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pixels, motion, and scripting
david van brink // Wed 2011.02.16 09:19 // {after effects}

AE & Python

I was going to provide another example or two of Python scripting, today, but was sidetracked by a little bit of historical research on Python in After Effects. The examples will wait a little longer…

Useful Things

Yes, indeed, everything old is new again. Just about the time I started using After Effects, I had heard of “Useful Things”, but didn’t really know what it was. Turns out it was… Python Scripting for After Effects! It appears to have been quite well-regarded in the AE community, too. Alas, for whatever reasons, that product seems to have faded, been reabsorbed in the various business permutations that are a fact of life.

Omino Python for After Effects, by coincidence and parallel evolution, seems to resemble that fine product in some aspiring ways.

Grant Munsey

Going back even a tiny bit further, to 2001, we find that Adobe computer scientist Grant Munsey created open source Python bindings for Photoshop and After Effects, as well!

Reading about him, he was a great proponent of open source development, and was a driving force for establishing http://opensource.adobe.com/.

He passed away in 2005; I did not know him. But reading about his long illness, I was touched by this part of his wife’s account:

We’ve been using the mouth stick. It’s a 16-inch rod with a rubber tip on one end and on the other end a U-shaped plastic thing he bites on. He can then trace patterns and point to letters on the letter board — very slowly. I asked him what UNIX command you’d use for getting regular expressions from a text file, and he spelled “GREP”.

And forgive me if I find in this a dark justification for the oft-maligned brevity of UNIX commands.

Rich Young // Sun 2011.02.27 17:395:39 pm

I think Grant also did an early plug-in set, Cognicon TILT. Later sold to Digieffects, TILT was an 3D system that did 3D displacement and imported 3D models using Quickdraw 3D from Apple.

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