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Workflower

Workflower
  

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Workflower

Missing Essentials for After Effects

Annoyed by messy After Effects comps? With Workflower, you can create layer groups within your comp, as well as use other workflow-enhancing tools, like adjustment layers to selected layers only, layer cloning, or matte merging.

If you have questions about Workflower, please read the F.A.Q. Also, you can check out the tutorials and/or the user guide.

Note for Mac Users:
There are some limitations on Mac compared to the Windows version. The main limitation is that you can only use a maximum of 20 shortcuts. Also, if you have shortcuts applied to other scripts, the number of shortcuts you can use for Workflower functions gets reduced as well. Read up here about the limitations on Mac. Please test out the trial first to see whether it works for you.

We’re all in a very unhealthy love-hate relationship with After Effects. We love it for how intuitive it is. We get a rush when building a beautiful shot. But then … there are precomps. And then … there are comps cluttered with too many f*cking layers. And … these GODDAMN different transforms of layers!

It could be so much simpler. Well, Workflower is here to help and it could be the perfect therapist for our relationship crisis with After Effects. But what can Workflower do for us?

Create Layer Groups

Yes, you heard right! Workflower lets you create groups of layers within your composition. Get ready to organize the hell out of your next project! But you can even do so much more than just creating groups:

  • Create Groups & Sub-Groups
  • Collapse & Expand Groups
  • Select & Move Groups
  • Parent Group Layers
  • Disable, Solo & Lock Groups
  • Relabel Groups
  • Duplicate Groups
  • Create Group Mattes
  • … and more!  Like ungrouping, dissolving, and deleting groups. Or creating a group adjustment layer.

Create Adjustment Layers Only to Selected Layers

Ever wondered why you can’t apply an adjustment layer only to certain layers? Well, me too. But wondering doesn’t apply an adjustment layer only to certain layers. Workflower does, on the other hand:

Apply Effects!

Workflower will create a layer, onto which you can apply your effects. It will then copy these effects with linked expressions to all previously selected layers.

Update!

If you add new effects, change the effects order, or link new layers to the adjustment layer, just hit Refresh to update all linked layers.

All linked up!

Visibility of effects is linked by expressions as well. Also, the adjustment layer’s opacity. Or its visibility, too. Magic! (Or just a simple expression. Probably rather the latter. I’m sad now. Say something nice to me.)

… and even more!

Use multiple adjustment layers. Convert properties of effects to comp size to account for different transforms of linked layers. Unlink all properties when you’re done working.

Clone & Precomp Layers

Well, what would cloning and precomping layers be good for, you ask. A shit-ton. You just don’t know it yet. What’s the most dreaded nightmare when working on a comp? Correct, getting stuff to comp dimensions, so that we can reference it by another layer – to build a lightwrap – or to displace our layers – or to create a matte from them. Or, or, or, … Our only option then: precomp ’em!

But what about the comp’s camera? Or the layers’ parents? Or other layers referenced by effects? Or expressions that reference the main comp but not the new precomp? And aside from that: Who likes constantly loosing layers from one’s composition and then having to dig through levels and levels of precomps just to find one layer?

Well, there might be some masochists out there. But for everyone else, there’s now: Clone & Precomp!

Clone ’em!

Clone & Precomp will copy all selected layers (or an entire group) to a precomp and link the layers with expressions to their source layers. Parents, camera, lights, and layers referenced by effects will be copied too!

Refresh Connections

If you change non-linkable stuff like adding effects, changing a parent or blending mode, or turning on motion blur, just hit Refresh to update the clone layers.

Prime Clones

In a Prime Clone, a special kind of clone, all contained source layers will be set to 0% opacity while their corresponding clone layers inherit the original opacity.
That way, you can apply effects to the precomp layer and then continue to work on the contained layers.
However, unlike working within a precomp, you will see the changes update including the effects on the precomp layer. Revolutionary! (Maybe not quite like French Revolution revolutionary. But almost.)
You can show the actual layers again, too, by executing Show Clone Layers.

Unlink it!

When you’re done working on your Precomp Clone, you can unlink all layers. That will remove the expressions and make your After Effects lightning fast! (Well, okay, so just as fast as your regular layers would be. So maybe like medium lightning speed then.)

… and mooooooore!

Like expression-linked visibility of layers and effects. Or Clones IN Comp (not Precomp ones) that require less refreshing. Or Custom States for Precomp Clone layers. Or Custom Sizes for Precomp Clones. Or other refreshing modes (even quicker ones).

Create & Merge Mattes

Matting can be quite confusing. The track matte works great. But what if you want to use multiple mattes at once? Or you want to use a matte layer that cannot sit directly above your layer? Well, there’s the Set Matte effect. But what about layers with other transforms? Or ones without Collapse Transformation? Ugh … It’s annoying. That’s why Workflower provides different tools for matting:

Create

Now you can quickly create an empty track matte to the selected layer. Or create a matte to multiple layers at once. Neat.

Merge

Merge Mattes will merge several mattes on one track matte. For layers that neither have comp dimensions nor Collapse Transformation enabled, a Precomp Clone will be created – that way they will be fit to comp size and transforms are set correctly!! (Mind = Blown.)

Work Quickly with Shortcuts

Workflower has been designed to be used with shortcuts, so you can work as quickly as possible. Shortcuts can be applied to all 40 (!) functions.

 

 

 

After Effects 2022, 2021, 2020, CC 2019, CC 2018

 

It works on Windows and Mac. On Mac, though, there are a few limitations.

Be aware that the Mac version has a few limitations compared to the Windows version:

  • You can only set a maximum of 20 shortcuts. Also, if you choose to use the maximum number of shortcuts, you can’t use shortcuts on any other script. Reduce the number of Workflower shortcuts to be able to set shortcuts on other scripts. On Windows, on the other hand, you can set as many shortcuts as you want and it won’t compromise on the number of shortcuts you’re able to set for other scripts.

  • You cannot use certain characters in your layer names anymore. Read up here for more information.

  • It hasn’t been tested as thoroughly as the Windows version, so you may encounter some bugs as of now.

  • When pressing modifier keys on the Main Menu, no new icons will be revealed. (Executing the functions will work without a problem, though.)

  • The renaming panel has slightly less functionality (see Known Bugs).

 

Constantin Maier Workflower Tutorials #gettingstarted

Here are 6 tutorials covering all the core functions of Workflower.  You don't need to watch all tutorials to get started! Simply choose what you're interested in. 

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