The basics

The Storyteq After Effects extension allows you to create a dynamic video template from your existing After Effects project. To do this, you will have to run through several steps which will be explained by the extension as you go. Below you will see a rough outline of the steps you need to follow, although they can mostly be done in the order you prefer:

1. Define your timeline. You will need to tell the extension which scenes you will be using. If you have a linear video, with only one timeline, you can simply select your composition and tell the extension that this is your timeline. If you have modular scenes, scenes that can be swapped out, then you can select your most complete composition, and add your alternative scenes where needed. 

Note that scenes in the timeline must be stand-alone compositions - If your scene is made up of several layers, precompose that scene first so in the timeline it is seen as one composition. We will be turning complete compositions on or off depending on your input. The extension will notify you if it detects something other than compositions.

2. Define your dynamic elements. The extension will now ask you to identify all dynamic elements in your project. You can simply select those layers and hit the “Add” button in the extension. This tells the extension that layer is important, and will allow you to enable dynamic logic on that layer.

3. Define dynamic rules and parameters. The next step is closely tied to the previous. When you select a layer as a dynamic element - say, a text layer, the next step is to tell that text layer which “parameter” it should listen to, and what behaviour it should display when that parameter changes. If you want the text layer to reflect someone’s first name, it would be wise to connect the textual content of that layer to a parameter called “first_name”. If you want that layer to also be visible depending on the gender of the viewer, you may want to connect the opacity of that layer to a parameter called “gender”. The extension will then allow you to tell it when it should be visible or not - so for example, if you hook it up to gender’s value “male”, it will only be visible if the parameter “gender” is equal to “male”.

4. Define your project settings. This section will ask you what general settings it should use for your project. General settings determine what kind of poster-image or gif the project has, or how the audio is configured. By default, we use the audio from your project of course, but this section enables you to add background music - which becomes harder to use from your scenes if those scenes can be moved around and modules can have different lengths.

5. Finalize the project. The extension will finalize the AE files for you. It still needs user input on where to store its generated files, and you will manually have to move the created “Storyteq” folder to that location and add any used fonts to that location as well in a subfolder called “fonts”

6. Upload. The final step is to upload your complete package. Our systems will check your files, and if no issues are detected deploy your project to our render farm. You will have the opportunity to run some tests in a testing environment before it is deployed on the main platform to make sure everything works and remove any possible complications.

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