Lower thirds generator (supers)....

All things .jsx

Moderator: Paul Tuersley

Post Reply
snicho99
Posts: 2
Joined: August 11th, 2008, 11:00 pm

August 12th, 2008, 1:13 am

Hey guys,

I'm new to scripting, but I wanted to share something I just slapped together, based on bits of info I found on this forum, creativecow and motionscript.com. It all works on my machine (intel mac running CS3) but I can't see why it wouldn't work on other versions.

We do a lot of documentary type projects here and they always end up involving some kind of lower thirds.

The problem with that is almost invariably either the design ends up changing a little (or a lot) after you've already gone through the painstaking job of entering all the text into a million after effects comps. Or someone's name turns out to be mispelled or something.

To circumvent that I made this script:
http://www.stevennicholson.com/videoscr ... erator.jsx

Basically it takes a template comp and duplicates it and replaces text based on the contents of a text file.

It supports two lines (eg: line1 = person's name, line2 = person's title or function). The two lines are separated in the text file by a semicolon (feel free to change this in the script if you need to).

Thus it's very quick to generate hundreds of supers from a template comp. It also eliminates the chance of *me* making a typo in AE, and throws the responsibility back on the producers.

It also means if I need to change the design I can just change the template and run the script again.

The simplest way I could think of setting it up was to have the script work by changing the content of the top two text layers. So it only works if the top two layers are text layers.

More often than not you want to have the text somewhere else in your comp (other than the top two layers), but I already had a work around for this in place. I make the top two layers in my comp text layers, but set as GUIDE layers. I then use an expression anywhere else to link to those two layers. The script then works fine. This also has the advantage that you can have your two text layers easily visible, all the time so you can see what their set to, even if they're designed to fade on and you're parked at frame 0.

I've included a demo project wired up that way:
http://www.stevennicholson.com/videoscr ... moText.aep

and a text file formatted the right way
http://www.stevennicholson.com/videoscr ... moText.txt

Hope people find this useful.
Steve.
barrypsuydam
Posts: 9
Joined: May 7th, 2009, 11:01 am

May 8th, 2009, 6:20 am

I tried using this script as well as opening downloading the project but the link for the project doesnt work and when I run script nothing happens. This script would really help me out. Thanks and no hurrys.
Barry
kobyg
Posts: 128
Joined: December 7th, 2007, 10:11 am

May 9th, 2009, 12:19 am

I had too difficulties at the beginning downloading the project file using Internet Explorer. For some reason it opens it as an html file (with strange symbols)... I don't know why, but the link is correct and I succeeded downloading it using a different software installed on my machine.
I've downloaded the project file as well as the script and demo text file, and it all worked great !

Barry,
according to what Steve wrote, I guess the script didn't work for you because you didn't have the 2 text layers as the first 2 layers in the comp...

I also noted that opening the text file with Notepad in windows, showed everything on the same line... no line breaks. I'm guessing because it was imported from Mac. It still works, and AE can recognize those line breaks correctly. However, windows Notepad does'nt show them... If you change the demo text file in windows Notepad and split the long line into several lines, make sure you don't leave those invisible line breaks too, because then the script would fail to work, and will give an error message !

If others have problem downloading the project file, I could upload it into here (although it is not me that wrote it... All the credit should go to Steve).
That script could be very handy when you need to create many LowerThirds based on the same design, but with different names !
I loved the idea !
Thanks Steve !

Koby.
barrypsuydam
Posts: 9
Joined: May 7th, 2009, 11:01 am

May 13th, 2009, 6:00 am

It is a fantastic script but I was wondering if it was possible to further it abilities to three lines worth of text. Don't ask me why because it is not up to me but when you work for the people I work for a lower third should be a full screen grafic. Anywho it would be much appreciated.
kobyg
Posts: 128
Joined: December 7th, 2007, 10:11 am

May 13th, 2009, 7:00 am

Barry,
I've changed Steve's script so it will read and change 3 lines of text.
Check it and let me know if it works for you.

Don't forget to prepare 3 text layers as the first layers in the comp,
and 3 strings divided by ";" in each line of the text file.

p.s.: The names of the new comps will be according to the SECOND string in each line of the text file (however this can be easily changed).

