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Automating templates

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Chris EvansAutomating templates
by on Jan 15, 2014 at 6:16:17 pm

I guess the best way to start is to explain the scenario. There is an upcoming basketball tournament (few months away) featuring 32 teams with 10 players each. We would like to have a video that displays each player's picture, their name, and their team mascot for 10 seconds (maybe some stats, but I hope not). I am in charge of creating it. Problem is that we won't know about half the teams until 3 days before the event, so I don't have forever to create it.

I know I can create this manually, just replacing all the pictures and retyping all the names in a bunch of duplicate compositions, but that would take a long time and would make it very prone to errors (misspelled name, wrong picture, etc.). Does anybody know a way that I can automate this process somehow? or speed it up? All the pictures will be the same size.

We will be delivering it to another company who runs the display and they want an hd video.

Any and all help is appreciated.

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Philip BowserRe: Automating templates
by on Jan 15, 2014 at 7:21:22 pm

Seems like the script Comps From Spreadsheet may be of use to you.

If that doesn't suit your needs though then to be honest it may be best to just do this manually as it seems this is kind of a one-time thing. I would think it would take more time to generate a script to do this for you. You can make it easier on yourself though by creating a spreadsheet with all of the team photos/names/other text etc. (which can be approved for spelling/accuracy ahead of time) and then its just a matter of copy and pasting into pre-comps which have animation applied to them in some master comp.

Hope this helps!

Philip. Bowser

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Antony TurnerRe: Automating templates
by on Aug 13, 2014 at 1:10:34 pm

Hi Chris,

I'm just wondering if you found a solution to automating your templates?
I'm in the process of developing a solution which would probably do exactly what you need.
At a high level, it allows you to generate multiple videos from a single template.
The process would be:
1) Create the template
2) Upload the template to the system
3) Through our web interface, for each team, you simply upload image(s), fill in text/captions/etc, and press [render]. The system then takes care of opening AE, opening the template, replacing the images/texts with the custom items, rendering in AE, encoding again (2 pass) with handbrake, and then making the final video available.

I also supports producing a draft/preview video, SD, and HD, all selectable.

At this stage the system is in beta, so I am looking for users/testers. Let me know if this is of interest to you.

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Chris EvansRe: Automating templates
by on Aug 13, 2014 at 10:30:00 pm

The comps from spreadsheets plug in works very well for what you need, but someone will have to manually run it. For anything beyond just creating the comps and rendering them, like opening ae or running the plug in, you'll need an external program. Also, creating the spreadsheet requires some work as well, but that should be able to be done by your team.

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Antony TurnerRe: Automating templates
by on Aug 13, 2014 at 10:56:13 pm

Hi Chris,

Thanks - I've already build all the technology to automate the whole process, so am not looking for assistance.

I'm more interested to hear if there is a need for this type of template automation system amongst AE developers / users.

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Elvis KasaRe: Automating templates
by on Dec 1, 2014 at 1:05:09 am

Hi Antony,

The project is very interesting. I would like to know more about it. Are you having any progress ?

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Antony TurnerRe: Automating templates
by on Dec 1, 2014 at 6:36:27 am

Hi Elvis,

Yes, it has progressed well. I'd be more than happy to tell you more.

Please email me on: antony (at)

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