Once in the studio where I worked, we needed a script that converts Solid Layers (helpers from 3Ds Max) to Null Objects for Trapcode Particular. Unfortunately, we didn't find anything like that on the Internet. I decided to learn how to write scripts to make this tool. From motion designer who loves Expressions I became a script writer. That escalated quickly. ; )
In the process of writing, I improved this script and added the ability to automatically converts selected layers also to Point Lights. The minimalist design makes use of the script as simple as possible. Just one click is needed.
In a nutshell:
• Works with all types of layers.
• Converts multiple layers at once.
• Works with 2D and 3D layers.
• Copies every type of keyframe.
• Converts selected layers to Null objects or Point Lights.
• Copies rotation, position and orientation (from 3D layer) of selected layers.
• Changes Light's name to "Emitter #(index number)".
• Brings back the layer order.
Point Lights are prepared for Trapcode Particular. Each Light’s name will be changed to "Emitter" with a suffix from the index number.
Script is also perfect for Plexus. You can replace every type of a layer to Null Object or Light for adding a geometry.
You can download this script for free at aescripts + aeplugins website which is the most popular marketplace with scripts for Adobe After Effects. The trial version is 7 days and is limited to a maximum of 2 layers. The licensed version does not have any limitations and costs only $5. Just think how much time will you save just for a fiver!
Download the Layer Converter ZIP file and unzip it to your local drive. File called Layer Converter.jsxbin copy into the following directory:
Adobe\Adobe After Effects*\Support Files\Scripts\ScriptUI Panels
Applications/Adobe After Effects*/Scripts/Script UI Panels
*your version of Adobe After Effects
Open the After Effects preferences (Edit > Preferences > General) and check that "Allow Scripts to Write Files and Access Network" is enabled.
In Window menu at the bottom should be a Layer Converter script. When you select this item, a new panel should appear. You can dock it with some other panels, whenever is convenient.
1. Run the script.
2. Select one or more layers you want to convert.
3. Hit the button "Layer to Null" or "Layer to Light".
4. That's it, have fun!