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Script to create a video timeline based on edit points

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John McMullin
Script to create a video timeline based on edit points
on Mar 7, 2019 at 6:54:20 pm

This is a slightly random question. I'm doing a long job animating screen grabs of video timelines. A lot of the time this involves cutting up a screen grab in Photoshop so that I can separate the clips and then animate them in After Effects. It's a bit tedious so I was wondering if it would be possible to send the original edit to After Effects and then to write a script to create rectangle shape-layers of the right size, in the right positions, to visually represent the original edit but with layers that I can then easily animate.

I use expressions quite a lot and I'm thinking of getting in to scripting. I'd like a better workflow but probably need a pointer as to whether this idea is worth pursuing or not.

Many thanks for your expertise,

John


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Dan Ebberts
Re: Script to create a video timeline based on edit points
on Mar 7, 2019 at 6:58:24 pm

It's hard to visualize what you're describing. How will the script know what size the shape layers should be and where they go?

Dan



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John McMullin
Re: Script to create a video timeline based on edit points
on Mar 7, 2019 at 7:40:26 pm

Hi Dan.

Sorry, I'm not explaining it very well. So I would send a real world edit to After Effects, either as an EDL, aaf, or direct from Premiere. That edit would have a total duration and each video or audio clip would have a duration that would be a fraction of that.

So I was imagining that I could use those durations to create shape layers (rectangles) with x dimension that represent the various clips' duration in time. Their x positions would represent the time at which they start in the original edit.

So, for instance, if a video clip was 5% of the length of the original edit and came in 70% of the way through, that would determine how wide the rectangle would be and where.

The script would have to read the original edit composition and write a new composition composed of shape layers, in the widths and at the positions corresponding to the in and out points.

I hope that's a little more clear.

John


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