I have a composition used to display current scores for a match on a tournament. It shows the two teams banners on both sides and their current scores underneath them. The scene also has various animations and effects.

The rounds are best of three so the different combinations of scores are 0-0, 1-0, 2-0, 0-1, 0-2, 1-1, 2-1, and 1-2. So the way I'm doing it now is: change the numbers, render composition, and repeat for all combinations.

As you can see, this can get tedious and time consuming as it has to be done for every combination of teams as well.

I would like to know if there is a way to automate this process or a more efficient way of carrying out these steps.

2 Answers 2


I hope there is a better answer, but my similar case is making lower thirds where I have to change out the name. In that case, I have a static composition with the title that I use as a source in other compositions. I then create a text layer for each name, hide all but one, click through to the final render comp (using the parent/child links) and start a generation for each.

It's still manual, but it is a relatively quick way to get them dumped out. In your case, you could do one comp for the team logos and one for the scores (or just do two sets of layers in the same comp.)

Alternately, you may be able to render the background blank and then render the text and graphics layer's being animated without the background render. This can save time if the background animation is difficult to render and the composition allows for alpha blending to meet the needs. I wouldn't generally bother with that added complexity unless the background being pre-rendered would save a lot of time though.

  • AJ, I gave you an up-vote because I what I think you're saying. I think you're saying don't render every combination; render each individual score. So render all the "0-", "1-", and "2-" scores. Then render the second half of each score: "0", "1", and "2". Then you can combine those layers to get all the combinations: 0-0, 1-0, 2-0, 0-1, 0-2, 1-1, 2-1, and 1-2. Separately, render the banner for each team individually. At the end, you can combine the layers as needed. (If that's not what you're saying, I'll delete my comment ... but leave the up-vote!) Nov 25, 2014 at 17:40
  • That is actually a decent additional enhancement to do each side of the score as a layer to reduce the number of layers needed. I was more specifically talking about having one layer for each value you need in a "source" composition in After Effects and then using that source in your animation. It is then a relatively simple matter to activate the appropriate layers and run the export. It's still manual, but you can make a process of clicking through it pretty fast. Alternately, rendering a blank and then rendering the text layer separately also works.
    – AJ Henderson
    Nov 25, 2014 at 17:43
  • If you're editing in Premiere CC you could save the comp as a template and then edit the text values of the scores in Premier. helpx.adobe.com/after-effects/how-to/…
    – stib
    Dec 5, 2014 at 4:02

To automate things like that you will have to write a script for After Effects. This isn't all that hard, it just requires a bit of programming knowledge. You can see them as more powerful type of expressions that can actually control the whole program not just your comp, so you can mage changes to your layer based on certain other aspects. For example you would make a simple for loop in your case that iterates 5-6 times depending on how many different versions you have and let it go through every possible score you have. You can probably automate it completely with a bit more math.

Unless you haven't unticked it during installation you have the Adobe ExtendScript Toolkit installed, which is a code editor where you can write and launch scripts for various Adobe programs. The recommended language to use is Adobes own JavaScript flavor also called "Extend Script" but you can also write in OS specific scripting languages like Apple Script or Windows Batch script.

Then take a look at the JavaScript documentation in the help menu and have a look at the After Effects specific scripting guide: http://blogs.adobe.com/aftereffects/files/2012/06/After-Effects-CS6-Scripting-Guide.pdf

Some version specific changes and more info can be found here: http://www.adobe.com/devnet/aftereffects.html

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