automation Blocks, you can fully customize all the tools, and even create your own! It's currently available for Adobe After Effects, but we're also developing a version for Premiere Pro, and you'll already find some info about the Premiere Pro version in this documentation.

Public Beta

In June and July Automation Blocks is free to use for everybody. You tell us which automations you need in your After Effects workflow, and together we implement those with Automation Blocks. Join our public beta now!

The Tools

To give you an idea of what Automation Blocks is capable of, here are some examples of tools that are included in the library.

Comp Duplicates From Spreadsheet

Comp Duplicates From Spreadsheet

Batch replace text, footage, colors and other properties based on a spreadsheet.

Color Palette Workflow

Color Palette Workflow

Manage the colors of your project to a central color palette and dynamically link all color properties to it.

Comp Time Tools

Comp Time Tools

Insert frames - in the middle of a comp, for example. This tool will shift layers, keyframes and markers as needed and change the duration of a comp & precomps.

Expressions

Expressions

Tools to search & replace in Expressions, globally enable or disable expressions, and more.

Guides

Guides

Create guides around selected layers, save your favourite guide setups as presets, and more.

Keyframes

Keyframes

Save frequently used keyframe combinations in a library and create keyframe presets that automatically adjust to existing keys.

Precompose On Steroids

Precompose On Steroids

Precompose & crop to content size, move layers into and out of precomps, and more.

Project Cleanup

Project Cleanup

Move project items into bins based on their file type, search & replace in project items, and more.

Randomize

Randomize

Distribute layers randomly or randomize any layer properties in no time.

Rigs & Presets

Rigs & Presets

Auto resizing text boxes which live on the text layers themselves (no extra layers needed), a rig to time-remap keyframes, and more.

Text From/To Spreadsheet

Text From/To Spreadsheet

Exports or replaces text based on a spreadsheet

Sync Folders

Sync Folders

Sync system directories with bins of your After Effects project easily

First Steps

Use the Existing Tools

Automation Blocks comes with many ready to use tools, which are all listed in the library panel. If you hover over any of the tools in the library it shows a short description which will give you a good idea what the tool is actually doing:

help in the Automation Blocks library

Some tools are so easy that this short description is really all you need. But some of the more comprehensive tools also come with more documentation. To see this, just select a tool in the library, then click the "Help" button in the top right corner to open the in-depth documentation. You'll find all of these in-depth documentations in the section Ae Tools.

Most tools in Automation Blocks come with a user interface, which pops up when you run the tool. If a tool comes with a UI, this is indicated with a little dialog icon before the name of the tool:

icon indicating that tool has a user interface

If a tool has no user interface, it usually means that it performs its job without the need for any further input. In some rare cases, a tool expects you to modify the block code before using it (like connecting a particular layer property to a block). However, in these rare cases, this is clearly described in the tool help.

Join the Community

Forum

If you need help with customizing an existing Automation Blocks script, want to share a script with the community, or if you have a questions, please post in the Adobe After Effects support forum. Your Adobe ID is already your user account for this forum, so you can start posting without any tedious registration. Just be sure to mention "Automation Blocks" in the subject and add the topic "Scripting" to ensure that we see your post. We'll then do our best to answer your questions.

post questions in the Adobe forum

Twitter & Instagram

We monitor the hashtag #automationblocksae on Twitter and Instagram. Feel free to reach out there, ask questions, and share the solutions you've created with Automation Blocks.

Access Community Library

We collect all Automation Blocks scripts that are shared in the community in a public folder, which you can access via Dropbox, Google Drive or GitHub.

Just download the folder right into your Automation Blocks user library, restart Automation Blocks, and you're ready to go.

If you've created a script that you think is useful for the community, please get in touch with us :-). If you are using GitHub, you can also create a pull request.

Where is the User Library?

To copy tools from the community library to your user library, you need to know where the latter is located on your system. By default the user library is a subfolder with name "Automation Blocks Ae Library" inside your user's Documents folder. You can also access the library from Automation Blocks preferences:

find Automation Blocks Ae Library folder

After you copied new scripts to your user library, make sure to close and reopen the Automation Blocks panel, to force a reload of the library.

Customize & Write Your Own Tools

In Automation Blocks, you can fully customize all the tools, and even create your own! Instead of programming code, the tools are based on blocks - creating tools feels more like playing with Lego bricks than doing actual programming. It's when you start to customize the example scripts to do what you need, or even write your own scripts from scratch, that the magic really begins!

If you want to become a true Automation hero, let's not waste any time: To get started with writing your own block scripts in After Effects, watch the tutorial series Write Your Custom Project Setup Script and Write Your Custom Template Tool.