This-n-that – a selection tool

I’m doing a couple of month’s intensive After Effects work at the moment and I’m making tools to help the process. It’s a bit like making jigs for woodwork – a little time spent on a jig makes the whole process much easier later on.

So here’s a little jig that helps with the sometimes tedious task of selecting layers. I often work with comps that have hundreds or even thousands of layers (I wish AE could do instancing like 3D apps do) and even just scrolling to the bottom of the timeline window can take ages, so the job of selecting say, every third layer can fill up an afternoon.

This script lets you select / deselect layers with the option to skip any number of layers, starting from an optional layer, or use the logic to create more complex patterns:

  • set: override the current selection,
  • and: select/deselect only from selected layers,
  • or: add to any selected layers
  • xor: invert – select any non selected layers and deselect any selected ones

Install as you would any other After Effects script:
On a PC move to the After Effects folder in the ScriptUI Panels subfolder. That’s usually  C:\Program Files\Adobe AfterEffects <version>\Support files\scripts\ScriptUI Panels\
On a Mac it’s in the After Effects Folder in the subfolder /Applications/Adobe AfterEffects <version>/scripts/ScriptUI Panels/.


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