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Automation Script...newb here, be gentle

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Matthew Macar
Automation Script...newb here, be gentle
on Jun 18, 2013 at 11:49:01 pm

Hey guys, haven't touched Java in about 8 years, so that's where my mind's at. Have some experience with MEL and AE expressions, so I get the jist of it, but I really just dunno how to get started with creating this.

I'm on a job where I'm getting autoducked sequences from an editor, and each sequence has between 10 and 50 Green Screen shots that all need to be keyed and comped onto animated BGs (which I'm also doing). They're all shot exactly the same. After a few sequences of keying each shot individually, and then looking at the post production schedule for the rest of the project, I started putting bullets in my gun, but then I got an idea, and put it back in the drawer. I created a template project that is a completely assembled composite, just minus the "inputFootage" and the "inputBG," or respectively, the green screen shot and the animted BG. Everything is already made such as denoise, key, despill, light wrap, lo detail recovery, high det.....etc.

But for each shot, I still have to do this procedure manually:
1. Precomp the video clip
2. Change the comp name to whatever I want (for example, seq1_shot001)
3. Import the Template Project
4. Change template project folder name to match the shot name
5. Drag the seq_shot comp into the template folder (for organization's sake)
6. Drag the main template comp, titled creatively "_main" where all the magic happens into the seq_shot I made
7. Drag the original footage from seq_shot comp into the _inputFootage precomp

Then obviously I have to add the BG in to the "BG" comp I created.

So as opposed to an hour, it's taking me about a minute per clip. If I had a script that could do the following, it would take me 5 seconds, therefore giving me more time to refine and perfect:

With the desired video clip selected, run script. Dialogue box appears, gives option to name shot. This name becomes the name for both the shot and its containing folder (the imported template folder). And then steps 1-7 happen.

I know this is possible, I just lack the know-how. Anyone wanna get me started or offer a bid? HAHA! I would like to learn, but am worried it might just take too damn long.

Cheers guys, thanks in advance.

Matthew Macar
DP, Motion Graphics, Editor

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