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Media Composer Automation?

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Sean Smith
Media Composer Automation?
on Apr 1, 2012 at 4:32:31 pm

I'm new to Avid here, having been a pretty capable editor with FCP. I now find myself as a bottom-rung AE, which means a lot of repetitive tasks. Since I have a decent programming background, I was wondering if anyone knows of a way to automate processes in Media Composer. I'm sure I could use an external program to emulate hotkeys, but I was hoping there was something that would also let me access internal information on data (clip names, timecodes, etc) and alter specific data/clips/sequences. Does anything like this exist? I don't mind putting in the time to learn a language. If not, are there any good external programs that can emulate user interactions as a work-around?


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Carl Ryan Stemple
Re: Media Composer Automation?
on Apr 1, 2012 at 7:48:15 pm

I'm sure that you've already considered this, but have you tried toying around in the Automator application that comes standard with every Mac? Assuming of course that you're shop is Apple-centric. I think I remember and interview with Walter Murch where he mentioned that they used Automator for a lot of Filemaker processes. One would think that this could potentially also be true for Avid.

God luck on it in any case! I'm not familiar with automated workflows like you're suggesting, but I'd be incredibly interested in learning it if you find a workaround.

--
Carl Ryan Stemple
Color | Edit | VFX
digitalbarbershop.com


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Sean Smith
Re: Media Composer Automation?
on Apr 1, 2012 at 8:51:49 pm

No, we're PC-based.

Actually, when I was at my last studio, we were using FCP, so I did use Automator a bit, but mostly for renaming/reordering file sequences. It's extremely easy to use. The big limitation on using Automator is that you can't really split your automations into multiple branches, i.e. if a file name ends with "0" do x, if it ends with "1" do y. You're also limited to the functions that are there or what you can find online.

This eventually led me to Applescript, which is a lot more powerful and I recommend to anyone in a Mac environment. As far as languages go, it's very easy to learn and has English-like syntax. With Applescript, I managed to make a program that could automate some Quicktime Pro tasks for me. Lots of Apple programs have Applescript functions ready to use, and even when they don't you can emulate user interactions to get around that. The other nice thing about it is that you can put some Applescript code within an Automator workflow and get the best of both worlds.

But, like I said, I'm stuck on a PC here.


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