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Advanced Scripting Question in AE

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Aaron Shedlock
Advanced Scripting Question in AE
on Dec 22, 2009 at 7:21:55 pm

I am wondering if this may or may not be possible. It may be a situation where I will just have to create a plugin, expression or piece of software to do what I want.

Situation (i.e. problem that needs a fix):
I have to create several hundred small (1-6 seconds each) video clips that require a green screen key and one of twenty different backgrounds applied. Then the clips have to be converted to an undetermined FLV codec (still waiting on the client's specs).

Easy enough to do. Luckily the videos were shot very well and the key doesn't have to be altered for all of the videos, just a random few where the talent changed outfits where the colors were very different.

Here's what I don't want to do: Export each of these clips individually, by hand.

Here's what I do want to do:

1.) Create one comp with two tracks. A green screen clip (with Keylight) and a background clip.

2.) Write an expression to randomly alternate the background clip (choosing from one of the twenty I have available) This may be able to be done with a precomp, where all twenty backgrounds live at different spots on the timeline and use a very basic time expression to choose which clip it will be sending out.

3.) Write an expression to swap out the green screen clip or batch every other clip I need done. I've seen this done in a different way in one of Andrew Kramer's tutorials involving a grenade and a cool disintegration effect. He set it up so you could apply the effect to any image by just swapping it in a precomp.

Normally, I wouldn't be going through all of this trouble, but there are well over 300 clips I have to output and if the client decides to go with several different mediums to deploy they're videos, it will be 300x however many mediums they choose. Of course, I am coming in after all of this was shot and decided upon to "make it happen".

Any help is very much appreciated!!

Mac OSX 10.5.8

Programmer - an organism that turns coffee into software. ~Author Unknown

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