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Advice for the most monotonous workflow ever. Console Commands? Scripting?

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Andy Bissonnette
Advice for the most monotonous workflow ever. Console Commands? Scripting?
on Jan 23, 2013 at 9:48:26 pm

Hey everyone,
A little background on this project to put it into perspective.
I am editing and assistant editing the entire online curriculum for a college that is developing its online courses. So far there are ten courses and each course has at least 50 "sections" (each section has its own video). There are talks of an additional 30 courses being added. This is equates to literally thousands of videos.

Each video/section is pretty basic. They all open with their own unique title screen (each section has a unique title), which dissolves into a talking head with graphics overlaid, and fade to black at the end.

All the graphics are created in After Effects and imported into Avid w/alpha channels. Each section's graphics are rendered out as one clip, the same duration as the reference video (ref videos come from original edit in Avid), so they can be laid back in at the start of each timeline and sync up.

The problem is how incredibly time consuming it is to perform little repetitive tasks like fading to black, inserting GFX, creating titles for intro screen/inserting them, light color correction. Exporting a course every time a tiny revision is made is at least an overnight job.

I am wondering if there is a way to speed up some of this process through scripting.

Would it be possible to use the Console Window to, for example, add all the graphics from Bin1 into their corresponding sequences from Bin2? The way I see this working would be to possibly enter something like this into the console (individually for every sequence):

Insert:Title_Course01_Sec01.mov into Sequence_Course01_Sec01 at 00:00:00:00 on track02


Does anyone have any experience with this? I have to think this is possible, or at least I hope. Even if it is not from the console window. I appreciate any help. Thanks.
Andrew


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Job ter Burg
Re: Advice for the most monotonous workflow ever. Console Commands? Scripting?
on Jan 24, 2013 at 7:19:29 am

If you have just one graphic that needs to be adjusted, but which occurs in multiple sequences, just batch import the updated graphic. All sequences will then link to the new version.


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Glenn Sakatch
Re: Advice for the most monotonous workflow ever. Console Commands? Scripting?
on Jan 24, 2013 at 2:41:19 pm

I think a lot of what you are describing as "tedious" is what many of us call editing. :)


You as for graphic workflows, you may want to consider reversing your process. Edit the video in Avid, output it as a full res quicktime, and bring that into After effects.

Within After effects you could create a pre comp that is the source file, and a master comp with the "light color correction" and the fades built onto it.

I would probably keep the titles as a final comp so they can all be saved out and archived for change purposes.

Then it would simply be a matter of using the first comp in the second comp, and the second comp in your
your graphics comp. render it out, and then change the source footage in the first comp, repeat the procedure.

Note that you can't use this method (very easily) for a batch process, as i believe duplicating the comps will not give you the ability to have different base layers.

In other words, if you duplicate the final comp 6 times, and then try to change the base layer video in 1 of them, it will change all 6 automatically, so you can only do 1 video at a time with this method, but it gets rid of having to do all those pesky fade to blacks.

Glenn


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Andy Bissonnette
Re: Advice for the most monotonous workflow ever. Console Commands? Scripting?
on Jan 24, 2013 at 4:48:39 pm

Thanks for the tip Job. And yes, I do agree with reversing the process Glenn. However, I am not the only editor on it. Avid's ability to have two computers working on same project kind of trumps.

I am mainly looking for ways to perform basic editorial functions using scripts.

Glenn, I suppose you could consider this editing on some utilitarian or robotic level. But once the initial edit is done (which usually consists of maybe 1 or 2 cuts), the majority of the time it spends in post could literally be performed by a properly programmed robot. These aren't my general feelings on editing :) just for this particular project.


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Michael Phillips
Re: Advice for the most monotonous workflow ever. Console Commands? Scripting?
on Jan 24, 2013 at 9:30:30 pm

There is no automation or scripting within Media Composer as it's based on the very notion that an editor makes every editorial decision which was certainly the case when the MC was first conceived and developed.

That being said, through the decades, and as picture quality increased to the point of being a deliverable, the need to create the deliverables has also been on the rise which is a very reasonable request. I was at a facility once that had 7 Media 100 stations lined up each one with scripted automation to version the programming interstitials on the file by pulling an Excel file off the server, based on the latest program lineup and times, import into the graphics tool, update sequence, pass on to next step, etc. literally hundreds of these were being updated at these seven station to create the deliverable at the end that was then posted on the server to air. Not one of those seven Media 100 stations was being operated by a user. By the way, this was about 10 years ago. At the time, they wanted to replace Media 100 with Media Composer, and asked whether Media Composer could do that... the answer was "uh no..." and they stayed on Media 100. I wonder what they are using today in the HD world and all...


Michael


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Alan Okey
Re: Advice for the most monotonous workflow ever. Console Commands? Scripting?
on Feb 10, 2013 at 11:04:21 pm

This won't help you with your current dilemma, but back in 2005 there was an interesting app for FCP called Traffic (now discontinued) that used a node-based interface designed to streamline and automate the type of repetitive tasks you describe.

Unfortunately the developer's website is no longer active, but if you search long and hard enough you might be able to find a video of it in action. I specifically remember a demo video on the developer's site showing how a series of deliverables (I believe the example was commercials with different intro graphics for different markets) could be quickly processed using node trees. Cool stuff.

http://www.studiodaily.com/2006/04/xmedit-traffic/

http://www.digitalproductionbuzz.com/2005/10/xmedit-is-now-shipping-traffic...


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Peter Lund
Re: Advice for the most monotonous workflow ever. Console Commands? Scripting?
on Nov 25, 2013 at 10:30:50 am

Hi,

did you find a solution for the problem ?

i think what you are looking for is an ingest.
Some kind of automation to change parts of a program in time.

Avid calls this: iNEWS or MAM Interplay.

these systems are able to process these kind of tasks automated.
They also do encoding in the background.

And they help with editing on more than one editing system.

Here in Hamburg there are 2 Universities that are running Interplay for
their Video Content (http://www(dot)haw-hamburg(dot)de)

i hope this helps

Peter

http://www.eachfilm.de


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