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Dataclay Templater Rig


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Dataclay Templater Rig

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Dataclay Templater Rig

Easily customize video with an elegant and streamlined workflow solution.

Templater is an Adobe® After Effects® plugin that simplifies and accelerates the process of creating customized videos. It empowers you to quickly and easily produce a large volume of beautiful videos that will resonate with your audience.

Dataclay Templater Rig lets you easily customize videos with an elegant and streamlined workflow solution. Available editions Templater Pro and Templater Bot extend Templater Rig for desktop automation and full server automation.

New in Templater 3: Quality control tools, native MFR and Apple M1, use expressions for responsive layout and integration with Dataclay QUE.

Dataclay Templater Rig Highlights

Templater Features

What is Templater?

Templater turns the arduous task of customizing video content into an elegant workflow solution. Users automate AE project customization with a simple interface that transforms text, footage, and solid layers into dynamic elements. Templater is design aware, automatically adjusting dynamic elements to produce a finely crafted result just the way you like.


Templater was made to improve the process and workflow of producing targeted video based on various external data sources. As organizations mine and store more information, they need ways of leveraging this data to create meaningful connections with customers in markets across the world. Big data can drive media content, but video producers need a way to easily insert information into custom video without tediously replacing assets.

Templater Editions

Templater is available in three separate editions—Rig, Pro, and Bot. Each ships with a specific feature set. Read our handy descriptions below to see which edition or combination of editions is right for your organization. Learn more about Templater Pro and Templater Bot on their respective catalog pages.

New in Templater 3

  • Integration with Dataclay QUE – an API to manage dynamic video data and render tasks.
  • Quality control batch output with “Spot Checks” – auto-exported still images of your dynamic comps.
  • Use expressions to build unique responsive layouts in favor of Templater’s internal layout engine.
  • Support for Multi-Frame Rendering in After Effects 2022 and later.
  • Native Apple Silicon support.

How It Works

  • An effect plugin and a ScriptUI panel are installed into AE.
  • Users feed customization data into After Effects from a data source. Templater can read Google Sheets documents, JSON object arrays in text files, or tab-separated value files.
  • Users tag layers as dynamic with the custom effect and map data to those layers.
  • For each row in a spreadsheet or object in a JSON array, Templater updates each tagged layer with its mapped data.
  • Templater’s layout engine automatically adjusts dynamic layers to produce a finely crafted composition that is either rendered or replicated.
  • Users take advantage of either Templater’s graphical user interface or The Bot and its command line interface to achieve results.

Suggested Uses

  • Customizing television network branding graphics
  • Integrating social media content into video
  • Localizing text to be rendered into video
  • Personalizing ads and communication campaigns
  • Producing video content for e-commerce platforms
  • Producing video content for digital signage
  • Creating video slates and slideshows at live events
  • Customizing video slideshows of photo streams
  • Creating motion graphic material for video art
  • Quality assuring video templates


Feature Descriptions


Map your spreadsheet or JSON data directly into AE composition layers. Use Google Sheets in the cloud or tabbed-separated-value files exported from Microsoft Excel, Apple Numbers, or Google Sheets. You can also use a plain text file containing a JSON object array exported from your own app.


When updating an AE composition with your data, Templater intelligently adjusts dynamic layers relative to their containing composition and other sibling layers. No need to futz with aligning, scaling, or positioning dynamic layers—let Templater craft your composition according to your layout rules.


Use time-based rules to crop, trim, shift, and stretch layers using Templater’s patent-pending Time Sculpting feature. There’s no need to worry about integrating footage sources of varying duration into a video template. Now Templater can maintain the design integrity of your video while processing footage of different lengths.


Insert characters from any language into your spreadsheet and see them appear in your text layers. Of course, installed fonts should have the glyphs you require. Templater reads your text as it appears in your spreadsheet, so commas, quotes, apostrophes, and new lines are accepted. Right-to-left scripts are also supported.


