Setup & Rigs

๐Ÿ›  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

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 ๐Ÿงน

  • 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;

Text layer as a check

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

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