Troubleshooting the Templater Command Line Interface

If you can't figure out why Templater isn't functioning as expected, troubleshoot using the provided log, error, or standard output files. The PowerShell and Bash script launchers report the last logged message and the last reported error after Templater and After Effects complete their tasks. Messages are logged to templater.log while errors are logged to templater.err. You can also use templater.out to inspect Templater's operation in real time. You can find these files in the directory specified in the log_location property key found in the templater-options.json file. If you have an application that can examine a text buffer then use templater.out, but if you need to examine the logs using a standard text editor, use templater.log. For example, you can use the tail -f templater.out command in the OSX terminal to see what Templater is logging in real-time.

The following is an example of an error object that is output as a single line to templater.err when After Effects attempts to import a footage source file that is corrupt or not supported.

    code     : 1001
  , desc     : "Error swapping footage source"
  , ae       : "Error: After Effects error: the file format module could not parse the file."
  , details  : "AE encountered an footage import issue with file B:\Dataclay\Sources\[TEMPLATER DOWNLOADS]\11137842_1428056637497122_561536778_n.jpg.  Try manually importing this file into AE to learn more."
  , reported : "2020-3-2 @ 14:50:46"

Properties in Templater Error Objects

Property Definition
code A numerical identifier for the reported error. You can use the error code in the quit_on_errors array as defined in the templater-options.json file to force quit After Effects on the first occurrence of that error.
desc A short description of the reported error code
ae The message of the error thrown by After Effects, if any
details Additional information for the specific error and also offers suggestions to troubleshoot the issue
reported A time stamp showing the date and time the error was reported

Error Code Descriptions

Error Code Description
1 Error starting Templater application
2 Error initializing Templater CLI
1001 Error swapping footage source
1002 Error downloading remote footage source
1003 Could not find the footage file in the network
2001 Command line execution error
2002 CLI configuration file error
3001 Error conforming row data from spreadsheet or TSV file
4001 Google Open Authentication (OAuth) error
4002 Google Drive retrieval error
5001 Templater layout engine error
6001 HTTP request error

Templater Launcher Script Help & Usage

You can also access help documentation for the Templater launcher script. Enter .\templater.ps1 -h on Windows , or ./ -h on OSX to see information about options and arguments. The following shows the help as it appears in Windows Powershell.

Templater Launcher from Dataclay


    Launches Templater for Adobe After Effects
    from the command line.  A supported version of
    After Effects is required to be installed on this
    machine for this launcher to work properly.


    .\templater.ps1 [-h] -v 'ae_version_string' [-ui] [-m]


    Shows this documentation

    -v | --version 'ae_version_string'
    The version of AE you want to use with Templater,
    where 'version_string' can be any of the following:
    'CC 2015' 'CC 2014' 'CC' 'CS6' 'CS5.5' 'CS5'.

    When used, Adobe After Effects launches with a user interface

    If included, this causes AE to launch as a new, separate,
    process.  This is useful if you want to simultaneously
    execute two or more versioning jobs with Templater.


    Launch without AE user interface

        > .\templater.ps1 -v '2020'
        > .\templater.ps1 -v 'CC 2019'
        > .\templater.ps1 -v 'CS5'

    Launch with AE user interface

        > .\templater.ps1 -v '2020' -ui
        > .\templater.ps1 -v 'CC 2019' -ui
        > .\templater.ps1 -v 'CS5' -ui

    Launch new instance of AE without its user interface

        > .\templater.ps1 -v '2020' -m