With a click of a button, preview how your data-driven compositions will look prior to rendering or replicating. Iterate through previews of your render jobs to see how Templater treats different text, footage, and colors. Resolve problematic data quickly and effectively.


Pro & Bot Only — Templater churns out many unique renders very efficiently. Choose to render all the rows in your spreadsheet or just a range. You can apply AE output modules and render settings templates to batch jobs and customize output names.


Pro & Bot Only — Templater can quickly re-version a master composition with your data and replicate it so you can work your mograph magic on it before rendering. Replicated comps are kept tidy and organized within a clean folder structure. You also have the option to send replicated comps to AE’s render queue or the Adobe Media Encoder.


Bot Only — The Bot for Templater operates After Effects for you. When The Bot finds new data, it triggers Templater’s customization and rendering process. Developers can create web or mobile apps that feed data into Templater’s data source, offering a collaborative, custom video content creation solution. In addition, you can use shell scripts to automatically handle post-rendering tasks.


Bot Only — Engage with Templater processes through shell commands. With the command line interface (CLI), developers have unparalleled flexibility for integrating video versioning within their existing pipelines or systems. Most controls found in the Templater Panel are configurable via a command line options file.


Want to know what Templater is doing at any given time? Inspect its log files for full transparency. Troubleshooting Templater has never been easier.

Support & Services

Standard Support

Good documentation is essential for a smooth user experience. We’ve done our best to ensure ours is as thorough and as clear as possible. Should you encounter any problems, visit Dataclay’s support site to search through our extensive online help. Learn basic concepts and follow step-by-step instructions to get started.

We also have many screencasts which you can find in the Videos tab on this page. Screencasts show many different techniques and real-world examples using existing templates. While some demonstrate with Templater 1 and 2, they are still relevant to Templater 3. Use the screencasts in combination with the documentation for the most effective learning experience.

If you have difficulty getting Templater to work for you after searching the documentation and reviewing the screencasts, we are here to help. Dataclay provides technical support via web and email to registered owners of Templater licenses through the help-ticket system here on Submit a ticket with your question, and we will respond within three business days. For pre-sales questions, feel free to use the comments tab on this page.
Dataclay Consulting Services

Dataclay offers consulting services and managed solutions for studios, agencies, broadcast networks, live event producers or any company with a need to produce customized video content from AE templates. Visit our author page to contact us if your team needs help to do the following:

  • Prepare an existing After Effects project file for compatibility with Templater
  • Optimize existing templates for efficient batch rendering
  • Integrate data from your existing source for use with Templater
  • Architect rendering farms for use with Templater
  • Distribute video content after performing versioning and rendering tasks


Compare Templater Editions

Templater Rig

Templater Rig gives you the tools to prepare an After Effects project file for dynamic content. Map data to your composition layers and preview how those layers change as information from the data source is processed. You are currently viewing the Templater Rig catalog page.

Templater Pro

Templater Pro extends Templater Rig by offering desktop automation, allowing you to render or replicate batches of versioned compositions using data from your data source.

Templater Bot

Templater Bot is an enterprise solution for custom video on demand. It works as an automated system. Use it to periodically check for incoming data, pull new data in, and render video as a background process. Or use the command line interface to push data in to create new renders. Once your AE project is prepared, use Bot to customize and render it without operating the After Effects user interface. Developers can create front end applications, such as web or mobile apps, that feed data into Templater’s data source, offering a collaborative, custom video content creation solution.

Templater Comparison Chart

Key Feature
Use a JSON-formatted text file as a data source
Use a Google Sheets document as a data source
Use a Tab-separated value file as a data source
Incorporate data from any web API into a data source
Easily swap out footage sources
Use cloud-based footage references in data source
Apply layout rules to layers
Apply timeline rules to layers
Store batch asset reference presets in project files
Preview compositions with data
Log Templater activity to file
Batch replicate compositions
Batch render compositions
Batch render with Adobe Media Encoder
Custom output naming
Switch AE projects within the data source
Run shell scripts while Templater processes
Command-line interface control
Version AE projects as a background process
Process extremely large data sources

