A client came back with a last-minute change, and GPT-4 saved the day.
Last month, I wrote about how GPT-4 can finally work with Adobe After Effect’s powerful scripting system. I’ve only used it for experiments until last night. GPT-4 helped me create a custom script to meet a tight deadline.
I was part of a team making a Mother’s Day video for a well-known consumer brand. We created a script and painstakingly cast a voiceover actor. The end product was nearly three minutes long.
Unfortunately, we received a last-minute change from the client at 6 pm yesterday. They wanted to kill the voiceover and replace it with animated text. This wouldn’t be a problem, but somebody was going to need to stay after hours to animate everything. Not ideal when we’re crazy busy and had an early call time to make matters worse.
The text couldn’t read like subtitles, but it also couldn’t be overly animated over such a long video. We needed something elegant and smart. We also needed to copy and paste each line from the script into text layers within After Effects, which was going to take a while.
I asked OpenAI’s GPT-4 to create an After Effects script that would allow us to dump the entire three-minute voiceover script into a text box and have it do all the work for us. With some tinkering, we got it working in a matter of minutes.
The original video was sitting in a Premiere Pro timeline, so we just needed each line of text to last for a couple seconds. The timing would get re-done in Premiere Pro anyway to match the original voiceover.
GPT-4's script was able to chop up each line into individual text layers, and animate in the position and opacity in a pretty graceful manner. It worked with whatever font settings we had been using before.
In about 30 minutes, we had the entire project finished. I reckon we saved about two or three hours last nightm particularly because we could see how the animation would look in Premiere Pro within minutes and tweak it from GPT-4.
If you’re not already peppering in some AI over your motion graphics work, you may get left behind. Why not leave more time for creativity and stop putting redundant tasks in the way? In fact, there’s a plugin that brings ChatGPT into After Effects itself: Klutz GPT. It’ll make things faster if you’re creating ad hoc scripts and expressions. No more copy and pasting from your browser. Users can paste expressions onto multiple layers with ease.
What’s particularly helpful is that Klutz GPT will automatically feed an error back into GPT to fix bugs. In this article, hours were shortened to minutes. Now, minutes could be shortened to seconds.
However, this may not bode well for authoritative forums, whose questions and answers are where we used to get help with After Effects expressions and scripts. If users stop posting on Creative Cow, where will the next generation of source material come from? Food for thought, anyway. I can only hope these forums remain as spritely as ever.