Frequently Asked Questions

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Templater is awesome! Why is it not included with Adobe After Effects?

We agree that Templater adds significant value to Adobe After Effects. 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.

Can I really create hundreds of thousands of videos with Templater?

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 massive workload into manageable batches, “queuing up” jobs sequentially to not overload your system’s ability to render so many videos. Alternatively, you can have multiple machines running Templater Bot in parallel. Doing this divides the workload across devices, allowing you to produce more videos per hour. Either way, Templater will not let you down in the face of this sort of challenge.

How long will it take for Templater to render a batch of videos?

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 doing a pre-flight. Render a single video (or a small batch) on a local machine comparable to the device you will use for production. That one video should be similar to the others in the production set. Then, multiply how long it takes to render one video by the total number of videos in your batch. If you 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.

Can I use the Adobe Media Encoder with Templater?

You can use Adobe Media Encoder to support output format codecs not included with Adobe After Effects. It’s 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. Adobe Media Encoder can then be used to process that copy.

Can I read data directly from an Excel spreadsheet?

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

Can I try out Templater before deciding to purchase a license?

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

Which edition of Templater do I need for my purposes?

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, Pro allows you to process batches of jobs, and Bot lets you fully-automate the workflow. Keep in mind that different people in your organization may need different Templater Editions. If you are still not sure which Edition is right for you, or if you have an unusual project or a particular need and are not sure how best to tackle it, please contact us.

Templater seems expensive relative to Adobe After Effects. What’s up?

Since Templater saves video creators countless hours when producing batches of customized videos, we priced Templater based on the value we think it provides and the costs of continued feature development, ongoing maintenance to ensure version compatibility and amazingly responsive and knowledgeable support.

What’s the difference between the Standard and Floating License versions of Templater?

The Standard License version of Templater is activated and used on one machine at a time and needs to be deactivated to be used on another system. A Floating License can be used by any number of devices on a network connected to a licensing server. The license can only be used by one system at a time, but once the user has completed their work with Templater, the system will “release” the license for use on another computer. This means that any number of workstations can share a single license as long as they are on the same network as the licensing server. However, only one system can use the license at any one time. More information on setting up and using a licensing server can be found on this page.

Do you offer premium support services for clients running mission-critical applications?

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

Does Templater come with a front-end, web, or mobile application out-of-the-box?

Not at this time. We designed Templater Bot to be flexible. For that reason, we provide ample documentation so that developers can quickly 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.

Do you have a purchase guarantee or a refund policy?

The best way 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 after that and realize, for whatever reason, that Templater will not work for you, contact us for a refund within 30 days.

Can I manage my Templater License without access to the machine to which it's installed?

Yes. If you create an account on the Dataclay Website using the same email address that was used to purchase Templater, you can log in and manage your license remotely. From there, you can deactivate the license, freeing it up for use on another system.

How can I activate Templater on a system that does not have internet access?

Templater can be activated on a system with restricted or no internet access using our Offline Activation process. It should be possible to generate an XML file for Offline Activation by clicking the ‘Register’ link in the Templater Settings Effects Control panel. This file can be activated in the Licenses and Billing section of the Dataclay Website. Further information about Offline Activation can be found here.

Can I install Templater and Adobe After Effects on a virtual machine in the cloud?

Yes. You can run Templater on one or more Windows Server machines in a cloud environment such as Amazon Web Services. Doing so 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 to be installed and running in the cloud environment. 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 need to speak to an Adobe salesperson to do this).

Can I connect Templater to more than one worksheet (tab) within a Google Sheet?

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.

Can I mark up text data so a single text layer can display words with mixed fonts, sizes, weights, or styles?

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.

How do I automatically send my video output to a streaming provider?

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 to the data source once it is uploaded. This function would allow email marketers to embed the appropriate URLs of their videos into email campaigns. You could also write a script to send you an email or SMS message when a video is successfully uploaded. If you need help writing scripts, Dataclay can help.

We’re also in development of Projector, a new app to bridge the gap and allow you to render, transcode, and upload directly to streaming providers. Stay tuned for more info on that.

Do you have any examples of event scripts?

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

How do I get started with Templater Bot’s command-line interface?

Download a launcher script and follow the instructions on this GitHub page. Additional information can be obtained on our support website.

Why won’t the Templater installer work for my machine or version of After Effects?

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 installed somewhere other than the default directory.

Also, due to changes in Adobe’s API, there are different versions of Templater based on the version of After Effects you’re using. If you’re using AE 2020 or earlier, make sure to use the Legacy installer for Templater.

Why won’t Templater activate after installation?

To activate, Templater needs to communicate with a licensing server to verify the current status of the key. Antivirus and firewall software can sometimes block these activation requests. If there is a communication issue, we recommend temporarily disabling any such software in order to allow Templater to activate. It might also be necessary to run Adobe After Effects as an administrator on Windows systems to facilitate clear communication with the licensing server.

Why do I get an error when I try to activate Templater even though I correctly entered my license code?

The most common culprits of this error:

  • If you purchased a one-month license, your license might 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 might 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.

When running Templater Bot, "An error with code [ 3 ] occurred when requesting information from Google: ScriptError" is displayed. What gives?

This error message occurs when a value needed to run Templater Bot cannot be located in the data source. The most common cause for this error is that there is no column in the Google Sheet or data source with the render-status label. Templater Bot reads the render-status column to determine whether or not to render a given data set. This issue can also occur if a Bot Name is set in Templater’s Preferences, but no column with the header bot exists in the Google Sheet or data source.

Why do After Effects render queue items fail with the error message, “Failed at N/A?”

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

Why do I get the error “Unable to find a Window Constructor?” when I use Templater Bot’s command-line interface (CLI)?

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.

Why are the “Render,” “Replicate,” and “Enable Bot” buttons disabled?

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 functionality is sometimes a surprise to our customers if they took advantage of our free trial, which includes all of Templater’s features, even those exclusive to Templater Bot. If, after the trial period, 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.

Why can’t I save my Preferences after updating Templater to the latest version?

After upgrading to the latest version of Templater, it may be necessary to reset your After Effects Preferences in order to save any changes to your project. If you see an error message that reads: “Templater Bot can queue a max of 20 jobs at any given time. Please adjust and try again” try following these instructions to reset your After Effects Preferences. This reset should eliminate the error message and allow changes to be successfully saved.

Why does my registered event script fail to read argument values?

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

Can QUE load balance jobs between two or more satellites?

QUE does not offer load balancing of jobs at this time. You can manually assign jobs to specific satellites, but you will need to verify all required assets and resources (including fonts and plugins) are installed and/or available on any satellite to which you assign a job.

Can I use Google Sheets and QUE simultaneously with Templater?

Yes, but you will need to set QUE as the Templater data source and then integrate Google Sheet either directly via the QUE API, or using QUE’s built-in integration with Zapier.

Can I process more than 50 jobs with the free QUE trial?

By default, the QUE free trial is limited to 50 jobs, but Dataclay is planning to add the ability to make custom requests for additional jobs for developer testing.

Are Templater and QUE separate subscriptions? Can they be purchased as a bundle?

Currently, Dataclay only offers Templater and QUE subscriptions separately.

Can I purchase an annual subscription for QUE?

Yes, but this must be purchased directly through Dataclay sales and is currently not available online.

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