Templater Screencasts


Data Mapping

Dynamic Color

Dynamic Footage

Using Project Presets

Handling Missing Footage


Layout Rules

Toggling Visibility

Attaching Layers

Chaining & Grouping

Animated Layers


Dynamic Slideshow

Time Cropping

Layer Shifting

Layer Trimming

Layer Stretching


Target Compositions¹

Batch Rendering¹

Batch Replication¹

Dynamic Timelines¹

Custom Naming¹


Automation with The Bot²

Command Line Interface²

Project File Switching¹

Logging Activity


Localizing Text

Twitter Feeds

Slideshow Photos

Swap 100 Photos

Animated End Tags

¹ Only available in Pro and Bot editions  |  ² Only available in Bot edition

After Effects 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, CC 2019, CC 2018, CC 2017, CC 2015.3, CC 2015, CC 2014, CC, CS6, CS5.5, CS5

3.1.1 –  Oct 20, 2022

Installers are now compatible with After Effects 2023

3.0.0 –  Apr 5, 2022

  • NEW FEATURE — Dataclay QUE Integration
    We are happy to introduce QUE! Moving forward QUE will be the primary and optimal data source for Templater. QUE exposes a REST API to leverage the full capabilities of Templater to produce dynamic videos. QUE frees you from the scalability constraints of traditional tabular data sources, such as spreadsheets, which become unwieldy as the volume and complexity of your video production needs grow. QUE supports security measures such as data-at-rest encryption as well as data masking for hiding personal and demographic data.An overview of QUE can be found at
    Read and study QUE’s API endpoints here:
    Learn more about using QUE with Templater here:
  • NEW FEATURE — Spot Checking
    Spot checking lets you export still images or short video clips of specific frames from target compositions to help assure the quality of merged data in a batch process. Use composition timeline markers to set which frames you want exported, otherwise Templater exports an evenly distributed number of frames from the target composition. Spot checking can be performed exclusively or together with render or replication tasks, and export data can be sent to event scripts. Use new properties in `templater-options.json` to invoke spot checking via the Command Line Interface.
  • NEW FEATURE — Use Expressions-based Layout Engines
    Users now have the option to turn off Templater’s auto-layout engine and Time Sculpting features. Doing this allows users to rely on layer expressions or other custom plugins to achieve dynamic layouts as Templater processes your data. For example, if Templater’s internal layout engine does not suit your needs, you can disable the Layout Engine in Templater’s preferences and author your dynamic layout using tools such as:
     mamoworld’s Pins & Boxes
    Zack Lovatt’s Flex
  • IMPROVEMENT — Optimized for AE’s Multi-Frame Rendering
    The Templater Settings effect is now “thread safe” making it optimized for AE’s Multi-Frame Rendering (MFR) feature released in 2022. Users should no longer see a yellow warning icon in the Effects Controls for Templater Settings.
  • IMPROVEMENT — Support for Google Shared Drives
    Users can now store Google Sheets in a Shared Drive, and Templater will be able to access those documents. Users no longer need to explicitly share the individual Sheets with Shared Drive members.
  • IMPROVEMENTS — Miscellaneous
    • License activation has improved messaging when it encounters an issue. Offline activation is now accomplished using the Templater panel.
    • You can now install Templater directly into After Effects Beta application folders on both macOS and Windows.
    • On Windows, utility executables are now signed with a digital certificate so that they pass anti-virus checks.
    • The {{off}} flag now mutes audio in addition to visually hiding a layer.
    • Added support for references to JPEG File Interchange Format (.JFIF) assets and Google WebP (.webp) formatted file assets.
    • Improved error messaging for missing output destination, missing footage root, and footage importing.

