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Automatically duplicate composition and batch replace footage with a new imported set

Explorer ,
Mar 01, 2021 Mar 01, 2021

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I've been trying to find a script for this or an easier way to do it, but I couldn't find anything, hence why I'm here!

 

So I do a lot of 3D compositing in After Effects, where I work and manipulate multiple render passes for each clip.

Usually, I have multiple 'takes' of one 3D scene, where lighting, grading, and compositing are exactly the same, but the cameras/animations are different - this means that in After Effects I usually end up copying a composition with all its effects and layer structure, and then replace the footage in the duplicated composition with a new batch of source render passes.

E.G. in 'Comp 1' I use footage "render_1_beauty, render_1_reflection, etc". Then I duplicate the comp, make it 'Comp 2', and replace the footage in it with "render_2_beauty, render_2_reflection, etc". Of course ultimately I tweak each composition for minor details and adjustments, but the general structure is usually the same.

 

What happens is because I do heavy compositing, the amount of footage that I have to replace is insane! And what I currently do is basically 'Alt-drag-replace' every new imported render footage whenever I duplicate the composition.

 

IS THERE AN EASIER WAY TO DO THIS? Maybe an automatic 'template' maker for composition structures, where you can easily point at a composition and it's layers, and use it as a 'preset' when making a new composition, thus all the adjustment layers and effects stay, but the source footage are instantly replaced by another batch.

 

I was also thinking of maybe making my own script for this, but I honestly wouldn't know where to begin hahahhahaha.

 

I hope I am clear! And I hope someone has an answer to this 😄

Thanks in advance!

TOPICS
Expressions, How to, Import and export, Performance, Scripting, User interface or workspaces

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Explorer , Jul 13, 2021 Jul 13, 2021
It's been a while since this problem, and after some months of getting into scripting, I have finally managed to make one, and it works like a charm!  My script basically allows render layers in a composition to be replaced by a new batch with names that hold matching syntaxes, EG. 'Render 1_Beauty.exr' will be automatically replaced with 'Render 8_Beauty.exr' as it recognizes 'Beauty' as matching syntax. This script helps me so much in saving time whenever I have to produce base compositions w...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 01, 2021 Mar 01, 2021

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Maybe  comps from spreadsheets?

https://aescripts.com/compsfromspreadsheet/

 

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Explorer ,
Mar 02, 2021 Mar 02, 2021

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Thanks for the find! I will check it out, doesn't do exactly what I want, but a great alternative!

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Participant ,
Mar 01, 2021 Mar 01, 2021

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Hey, there are few things to clarify here, in order to help you out:

  1. When do you import footage and where it is being imported?
  2. Is it really the case that imported footage doesn't have any other prefix/sufix, appart from mentioned names?
  3. Does number of footages in the comp ALWAYS matches number of newly imported assets?
  4. Do you prefer to make import automated as well, or it can be done manually?

 

I don't think you need any complex tools, unless answers to above will specify otherwise. 

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Explorer ,
Mar 02, 2021 Mar 02, 2021

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To answer your questions:

 

1. Basically when I have a render sequence fully rendered from my 3D engine I will import all the passes as separate clips into AE. See image below:

 

asda.jpg

 

2. No that is not true - usually, my names are structured as "render name_Pass type", as seen in the image above.

3. Not necessarily - sometimes I don't use all the passes that I render in my comps - however usually the newly imported assets do match the previously imported assets in terms of what types of passes.

4. I would prefer if it was manual, as there will be exceptional moments where I will have a totally different set of render passes for a completely other scene.

 

To be practical, It would be nice if I could select an existing comp that I already edited, select a new set of imported assets in the project manager that matches that of the current comp, then click a "duplicate comp" button, and an entirely new comp will be made, where it will automatically replace all layers in the new comp with the newly imported assets that I selected. I made a screenshot below to try and explain the visual workflow. Hope it's clear!

 

sdasd.jpg

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Explorer ,
Jul 13, 2021 Jul 13, 2021

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It's been a while since this problem, and after some months of getting into scripting, I have finally managed to make one, and it works like a charm! 😄

 

My script basically allows render layers in a composition to be replaced by a new batch with names that hold matching syntaxes, EG. 'Render 1_Beauty.exr' will be automatically replaced with 'Render 8_Beauty.exr' as it recognizes 'Beauty' as matching syntax.

 

This script helps me so much in saving time whenever I have to produce base compositions with similar render/grade quality. It also automatically adjusts the timeline to fit to the length of the replaced footage.

 

If anyone is interested, let me know! I am curious how much demand there is for this - if so I wouldn't mind officially publishing it 🙂

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