Koby.
Attachments
SupersGenerator3 (Lower thirds generator).zip
(10.38 KiB) Downloaded 1552 times
Last edited by kobyg on May 19th, 2009, 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
barrypsuydam
Posts: 9
Joined: May 7th, 2009, 11:01 am

May 19th, 2009, 8:15 am

Sorry to come back with not great news ... it kind of works. It creats a new comp but an error message comes up stating Unable to execute script at line 51. After Effects error: Unable to call "setValue" because of parameter 1. Value is undefined. However it creates a comp froma a notepad document with the first line changed correctly the second line not there and the third line from the original comp.
Help if you have time you have aleready been very geneous with your time.
Barry
kobyg
Posts: 128
Joined: December 7th, 2007, 10:11 am

May 19th, 2009, 10:32 am

Barry,
I guess you are doing something wrong, because I've checked again and it works great on my machine...
Remember, you have to have the first 3 layers in the comp as your text layers, and the text file should contain exactly 3 strings of text in each line divided by ";" (beware of those "invisible" line breaks while opening text file from mac on a pc...)

I've added a demo text file and a demo project file to the last post ZIP file.
Check it out and let me know.

Koby.

p.s.: Are you running AE on a mac or on windows ?
barrypsuydam
Posts: 9
Joined: May 7th, 2009, 11:01 am

May 20th, 2009, 5:33 am

Koby,

I cant tell you how much I appreciate your help....really 1 million thank you's.
It works great.
and I am running on a PC if that matters to you anymore.
again thank you so much

-barry
barrypsuydam
Posts: 9
Joined: May 7th, 2009, 11:01 am

May 29th, 2009, 9:17 am

o.k. so I am at the piont where I am using the script however as I stated earlier the lower thirds I am creating should be full screen grafix but my producer sees it another way so my new problem is an error that comes up stating-- Unable to execute at line 54. AE error: unable to set name. The std::string is too long, it can only be 31 bytes after conversation.--
help if it is possible. here is the longest example of a lower third I am creating

SEXUAL PERP IN THE HOME/SEXUAL NEGLECT;Matter of Nassau County DSS v J.P.,;21 Misc3d 1126(A) (Family Court, Nassau County 2008)

*this is all one line in my text document*

and this is the line in my text document that stoips the scrip from running.

SEXUAL PERP IN THE HOME/SEXUAL NEGLECT;Matter of Bethanie AA.,;55 AD3d 977, 866 NYS2d 372 (3rd Dept. 2008)
kobyg
Posts: 128
Joined: December 7th, 2007, 10:11 am

May 29th, 2009, 3:53 pm

I saw your problem.
By the way, in AE CS4 it runs with no problem...
The problem is that in CS3 the name of the composition cannot exceed 31 characters.
And because the name of each composition is given according to the second string in your file, you get too long names...
So if you are using CS3, we have to give a different name to the compositions the script creates.
In the attached file I gave them a sequential number (index): L3RD-1, L3RD-2, ... instead of text from your text file as the name of the compositions
How is that ?

Koby.

p.s.: L3RD = Lower 3RD (you could offcourse have any other prefix)
Attachments
Catfish-SupersGenerator3ind.zip
(1.85 KiB) Downloaded 1200 times
barrypsuydam
Posts: 9
Joined: May 7th, 2009, 11:01 am

June 2nd, 2009, 6:41 am

Thanks Koby
hedczech
Posts: 1
Joined: January 29th, 2005, 9:42 pm

November 15th, 2010, 1:27 pm

I used this Catfish Supers Generator successfully in the past, but when i try to run it now, i get
the script error "Unable to execute script at line 18: function fileGetDialog is undefined"
I'm running CS5. I wonder if this is the problem?
User avatar
Greg2B
Posts: 1
Joined: November 22nd, 2010, 7:47 pm

November 22nd, 2010, 8:02 pm

Just wanted to say this script is awesome. Thank you all who made it and modified it.

I wish had this when I was in college and was doing lower thirds all the time for our broadcast show. I'm sure I'm going to use the heck out of it on my current project.
Ker26Gage2
Posts: 2
Joined: February 3rd, 2015, 6:31 pm

February 3rd, 2015, 8:00 pm

Wonderful script.
Kerri
Post Reply