The Magic Switcher - A Free Script for After Effects

July 1, 2020

The Magic Switcher – A Free Script for After Effects

A few months ago, we took part in an animation marathon called Frame Jam.
We had 48 hours to create an animated short under the theme, “We’re not alone”.


We ended up with this short animation called “Disconnected”.
It tells the story of a boy who’s so addicted to his phone that he doesn’t even notice he’s been kidnapped by aliens.
Only after the phone has been taken from him, he manages to see what’s around him.



We wanted to go for a richer look, rather than flat-designed characters. So we decided to add depth to them by using a lot of layer styles, effects, and adjustment layers. Indeed, it managed to create a volumetric feel, and to add a realistic appearance.


The girl character before and after adding the layer styles


The problem we had with this approach was that it really slowed down the animation process. The effects were quite heavy on the real-time rendering.


This led us to develop the Magic Switcher!
With the help of our own Yehuda Fight, a kickass animator and a badass AE script developer, we created a super simple After Effects tool that helped us streamline the process.



Basically, it lets you turn Layer Styles, Effects, and Adjustment Layers on and off, with a single click. That’s it.
Hmmm… now you probably ask yourself, “that’s it?”
Yeah, that’s it.


BUT, and that’s a big but – using it the right way can do magic.
With the Magic Switcher, you can fine-tune your scene-rendering to the max, without thinking about how it will affect the animation process at all!
You can tweak your scene, applying it with the perfect look, and once you’re satisfied with the result and ready to move on to the animation, you just turn all the effects off in a single click.


Now you can work on the animation, and you can do it fast.
Once you’re done with the animation – turn all the effects and layer styles back on, and Voila!
Your beautiful animation scene is ready to render.


From our experience, the Magic Switcher has saved us hours (of work AND frustration) in the animation process.


Now you can enjoy it as well, and for free!