For the past few months, I’ve been messing around with Adobe’s ExtendedScript Toolkit, learning the basics of writing After Effects scripts and such. Due to the fact that I have very little programming experience aside from HTML and CSS, understanding how JavaScript worked was a little tricky. After studying the After Effects Scripting Guide and Lloyd Alvarez’s ‘Introduction to After Effects Scripting’ course on fxphd, I decided to build my own simple script: InstaFilm.

I found myself constantly drawing letterboxes, adding grain, and applying the same effects over and over again for rough color correction and grading. This was a perfect time for me to practice what I’ve learned.

Now this script was first created without a user-interface, meaning you had to run it through the ‘Run Script’ command and it created all the layers at once with no control. This was fine with me, but I found myself sometimes using the “Grain” in Magic Bullet Looks instead. The original script needed a GUI, so I built a basic interface for it. This is InstaFilm Script v1.0, a basic tool for quickly applying stuff I need.

What Does It Do?

InstaFilm creates a quick letterboxing layer using a black solid and a mask. Simply choose your composition size and it’ll draw the right letterbox for your comp size. This beats manually drawing one each time that may be uneven or copying/pasting it. Pressing the ‘CC’ button will create a new Adjustment Layer and apply: Magic Bullet Looks, Curves, Levels, and Tint. These are the 4 most common effects I use to color correct and color grade my shots. Lastly, gradient color banding is an issue, so a quick button for adding a subtle Grain effect does great wonders. It smoothes out color banding and makes your motion graphics look a bit less digital and sharp.

It’s important to note that this script was built entirely on my needs, so don’t be surprised if it isn’t really useful to you. I will be adding more features and hopefully more advanced options in the future, but this is it for version 1.0 until I learn more scripting. So many of you guys were interested in it and wanted me to release it after trying the beta, so here it is:

Download InstaFilm Script v1.0

NOTE: The InstaFilm Script is now part of the Dojo Toolkit Script, which is free to download.

Place the InstaFilm.jsxbin file into your ‘ScriptUI Panels’ folder in your ‘Scripts’ folder. You can find those folders in your After Effects directory. The ‘CC’ option will not work if you do not have Magic Bullet Looks.

Although this script wasn’t built for public use and application, if you guys have some cool ideas for new features, let me know and I’ll try to add them! This script is all about saving time, what effects do you apply the most?