Ever wanted to author and publish your own After Effects or Apple Motion templates but not sure what a proper template constitutes or what other information should be included in your template folder? Well, here are 5 essential things you should take note of when authoring your templates.

1. Organize Layers, Files And Folders Into A Easy-To-Find And Recognizable Manner

When creating your project file, it’s very important to keep your folder structure clean and organized, both inside the project and in your save directory. The root directory should only contain your project files, preview video and help documentation. All file and folder names should be appropriately titled; such as Placeholders, Music and Plugins; to help guide users through your project. By organizing your layers, file and folder names, it is now easier for template buyers to understand, navigate through and use your template in their projects.

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2. Use Placeholders For Customizable Elements

To make your project even more user-friendly for the buyer, include placeholders for customizable layers in your project by using images and text to indicate where the layer can be found. This process helps familiarize the buyers with your project file, making it easier for them to pinpoint exact locations of essential element changes. Please note that all creative content such as videos, audio and images included in your project folder must be your own creation and fully owned by you.

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3. Create A Preview Video

To showcase the capability of your template, create a smaller low resolution video preview of the end result of your template. If possible, you should also include texts or placeholders in the video preview that emphasize customizability of your templates. As for what file format and resolution to save your video preview under, check your marketplace for the recommended specifications.

4. Write A Manual/Documentation Or Record A Tutorial Video

Adding a help file, whether in the form of a text document or a tutorial video (if you have the resources to do so) with guided instructions through the process of making modifications to your templates will make your project easier for everyone to use. The help file can be mainly focused on your placeholders composition or it can be a detailed explanation of each and every aspect of the template.

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Below is a list of items you should include in your help file:

  • Placeholders – Explain where the placeholder compositions are located, and how a user should approach replacing them.
  • Text & Titles – Explain where the text compositions are located, and how these can be modified.
  • Backgrounds – If your project contains extra backgrounds, or one background can be modified, explain how to replace them.
  • Colors – If you have any means of controlling color, through an effect or another form, explain which attribute within the effect changes the color.
  • Plugins – If your project requires free plugins, provide a link to the plugins in the file.

5. Compress File Into A ZIP Folder

When you’re done with animating your After Effects templates, gather all of the files in your project or composition into a single location by utilizing the Collect Files feature. To do this, after saving your project or composition, go to File > Collect Files. After doing that, put your finished design and all supporting information into a single zipped folder.

Your ZIP folder should include:

  • The project file itself
  • A low resolution video preview
  • A full resolution still frame (JPG)
  • A text file with a description/ instructions for the project (optional, but preferred)

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Before uploading your template, make sure to unzip the folder and test to make sure that everything is working and that no files are corrupted, missing or unlinked.

There you have it! Simply follow these five steps and you’re well on your way to creating templates appreciated by beginner and professional motion graphics artists alike. Happy Authoring!

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