Setup & Rigs

🛠 Toolkit or rigs setup Best Practices

Objective: Make the toolkit as fool-proof as possible by using proper naming conventions, labeling compositions & layers, write my a readme instructions, making a video tutorial, and master properties arrangement. Fool-proof = intuitive , simplicity, coherent.
Give enough user controls that effectively does the job and not confuse or overwhelm users. AKA "less is more"

Naming conventions

  • use camelCase and underscore (no spaces) for comp or layer names
  • File structure: _demo, builds, elements
  • for rig compositions, rename to build_num eg. build_4
  • in the comments, you can write a brief description of what the rig do

Labeling of layers and compositions

  • green label - for compositions / layers that users should modify or use
  • blue label - secondary stuff for your own development purposes or for users to troubleshoot or their own
  • gray label for anything that the user should not touch
"readme" sample from plant rigs

Writing a user guide or readme

  • in a composition, write a description of what your rig does and instructions on how to use it
  • this should be the first composition user see when they open the AEP

Cleaning the project file before delivery 🧹

  • be sure to remove any unused assets that may otherwise confuse the users by using Reduce Project or Collect Project Files
  • close all compositions that will not be use, open all compositions that will be used

Other good practice

  • render animated elements used (eg. textures)
  • create demos or samples of what your toolkit can do to let users know the extent of your setup
  • avoid 3rd-party plugins that would be difficult for user to acquire

Essential Graphics

  • Create two groups: design and motion
  • the design controls should change the stylization or look; there should not be any keyframes
  • as for motion, anything that effects a movement for the rig will go here eg. wiggle sliders, duration,

For users

  • communicate bugs or error report

For Leads checking toolkits

  • test if all controls work and Master Properties are nested in the composition
  • making it simpler to use and lighter to render; keep in mind that users may not be as proficient in AE or expressions. It is
  • naming convention

Spriting / multi-image texturing

Using string matching

// timeRemapping
var src = thisLayer.source;
var txt = thisComp.layer("file").text.sourceText.toLowerCase();
// loop match
for (i = 1; i < src.numLayers; i++) {
if (src.layer(i).name.toLowerCase().match(txt)) {
myLayer = src.layer(i);
} else {
9999 // catch error
inP = myLayer.inPoint;
outP = myLayer.outPoint-framesToTime(0);
dur = outP - inP;
// Slidercontrol
myComp = thisLayer.source;
ext = ""//.png
txt = thisComp.layer("lastName").text.sourceText.toLowerCase();
// loop match
for (i = 1; i < myComp.numLayers; i++) {
if (myComp.layer(i).name.toLowerCase().match(txt)) {
i-1 // -1 as time starts from 0 ;
} else {
100 // catch error

Text layer as a check

t = timeToFrames(time);
t = clamp(t,1,index-1);