I've been making videos (episodes) for my YouTube channel. They are all in a standard format with an intro which has the episode # and title, then the clips fade in always using the same simple cross-fade. I'm putting it all together using After Effects CS6. It seems to be too time consuming to manually trim/align the clips and then apply the transitions.

The first thing I do is watch my source content and note the in/out times for all of the clips (could be one or more in/out per clip). Then I mark certain things like "speed up 4x" or "no audio", etc. I wonder if there's a way I can write a script and then have the video be produced for me, quickly. I'd need to supply some values for some variables, such as episode # and name, and then the in/out/etc. for each clip.

What tools exist that would allow me to create the final video from a "script"?

PS: I'm a software engineer so I'm sure I could just write a program to do this for me, but I'm sure it already exists!

  • 1
    Is there a particular reason you are trying to do editing tasks in After Effects? After Effects is the motion graphics and effects composition software. Premiere is the video editing package and After Effects is really not ideal for trying to do editing.
    – AJ Henderson
    Feb 25, 2014 at 4:11
  • I need to learn this stuff for sure!
    – Josh M.
    Feb 26, 2014 at 2:16

1 Answer 1


I'm not aware of any software that does what you are looking for. The workflow doesn't really fit within a typical post-production workflow, so there isn't really a reason for it. You can find software that will do things like adding the beginning and ending leads to a video based on meta data, so doing the titles automatically should be possible. However, actually making automated edits based on timestamps is fairly non-typical.

Generally, the clips are cut in as they are reviewed if you are reviewing that way. You can watch a clip, set an in and out point and then send it to the timeline. This way you document the edits and build the sequence at the same time.

Your best bet would probably be to use software for making EDLs (editing decision lists). If you can produce an EDL with the cuts you have defined in your "script" then software that can process EDLs (such as Premiere) should be able to make use of them. Normally EDLs are used for transitioning between different editing systems, so it should be possible to modify or create your own EDL fairly easily.

  • Thanks for the info. I'm sure, coming from a non-video-editing (e.g. software development) background, my expectations/methods will be different than a real video editor. In general, I just want to get to the point where I can enter my cuts and hit "DO IT" to make the final video. :) I'll post back here if I find a solution.
    – Josh M.
    Feb 24, 2014 at 19:19
  • @JoshM. - right, my point is that why would you enter your cuts in some third party tool that can then "do it" when with the same effort, you can have it done.
    – AJ Henderson
    Feb 24, 2014 at 19:34
  • It's more than just cuts though. Thing such as adding a standard overlay (with custom text), etc. But I do get your point. :)
    – Josh M.
    Feb 24, 2014 at 21:19
  • Oh, I forgot to mention... the reason I was not cutting/trimming in-place is because when I preview footage I get no audio (even though the audio is ON in the preview panel). I'll ask another question about that!
    – Josh M.
    Feb 25, 2014 at 4:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.