rd: Render Layers

This script renders each of the selected layers separately. You might find this script useful if layers represent different versions of an effect or different parts of an effect that you want to render as separate “passes” for flexibility in how they get composited.

Rendering uses existing render settings and output module template, so be sure to create them beforehand. When you run this script, you can select the templates to use; select the range of frames for each selected layer to render; control if unselected, adjustment, active camera, and light layers should be rendered as well; and define the name for each rendered output. Each rendered layer will generate separate “render finished” sounds.

The Output Name Template can be defined with the same properties available in the File Name Templates dialog box, with the following additions:

  • [layerName] — Current layer’s name
  • [layerNumber] — Current layer’s index number

Note: If you select an output template that uses a single-image format (such as Photoshop), be sure to include the [#####] property in the Output Name Template.

Note: If the layer is completely outside of the composition time range, the layer will not be rendered. However, if you select a range of Work Area and the layer is outside of the composition’s work area, the layer will still be rendered.

Note: This version of the script requires After Effects CS5 or later. It can be used as a dockable panel by placing the script in a ScriptUI Panels subfolder of the Scripts folder, and then choosing this script from the Window menu.

Enhancements requested by Gary Jaeger and James Tobias.

rd: Render Layers

revision history

v3.11-jul-2013Enabled Queue Only mode for Layer In/Out Range.
v3.011-may-2013Updated minimum version to CS5, added small UI tweaks for CC, and cleaned up some code.
v2.220-may-2012Fixed the Queue Only option.
v2.114-apr-2008Added Queue Only button (for Work Area mode only), per request of James Tobias.
v2.012-aug-2007Requires AE CS3. Can work as a dockable panel or a palette.
v1.017-jan-2006Initial release. Use for AE 7.0.