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v1.x LayerMonkey for After Effects

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LayerMonkey for After Effects


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Ebberts & Zucker LayerMonkey for After Effects

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Arranges and Auto-Animates Your Comp's Layers in Time and Space

LayerMonkey is a versatile script for After Effects that arranges and animates your comp’s layers in time and space. It also creates a parented camera and generates a master control layer that makes timing and global adjustments a piece of cake. Now stills, videos and pre-comps can be used as kinetic elements in a complex monkey-generated composition with a simple push of a button.


Key features

  • Creates randomized complex kinetic layouts using layers in your comp based on parameters entered into the control panel.
  • Features 3 different algorithms with a Justify option.
  • Works with stills, video, pre-comps, shapes, solids, text, eps and pretty much any other type of layer AE accepts.
  • Multiple controls for handling time-based layers.
  • Variable layer order options.
  • Keyframe-less timeline makes changes to timing as simple as sliding a marker.
  • Creates a parented camera that points to each successive layer as it transitions on.
  • Distributes markers across the timeline in 3 different ways.
  • Exludes non- image based layers in comp such as nulls, cameras, audio and adjustments.
  • Manual adjustments are easily made to size, position, rotation and opacity.
  • Features a wide range of type transitions randomly selected by default, but can be specified as well.
  • Marker Sync feature allows for push button alignment with preexisting marker layers, making syncing to music a breeze.
  • Allows for different interpolation for camera movement, auto rotate and auto frame.
  • Automatically builds and cleans to facilitate easy experimentation.
  • Palette controls makes colorizing layers very easy.
  • Supports motion blur, lock & shy, and preset Load and Save.

LayerMonkey vs TypeMonkey

So whats the difference? The main difference is that TypeMonkey is custom built as a kinetic type generator. It’s a workhorse. All you need to do is enter your text into the text box and click build. It also allows you to switch between multiple layouts with a few simple key commands.

LayerMonkey can achieve similar results with text when using layered Illustrator files, but all those layers need to be prepared manually. For longer pieces that’s going to be a lot of work. However, if you want to use multiple fonts, LayerMonkey is the way to go because with TypeMonkey, those changes will need to be done manually. And then theres the whole image part that LayerMonkey does that TypeMonkey is not equipped to do.

So which is better? Neither- they’re different. LayerMonkey is more flexible but requires more setup and TypeMonkey is fast and easy but more limited. You just need to pick the right simian for the job.

What’s New:

  • Added Kuler file support.
  • Allow processing of null layers.
  • Eliminated potential crash scenarios.

Whats the difference between Monkeys?

TypeMonkey has a unique algorithm that simulates a “2D staircase” design that is popular in kinetic typography. Our best selling product.

CircusMonkey creates and animates type. It specializes in complex 3D text layouts using 7 different algorithms that can be adjusted via effects controls after the build.

LayerMonkey uses the same layout algorithm as TypeMonkey, but it works with any type of layer – video, pre-comps, graphics, whatever. However, it won’t generate text like CircusMonkey or TypeMonkey. Text has to be prepared manually in Illustrator, Photoshop.

MotionMonkey is a whole other animal. It has a much more complex and versatile animation system then the others, but it doesn’t create a layout, text or generate an animated camera like the others. It’s ideal for layered artwork where the layout has already been designed.

MonkeyCam Pro Is a more powerful version of the camera thats included in most of the others. Its a standalone product but can also be used in conjuntion with any of the other monkeys.

MonkeyBars specializes in creating text box animations, the kind used in viral videos, info graphics, lower third supers, and subtitles. Great if you do high volume work.

ShapeMonkey is a fast and intuitive way to automatically create shape-based animations in After Effects.


Which is best? Well, that depends on your project. All the Monkeys are designed for everyone from a beginner to an experienced professional in mind. They’re powerful, dependable and intuitive with a very small learning curve. The easiest way to tell which is right for your project is to download the trial versions and play with them.

For Adobe After Effects 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, CC 2019, CC 2018, CC 2017, CC 2015.3, CC 2015, CC 2014

1.14  –  Oct 21, 2022

update licensing framework

1.13  –  Aug 18, 2022

update licensing framework

1.12  –  Apr 27, 2022

update licensing framework

1.11  –  Jan 23, 2022

update licensing framework

1.10  –  Nov 1, 2019

updated licensing framework

1.09 –  Aug 31, 2019

updated to support macOS 10.15 Catalina

1.08  –  Nov 5, 2018

Correct error in trial version logic

1.07  –  Oct 15, 2018

Update expressions for AE’s new JavaScript engine.
Update licensing framework.

1.06  –  Mar 24, 2016

Add new serialization code.
Fix randomization issue with newer versions of AE.

1.05  –  Mar 18, 2015

Fixed problem with 3D source files.

1.04  –  Aug 18, 2014

Fixed scaling bug for layers with non-square pixels

1.03  –  Apr 20, 2014

Added Kuler file support.
Allow processing of null layers.
Eliminated potential crash scenarios.

Ebberts + Zucker LayerMonkey Tutorial #gettingstarted

Learn how to use LayerMonkey for After Effects to arrange and animate your comp's layers in time and space. It also creates a camera and generates a master control layer that makes timing and global adjustments a piece of cake.


Combining LayerMonkey and TypeMonkey

By Orrin Zucker: "This tutorial shows how to use both LayerMonkey and TypeMonkey together."


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