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Universal Expressions in After Effects

If you use Expression Controls in After Effects and either work in non-english version of AE or distribute your project files you might come across the error. When people open your project in After Effects that works in different language than what you had – they would not be able to use your project because of Expression error. Here is why and how to fix it.

When the project is opened in a different language such as French, the name of ”Slider” becomes “Curseur”, however the expression that links to it is still looking for “Slider”. This causes the expression to not work, and produces an error message upon opening the project. This is not unique to the slider control either, all the names of expression controls will change. There are several ways to fix it – for both user and author side.

Ok, I’m an author.How do I fix it?

The easy answer is: Write expressions that work in all language versions of After Effects.
Lloyd Alvarez has released an excellent script called Expression Universalizer and it is available at it is a must for anyone working with universal expressions.
Here is a tutorial by Felt_tips that goes into some details about how to use that script, as well as some details about what to do if the script is not able to universalize some of your expressions. He will show you how you can write expressions directly into a universal expression language and show a little expression preset that can help you to do this more quickly and efficiently.

And here is another tutorial about how to write universal expressions directly into After Effects without using script mentioned above.

If you’re a user that came across file like this and want to make it usable head over to How to Fix Expression Language Error in After Effects