Automation of a tedious Workflow
i recently joined a time-laps project wich has some issues that make it really tedious, so I am trying to work around them and I am really desperate. Is there any way except batch-changing the name of the files to a sequenced number and reimporting all of them or for changing the folder structure or the software used?
Here is the story:
There are two cameras taking pictures approximately every 70 seconds. The naming convention is basically ID_YYYYMMDD_HHMMSS in a folder representing it's camera and date on a server. This process is automated.
Now they where imported into a Bin per day and camera which takes about 7 Minutes for each one, because they weren't imported as a single footage due to the naming convention. Also the length for imported images was set to one second i.e. 25 frames.
For each Bin there is a sequence of roughly 1200 Images at 25 frames each. The next step was to create a mixdown of each sequence so you have one clip for each day.
This clip was put into a sequence with a time warp of 4000.0 to make it a shorter clip. This follows another mixdown to get a version you can put into the final cut.
I know there is a lot wrong with this whole pipeline. A lot of days already have been processed, a lot more are still to come. My knowledge of Avid is limited compared to other products. What I found out so far, correct me if I am wrong:
Sorry for the long read. Thank you in advanced.
The first thing I would suggest is to use a file renaming utility and add a sequential frame count to the end of the file name with a . or - separator. Then, when importing, you can check the sequential files option and they will create a single clip. The downside with this is that you would lose the HHMMSS unique timing of the file as the clip would now be named the first file in the sequence.
If you want to create a sequence that is just 1 frame of each from the media you've already created, put the bin with the frames into frame view. Select all, and use the 10 frame advance key and (2 key) and advance a second or two into the clip. Mark an IN with the keyboard (the E or I key in a default setting) and an OUT on the same frame (the R or the ) key). Now switch bin back to text view and sort bin on name to be in your desired order. Select all and drag and drop into an empty timeline.
There is no render queue or scripting in Media Composer. You might consider taking your sequences and exporting as QuickTime, same as source setting. You can do this on all clips or sequences that are selected and will act as a mixdown method. The import these back in and that will give you a new master clip.
Thank you for you help. I was afraid of that. The tip with the frames is really practical but still leaves me with having to do the two mixdowns.
The qt export is a great idea. I was told, several times, that you had to do a mixdown before exporting a sequence. To be honest I have never questioned why. Could that lead to an issue? Like with the export if I do just that?
Also I was well aware of the naming problem. But there is not much I can do. Also the HHMMSS format is not really relevant. The project just wasn't properly thought through.
1200 frames would result in a 48 second clip @25fps where each frame is a frame.If you rename the clips using a file renamer and sequential count, then you will get a single clip that is 48 seconds long at whatever resolution you chose during import (ex: DNxHD 175x). This does nto require a mixdown, motion effect or anything. That source clip can now be edited with, or exported SaS with no futher manipulation.
If you need to combine the two sets into a sequence, then you would have two events in the timeline (based on the above scenario) of which you can export SaS with no further manipulation.
If you apply a motion effect to the clips to get a different playback rate, and render to DNxHD 175x, you can then just export SaS.
For what it's worth I really think going back to a file renamer is going to save you a lot of time and pain in the long run. On the Mac I really like A Better Finder Rename, which is a paid application but works wonderfully and has loads of options. You can set it up to do multiple steps at a a time, and it is capable of recursing through subfolders, so with a little care you very likely could do most of your files in one go. You can also save "droplets" from it, which would allow you to drag any new folders of images into it for quick processing. Very useful!