After Effects and other Adobe software with which it’s integrated provide many different means for automating various processes.
You can automate animation and image processing within After Effects with expressions, scripts, and plug-ins. You can automate rendering with aerender, network rendering, and post-render actions. You can also automate some tasks using workflow automation scripts in Adobe Bridge. Because you can exchange data easily between Photoshop and After Effects, you can use macros, actions, droplets, and scripts in Photoshop to automate the processing of images for use in After Effects.