Using Templater > Troubleshooting Templater

Troubleshooting Templater

Templater fails when it does not successfully complete the tasks initiated from its main panel in After Effects.

The following are examples of possible failures:

  • Layers do not update when you preview
  • Templater seems to hang when replicating or rendering
  • Google Sheets documents or data cannot be retrieved
  • No output is generated
  • No log files are generated
  • If a log file exists, it contains no log messages

Using Templater's Console

At the bottom of Templater's main panel you will see a readout informing you what Templater is doing at any given time. Error messages also display in this area. Take note of any error message Templater displays in its console, and use it to help resolve the issue you are troubleshooting.

Using Templater's Log

Templater can log messages and errors to a file so you can see a full history of its tasks. If the console on Templater's main panel does not help you resolve an issue, use the log to continue troubleshooting.

Follow these steps to create and inspect a new log:

  1. Open an After Effect project file already rigged with Templater.
  2. Click Reset Log in Templater's main panel to create a log in the same folder as the currently opened After Effects project file. When you do this, two new files named templater.out and templater.log are created in that folder.

    WARNING  If log files already exist, clicking Reset Log will erase all of its contents.

  3. Inspect the log file for any message that might be causing the issue you are troubleshooting. For example, if Templater hangs, take note of the last log message.

    TIP If your system has the tail command line utility, use it to inspect the templater.out file while interacting with Templater so you can see color coded log messages in real-time. Enter tail -f templater.out into the command line to do this. The tail command ships with OSX, but is available in a download package for Windows. If you need to examine the logs using a basic text editor such as Notepad or TextEdit, open the templater.log file.

Common Issues and Resolutions

Issue Possible Causes Suggested Resolution
The target composition does not update with new data when previewing
  • The preview uses menu is set to current state.
  • The Templater Settings effect has not been applied.
  • Layer names do not match the column names or property keys in the data source.
  • If using a Google Sheet, your column names begin with a numeral, contain spaces, contain underscores, or contain the dollar symbol ($).
  • Ensure the preview uses menu is set to an option such as next row or previous row.
  • Apply the Templater Settings effect to at least one supported layer type.
  • Ensure the layer names match either column names or property key labels.
  • Ensure column names do not have problematic characters when using Google Sheets.
Templater can preview a composition but hangs on rendering or replicating tasks
  • The Templater Settings effect is applied to a layer type that Templater does not support.
  • A parameter setting in the Templater Settings effect is not valid for the layer type. For example, you set Scale Factor to a value other than 0% for an audio layer.
  • Only apply the Templater Settings effect to layers that are supported. See Dynamic Layers for more information.
  • Inspect your log to find out which layer might be causing Templater to hang on.
Audio / Visual Footage layers do not update with new footage sources
  • The footage layer was first created by inserting a Placeholder object.
  • No footage source folder is specified in Templater's main panel.
  • The footage source folder or the footage source file itself does not exist.
  • Remove the problematic layer and its corresponding project item. Then, import an existing footage file. Drag the import from your project to a comp. Rename the layer and then reapply the Templater Settings effect for proper data source mapping.
  • In Templater's main panel, ensure the path specified in the Footage sources field is valid.
  • Ensure the footage you are testing exists at the directory specified.
  • References to sources are case-sensitive. Double check file names match references.
  • Ensure After Effects can import the file type referenced in the data source.
When signing in, Templater fails to authorize your Google Drive account
  • An incorrect authorization code was entered into Templater.
Templater fails to retrieve the entire list of your account's Google Sheets documents
  • The Google Drive account has no Google Sheets documents assigned to it.
  • The Google Drive account does not have permission to read the Google Sheet.
  • Ensure you have access to any specific Google Sheets you want to retrieve.
  • Add at least one Google Sheet to your Google Drive account.

When using a TSV file, unintended characters appear in dynamic text layers

  • The TSV file was exported from Microsoft Excel or Apple Numbers, but the corresponding checkbox was not checked in the Templater Preferences dialog. Alternatively the TSV file was not exported from Excel or Numbers, but the checkbox is mistakenly checked.
  • In the Templater preferences panel, ensure that the Tab delimited file exported from Excel or Numbers checkbox is checked only if your data source was exported from those programs.
Multi-line text does not appear correctly in dynamic text layers
  • The text layer was not created as a multi-line text box (click+drag with Text tool) but rather as a single line text box (click)
  • The new line character from the data source is not interpreted correctly by After Effects
  • In your AE project, create the text layer as a multi-line text box (click+drag with Text tool).
  • Use the native method for your spreadsheet application to create multi-line text entries. See the documentation for your spreadsheet application to learn more.
On Windows Templater's main panel buttons and fields are cropped from view
  • You are running Windows and have a HiDPI monitor that causes issues with ScriptUI Panels.
  • This is a known issue in After Effects CC 2014 and later. Try lowering the resolution of your monitor or upgrading the video card driver of your workstation.
Templater fails to read any data from a Google Sheets document
  • Internally Templater may be reading from a different Google Sheet than the one you actually want it to read.
No log files are generated after clicking Reset Log in the Templater main panel
  • You are searching for the log file in a different directory than the currently opened After Effects project file.
  • Your user does not have permission to create new files in the folder that contains your After Effects project.
  • Ensure that you are looking in the directory that stores your currently open AE project.
  • Test your permissions by creating a text file in the directory. If you can't create a new text file, change your permissions for the directory.

Related Topics

Output Logging