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Frequently Asked Questions

If you can’t find the answer to your question, you can submit a support ticket to us.

General Questions

We of course agree that Templater adds significant value to Adobe After Effects (AE). However, at this time the best way for us to serve our customers is to offer Templater as an independent product because that allows us to be more nimble. We can continue to innovate useful functionality outside the constraints of Adobe’s product roadmap and to provide our customers with responsive, personalized support.

Yes, you really can. There are two ways to do it: in a queue or in parallel. Templater is pretty smart. It will break down a huge workload into manageable batches, “queuing up” jobs sequentially such that it does not overload your system’s ability to render so many videos. Alternatively, you can have multiple machines running Templater Bot in parallel. This divides the workload across machines, allowing you to produce more videos per hour. Either way, Templater will not let you down in the face of this challenge.

Rendering time for a batch of videos depends on a variety of factors, such as the average length of the videos in the batch, output resolution, performance of your hardware, the ratio of dynamic to static frames, how processor-intensive the effects you’re applying are, and how you construct the template.

To estimate how long it will take to render a particular batch of videos, we recommend you do a pre-flight: render a single video (or a small batch) on a local machine that is comparable to the machine you will use for production. That one video should be similar to the others in the batch. Then multiply how long it takes to render one video by the total number of videos in your batch. If you will render the videos sequentially (in a queue), that will give you a fair estimate.

You can accelerate the process by rendering videos in parallel across multiple machines running Templater Bot. In that case, the total production time will be cut in half if running two machines, cut in third if running three machines, and so on.

Yes, you can use Adobe Media Encoder to support output format codecs not included with Adobe After Effects. It is as easy as checking a box to use Templater’s Replicate function instead of its Render function. “Replicate” takes your project file, inserts the data, and saves a copy of that project file to your machine. That copy can then be processed by Adobe Media Encoder.

Unfortunately, no, not directly. You must first export the Excel data to a tab-delimited file.

Purchasing Templater

We priced Templater based on the value we believe it provides. Templater saves video creators countless hours of time when producing batches of customized videos. Those hours would be better spent on higher-value-added design and production tasks–or with friends and family. We suggest you consider what an hour of your time is worth and evaluate Templater pricing in that light.

Yes, and in fact we encourage you to do so to ensure Templater meets your needs. Learn more about our 30-day free trial.

See this nifty Templater Edition comparison chart. It might help to summarize it this way: Rig is for an artist to set up a project, whereas Pro and Bot add automation features. Keep in mind that different people in your organization may need different Editions. If you are still not sure which Edition is right for you, or if you have an unusual project or a special need and are not sure how best to tackle it, please contact us.

The best way for you to determine whether Templater will meet your needs is to evaluate it with our 30-day free trial. The trial gives you a fully-featured version of Templater Bot. If you purchase a license thereafter and realize, for whatever reason, that Templater will not work for you, contact us for a refund within 30 days.

Dataclay offers responsive support to all Templater users, free of charge. Clients who want the piece of mind that comes with more comprehensive support offerings should purchase one of our premium support packages.

Not at this time. We designed Templater Bot to be flexible and we provide ample documentation so that developers can easily build whatever front-end interfaces or applications they need with Templater as the back-end. If you do not have the staff resources or skills to build front-end interfaces, Dataclay can help.

Installing, Activating, and Configuring Templater

Yes, you can run Templater on one or more Windows Server machines in a cloud environment such as Amazon Web Services. This enables you to scale your production capacity beyond the technical limitations of your desktop hardware. No special license is required from Dataclay to do this. However, Templater requires Adobe After Effects also to be installed and running in the cloud environment, and Adobe’s standard End User License Agreement does not permit After Effects to be installed on a server. Please contact Adobe to obtain the appropriate license (note: you will have to speak to an Adobe salesperson to do this).

No, Templater can only map data to a single worksheet. More generally, Templater can only pull data from a single data source, whether it is a Google Sheet, JSON file, a tab-delimited file, or other file or data format.

Using Templater

Unfortunately, no: a single text layer must use the same font, size, weight and style. One text layer cannot, for instance, include some words in bold and some in italics. Though not ideal, a partial workaround is to use the layer Attachment properties– position text layers adjacent to each other and give each layer its own attributes.

You can write a script to automatically upload your videos to a streaming provider once they are rendered. We also have deployment script resources available on our GitHub repository. Note that scripts can do more than upload files. For example, you can write a script to return the URL of the video back to the data source once it is uploaded. This allows email marketers to embed the appropriate URLs of videos into email campaigns. You could also write a script to send you an SMS or email message when a video is successfully uploaded. If you need help writing scripts, Dataclay can help.

Our GitHub repository includes sample scripts and documentation for Windows, Mac, and Node.js.

Download a launcher script and follow the instructions on this GitHub page.

Common Error Messages and Problems

Be sure that you are using the most current version of the Templater installer. The latest Templater installer offers the option of selecting a different installation directory if Adobe After Effects is not installed in its default directory.

The most common culprits of this error:

  • If you purchased a one-month license, your license may have expired. Contact Dataclay.
  • Your machine may not have Internet connectivity, which is required for activation. Contact Dataclay for an offline activation workaround.
  • If you purchased Templater from a reseller prior to version 2.5, you may have a now out-of-date license key. The latest release of Templater only recognizes newer keys. Contact your reseller to obtain a new key at no cost to you.

If none of these situations pertain to you, please submit a trouble ticket.

We attempted to address this issue with some UI changes to the Templater panel in version 2.9.0, but if you’re on an earlier version, this issue is common when first starting out. On the Render Options screen in Templater, you must specify a valid range of rows in your data source that contain the data you wish to incorporate in your videos. This error indicates a problem with the range: either it has not been specified, the range includes unusable or blank information, or that the upper or lower limits of the range do not exist. For example, a spreadsheet might contain a header row (row 1). Because the data you want to use does not begin until row 2, the range should begin at 2, not 1. If you get this error, double-check what is entered in the “Render row” fields.

This error indicates that After Effects did not find one or more assets or footage or font dependencies in their specified location. This may be because files were inadvertently moved or deleted.

This error appears when you use Bot’s CLI to monitor a data source but After Effects is not running in the foreground. The solution is to add a -ui argument when launching Bot.

The “Render” and “Replicate” functions are only available in Templater Pro. “Enable Bot” is only available in Templater Bot. None of these functions are available in Templater Rig. This is sometimes a surprise to our customers if they took advantage of our free trial, which is a trial of all of Templater’s features, including those exclusive to Templater Bot. If after the trial you decided to purchase and then activate Templater Rig, these functions will not be available. If you need those functions, you can upgrade your license.

The most likely cause is that the arguments are not being sent correctly. See these articles on Troubleshooting Event Scripts and Troubleshooting Templater.