v1.75 pt_OpenSesame



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Backwards Compatible Projects and Spreadsheet Editing

OpenSesame opens up the After Effects project format with a fully editable, human readable text file format. Create backwards compatible projects that open in any version back to CS3, or export parts of a project for spreadsheet editing, such as text, footage, property values and render queue items. Send text to clients for approval then easily incorporate revisions, or use for version automation.


OpenSesame opens up the After Effects project format, using a fully editable, human-readable text based format.

Create backwards compatible projects that open in any version of After Effects back to CS3, or just export parts of a project for editing in a text editor or spreadsheet. Export all the text in your project and create multiple language versions, or send to clients for final text approval, then easily incorporate any changes. You can also use it to change footage, property values, render queue items and more, making version automation very easy.

OpenSesame text files can also be used with a separate script called OpenSesame Server to create fully automated project versioning and rendering workflows.


Spreadsheet Editing

OpenSesame allows you to change or version anything in your project through human-readable spreadsheets that can be updated by anyone (including a web-app).


  1. Run OpenSesame, check ‘Export Editable Values’ and click ‘Show Edit List’. Use the Edit List to add the parts of the project you want to export for editing. For example, click ‘All Text’ to add all the text layers in your project. Choose whether to export just the text or also text styles from the options at the bottom.
  2. Click ‘Export Project’. You’ll be asked to save your project file and a text values file will be created along with it.
  3. Open the text file in either a text editor or spreadsheet app like Excel and edit as required. Once completed, save the file in the same format. Save as many versions as you like, the naming of the text file is not important.
  4. Click ‘Import Project’ button and select the text file containing the changes you want to import.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Some parts of projects can’t be exported due to scripting limitations. The following features aren’t currently supported:

  • Paint, Rotobrush and Puppet Pin effects.
  • Text style support is CS4+ only and doesn’t include features like kerning, vertical and paragraph text, or multiple text styles on one layer.
  • Proxies.
  • Custom data values. Effect properties with custom data values can’t be exported, such as the Levels Histogram and the Hue/Saturation effect. In these cases you could use the Levels (Individual Controls) and Color Balance (HLS) effects instead.

Helper Script Support

New in version 1.6: Use helper scripts to extend OpenSesame’s functionality in all kinds of ways, or to make changes that would otherwise be difficult to accomplish just by altering the text values file. You can run as many helper scripts as you like, and choose whether they run before or after any renders are completed. This feature is primarily intended for OpenSesame Server’s fully automated project versioning and rendering workflow, and is included in OpenSesame so you can test helper scripts with your project templates before deploying to OpenSesame Server, but regular OpenSesame users may find it useful too.


Backward Compatibility


Because OpenSesame saves your project to a human-readable text file, this file can be used to open your project in a previous version of After Effects. OpenSesame supports CS3 through CC2014 so you can go between any of those versions. (some restrictions apply, see below).


  1. Open the project you want to convert, run OpenSesame and click Export Project. If you don’t have the version of After Effects required to open the project you should get someone else to do this first step, such as the person that created the project. They can use the trial version of OpenSesame for this.
  2. Launch your earlier version of After Effects (CS3 or later) and run OpenSesame. Click Import Project, then choose the previously exported text file.

pt_OpenSesame User Guide

After Effects CC 2020, CC 2019, CC 2018, CC 2017, CC 2015.3, CC 2015, CC 2014, CC, CS6, CS5.5, CS5, CS4, CS3

1.75  (Current version)  –  Dec 5, 2019

Compatibility with macOS Catalina