2.9.7 –  Oct 27, 2021

– Installer updated for AE 2022

2.9.6  –  Mar 17, 2021

+ Installers are compatible with After Effects 2021
Templater now installs to the correct directories for AE 2021+ Image sequence support for dynamic footage layers
Users can reference image sequences as source media for dynamic
footage layers. Enter the path to first file in the sequence
and prefix it with a hash symbol `#`. For example, if you have
a sequence at `/ads/anim_0000.png` relative to Templater’s
footage root, entering `#/ads/anim_0000.png` into your data
source lets Templater know it should import and replace it as
an image sequence. When Templater imports a sequence, it sets
the sequence’s frame rate to match the rate of the currently
mapped layer source.+ Improved network communication on Windows
On Windows, a new, flexible, and robust network communication
library is utilized when Templater makes requests. For most
users, this will not affect behavior, but for users with tight
security protocols, special privileges might need to be granted
to this library to communicate over the network.+ Included Output Module and Render Setting Templates
Templater installs two new files that assist in render setup.
The file `dataclay-output-modules.aom` contains AE Output
Module Templates and file `dataclay-render-settings.ars`
contains AE Render Settings Templates that are optimized for
Templater batch performance. Load these files using AE’s “Edit
> Templates…” dialogs. On macOS, find these files in
directory “/Applications/Dataclay”, and on Windows find them in
directory “C:\\Documents\Dataclay”.

+ Defaults for Output Module and Render Setting selection
Templater will use a default Output Module and Render Setting
Template upon clean installation to avoid errors initiating
batch processing workflows.

+ Specify a path for writing Templater’s log
In Templater’s Preferences dialog, within the “Advanced” group
of controls, users can now specify a path for where Templater
writes its log.

+ Improved messaging for license expiration and renewal date
Clicking the “License Info” button in Templater’s Preferences
now displays the date when the activated license will either
expire or renew.

+ Improved log messages for Templater requests to Google
To assist users with troubleshooting, the Templater log reports
more specificity regarding requests made to Google’s API.

+ Various bug fixes have been addressed
· The correct Windows and macOS version numbers are now
reported in the log.

· Fixed recurring license expiration issue when launching
Templater via its command line interface.

· Fixed Templater’s scaling logic for portrait, square, and
landscape footage sources in accordance to its containing

· Dynamic audio layers now ignore spatial layout properties.

· Fixed hard crash bug when using AE’s “Add to Adobe Media
Encoder Queue” menu command w

2.9.5   –  Mar 5, 2020

  • Critical upgrade to support new Google Sheets api. Any user who wishes to use Google Sheets as a data source they MUST upgrade to 2.9.5 no later than April 9, 2020.
  • A live data toggle preview setting — You can enable the live data toggle to request live data when generating previews, or you can disable it to use cached data and speed up the previewing process.
  • Default visual and audio placeholders — Templater points to these defaults within the preferences if you don’t specify a placeholder.
  • Search functionality for locating a Google Sheets data source — It’s now easier to specify a linked worksheet.
  • Status message and logging improvements — A variety of changes, tweaks, and additions to make status messages clearer and more accurate.
  • Bug Fix: CLI checking JSON freed with headers — An issue has been resolved when passing headers values to access a JSON endpoint via the CLI.
  • Bug Fix: Retrieve the correct row within range during preview — An issue has been resolved when iterating through previews and the Start and Finish range values change.

2.9.2  –  Dec 5, 2019

+ Installers compatible with After Effects CC 2020
+ Fixed a replication bug when `output` specifies sub folders
+ New preference for removing unused footage after each job
+ New ExtendScript methods to update layout and timeline
+ Google Sheets minimum polling frequency reduced to 0.3 mins
+ JSON minimum polling frequency reduced to 0.2 mins
+ Fixed a Time Sculpting bug related to nested compositions
+ Updated messaging in various parts of UI
+ Included new EULA for enterprise end-users

2.9.1 – Oct 15, 2019

  • Installer is macOS 10.15 Catalina compatible
  • Fixed bug when requesting license from server.

Dataclay Templater Rig, Pro & Bot Tutorials #gettingstarted

Watch these tutorials to learn how to use Templater 2 Rig, Pro and Bot to easily customize your After Effects videos with an elegant workflow.


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