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Avid Script Development (Programming)

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James Newman
Avid Script Development (Programming)
on Jan 22, 2015 at 1:42:52 pm

So I've been an Edit assistant for 2 years now and as a hobby programmer, I noticed some regular tasks I could improve / automate. However i'm finding it difficult to find any kind of documentation regarding plugins or script development for Avid. I've noticed when reading through Avid console commands there are commands to run scripts (RunScript -- Load a script file & execute any non-definition commands.), so surely there must be a way I can do this right?

Essentially what i'm asking; Does anyone know any useful resources regarding avid plugin or script development?

Thanks,
James


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Michael Phillips
Re: Avid Script Development (Programming)
on Jan 22, 2015 at 2:36:26 pm

Other that application like QuickKeys, etc. Media Composer does not offer methods of scripting actions for different operation within the application. Marquee can do some form of title creation via Pearl if I remember correctly, but Media Composer still relies on its very early roots that an editor makes all decisions and operations. There have been many requests over the years from pipeline engineers in production wanting to process and place clips in bins automatically and other forms of automation when processing large amounts of footage. I remember visiting Viacom back in 2001 and they had 10 headless Media 100 systems automating the creation of interstitials with versioning, etc. all through parsing, scripting, sequence creation and send.

If you go to Avid Developer's page here:
http://www.avid.com/US/partners/developer-partners


You will find the different ways to to interact with a Media Composer. Mainly AMA (accessing camera and other essence/metadata formats directly. AVX, FX and timeline plug-in architecture. Fusion Connect is an example of using it to build a bridge between layers in timeline to a full node based composition program. ALE, basic TAB file mainly to log and merge against master clips. AAF, the more complete composition representation used mainly for sequence exchange but has been used for sources as well when represented as a sequence. There are several API's and toolkits available for Interplay, if a production is using an Interplay, then it may be something to look into. Then there is DNxHD (soon DNxHR) and AMT that allows third parties to encode and wrap proper native MXF native codecs for Media Composer.

AVID announced at last year's NAB a vision for a marketplace and other methods third parties can interact with Media Composer, Pro Tools, etc. They hinted at some NAMM announcements today that will show further validation to that vision. But Pro Tools has always been built on a concept of third party and plug-ins, but even that is different than what you are asking for, which is scripting and automation of tasks.

I developed an AMA plug-in to manage music reporting that also includes an AAF reporting application. Although this was done as more of a hobby and need, as there is no real money being made. Perhaps if I targeted all NLE's and not just one. But it was borne out of a need for my own work. Being a smaller developer, it is sometimes difficult to get Avid's assistance when issues crop up. I am still waiting (after a year) to have Avid list in on their AMA page as a solution for their customers. The Marketplace may be the better place once it is available. My plug-in can be seen at: http://www.mus-id.com/

Good luck in your quest - MC is changing pretty quickly these days and perhaps scripting in on the list of things to be added. Maybe joining the ACA may help as it will be another voice heard.

http://www.avidcustomerassociation.com/


Michael


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Greg_OR
Re: Avid Script Development (Programming)
on Jul 6, 2016 at 1:14:33 am

Hi, you're not alone :)
I found this post googling same thing, when I found IF THEN, REPEAT etc. commands in console.
I work over 15y with avid, and once, about 10 years ago I made my own program to modify avid .bin files,
it was automation of titling a game show with lots of fast changing titles (auction style)
I had to do some "reverse engineering" of avid files in HEX editor, and then I was able to change text, color, positon, duration of titles in specially prepared template bins. It was a great fun and saved hundreds hours of manual typing and calculating numbers :) (over 300 episodes)
As a former student programmer I'm still looking for kind of scripting/macro editing feature for avid.


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Patrick Kennedy
Re: Avid Script Development (Programming)
on Jul 5, 2017 at 1:39:45 am

[Greg_OR] "about 10 years ago I made my own program to modify avid .bin files,
it was automation of titling a game show with lots of fast changing titles (auction style)
I had to do some "reverse engineering" of avid files in HEX editor, and then I was able to change text, color, positon, duration of titles in specially prepared template bins. It was a great fun and saved hundreds hours of manual typing and calculating numbers ☺ (over 300 episodes)
As a former student programmer I'm still looking for kind of scripting/macro editing feature for avid."


Hi Greg_OR,
Could you possibly elaborate or provide an example of the kind of scripting you are achieving with the Avid console? Maybe just the basic syntax you were working with? Given the camel casing of some commands, I was naively hopeful maybe the Avid console was something of a JavaScript REPL but is it more like BASIC commands? Any insight woulf be greatly appreciated, thank you!


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Michael Phillips
Re: Avid Script Development (Programming)
on Jul 5, 2017 at 1:33:29 pm

The console holds a lot of interesting stuff with most of it not supported, but some things are and enable some functionality for things that do not have a UI. But if you type "help' in the console, you will see a long list of commands.

Michael


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Patrick Kennedy
Re: Avid Script Development (Programming)
on Jul 6, 2017 at 4:00:22 pm

Thanks Michael, yep "help" and subsys monopane debug are about as far as I have ever gotten with the Avid console and most of that was in the early 2000's. Very interested to hear from someone who's actually used it for automating tasks tho. As cautious as I usually am with under the hood stuff in professional use of any Avid product, I kind of like the unsupported-ness of the console... very "back door, underground" club entrance 😉 Now with MC | First, I can dabble with such dark magicks a little more carefree :)


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