What CustomEffects are
We all use presets. They are very powerful and handy to use, but sometimes, when there are many expression controls involved it starts to get very messy. And that’s where CustomEffects come in.
CustomEffects are standard presets but they look like and behave as standard plugins. After Effects needs to know the definition of presets in order to interpret them correctly. Some time ago I started to publish my heavily expression–based presets as CustomEffects.
Before you install any CustomEffect make sure you have administrator privileges and that the file PresetEffects.xml Read-Only flag is set to off.
Default location of the PresetEffects.xml file on Windows:
C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe After Effects CS3\Support Files\PresetEffects.xml
Default location of the PresetEffects.xml file on MAc:
/Applications/Adobe After Effects CS3/ (Show Package Contents) /Resources/PresetEffects.xml
Note for Windows users
If you run into any problems try Right-clicking on the application and choosing “Run as administrator” option, even if you are logged it as Administrator. For some strange reasons there are systems with strange settings that don’t like Adobe Air applications.
CustomEffects Installer has an auto-update feature. Each time you run the application it will check if there is a new version available. If so it will download it and run the update process automatically. This will cause the current instance of the application to close and reopen after the installation is complete.
I have already built a CustomEffect Deployer that creates polyCE files but it is still in beta, therefore it’s not available for download… yet. I hope that polyCE files will become a standard way of sharing expression–based presets. I’m looking forward to hearing your opinions about them.