I added a command for creating a Group Divider, which is just a shape layer with identifier encoded into the content group. I sort of hijacked the command to open a shape layer, but only if the layer is a group divider. Then I simply check what layer is selected and turn all “shy” switches on for layers below up until the next Group Divider. (If main shy switch was off I toggle that too). I had a version up earlier that didn’t even use shy switches but actually just hid the layers, and even had folder looking icons. Unfortunately the hacks needed to pull that off made it too unstable so I pulled it and replaced it with the current stable version.
Here is a blog post that Lester Banks wrote about the plugin.
Download the plugin here (Use at your own risk):
Getting started making AE plugins
Learning how to develop C++ AE plugins was initially hard, since resources available online on the topic are very limited. After some time I found out that the type of plugin I needed to create was called a AEGP-plugin, they are basically plugins that are not an effect. Once I got up and running actually writing the code turned out to be quite easy. If you want to start developing AE plugins you need some knowledge of C/C++ (I knew some C and only the very basics of C++ starting out, then learned along the way). Here are some link recommendations for getting started creating C++ After Effects plugins:
- Get the latest AE SDK – You need this to develop plugins. Read the included PDF and try to build and modify some of the examples.
- Join AE SDK forums – Not very active but there are some very helpful people there. Especially the very kind Shachar Carmi who seems to help almost everyone with a problem.
- Read this old gutsblow article – It’s very old (i.e. Pixel Bender is discontinued) but still a relevant read.
- Read this old mactech article – Also very old, but shed some light on things I didn’t understand.
- There’s a course now on fxphd – I haven’t tried it but it’s probably good!