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Why We Don’t Sell After Effects Templates

By October 6th, 2020Articles
No After Effects Templates

The number one request I get from CMG Monthly Pack subscribers is, “can you include After Effects templates in your Packs?”

There is a good number of people who would find these files useful to make their own announcement bumpers and they have also informed me that they would pay extra to get their hands on them. Yet despite the demand and increased revenue potential there are still two major problems that hold me back from offering CMG AE templates.

The two major problems are technical hurdles and time constraints. The technical barriers to convert my After Effects compositions to easy to use plug-and-play After Effects templates is advanced and time-consuming. I would need to simplify the layers in the composition to only include necessary graphics like the background animation, text and foreground graphics. My compositions include 20-40 layers and when flattening layers and comps you need to be careful that the changes don’t alter the original design.

Other technical issues include foreground elements which overlay on top of the text. These graphics would need to become a pre-rendered video file with an alpha channel. These special video files are a couple of gigabytes and would increase the file size of the template. If the foreground layers are still graphics I could include them as image assets, but if I used royalty-free stock images (e.g. a grunge texture) I can’t include this file as part of the template because of EUG restrictions and I would need to figure out a way to flatten it to other graphics to create a unique file. Further complications would occur during this process if I utilized third-party plugins, layer blending modes and/or Collapse Transformations on any of the layers that need to be flattened together.

Added expenses for the user might be needed to make full use of the After Effects template. For example I use paid fonts for my announcement bumpers. The user would need to spend $10-50 depending on the price of the font to get a matched look. I also use a lot of third-party plug-ins to create my graphics. These don’t come installed with After Effects and would need to be purchased to make the project work without error. One recent example is the announcement bumpers in the January 2015 CMG Pack. You would need to purchase and download Element 3D by Video Copilot to create that the unique 3D type effect. If you don’t have this $200 plugin than the AE template wouldn’t be useful to you at all.

Lastly, there could be project file issues. Backwards compatibility would be limited to After Effects CC 2012 and the files would be untested on a PC workstation. Troubleshooting After Effects project file could be time-consuming and difficult.

After stating all this I’m not saying the task is impossible, but it would take a significant amount of my time to do. Roughly a week would to make sure everything is accurate and working. In my opinion I think my time is much better spent dreaming up creative new ideas than tinkering around trying to make something complex into something simple.

Some producers do include After Effects files as part of their subscription, but I feel that in doing so it limits the creativity of the designer and animator. Knowing that a file needs to be converted into a template puts limitations on the final design such as only using free fonts, reducing foreground design elements, and video, and not making full use of third-party plugins. I believe that by no including After Effects templates as part of the CMG Monthly Pack subscription it gives me the fullest creative freedom to design the best motion graphics I can make.