(1) Can I batch process all 50 files, with one set of settings?
Sure. You simply import them, drag them on the "New composition" icon, let itcreate 50 separate compositions which in turn you then add/drag&drop to the render queue.
(2) Can I tell AE that I want the render settings to be the same as the imported files (resolution, frame rate, etc.), rather than having to enter the render settings each time?
Yes. You simply define an output settings preset and make it the default.
None of what you describe is any problem, you just seriously lack in even the most basic stuff. Your journey starts here:
I don't think Mylenium understood you. You need to not only bring each of 50 clips into it's own Comp but then you need to apply an effect (Neat Video) to each one before going out to the Render Queue... right?
Here's what I would do. Import all 50 clips into your project. Select all of them and drag to Comp button (on the bottom of the Project panel) or right click - "New Comp from Selection". In the dialog that pops up selct "Single Composition", use dimensions from the clip of your choosing, select "Add to Render Queue" and select "Sequence Layers". Open the Comp and select all the layers (they may already be selected), apply the default Neat Video Effect to all of them (or apply it to one, tweak it, select all the other layers and copy/paste it).
Now download this script...
In After Effects go to File/Scripts/Run Script File and choose the rd_RenderLayers script. Make sure you are happy with the Render Module settings and the file naming and off you go.
You'll have all 50 clips in 1 Comp, with one place to copy effects and then each layer gets output back to an individual file.
This is great appoach, but I ran into a couple of problems.
(1) The Neat Video (NV) effect requires that it see a frame of each clip, so it can analyze the frame and adjust settings. Even though I normally load a preset so the analysis isn't necessary, NV still must see a frame first. I was able to hit "Options" on the first clip and load the preset, no problem. But for the remaining 49 clips in the Composition, I kept getting a message that NV must first see a frame of each of the other clips. I couldn't figure out how to bring up a frame on the other clips in the Composition. You proposed that I could alternatively copy and paste the effect, once I loaded the preset for the first clip. How do I copy and paste an effect from the first clip to the other clips?
(2) The durations of the clips vary greatly, from 2 minutes to almost 10 minutes. If I have all the clips in one Composition, how do I set the duration for each clip? Or must I set it to be longer than the longest clip? If I do the latter, the rendering time will be much greater than necessary. Is there no way to tell AE to render for the actual duration of each clip?
Thanks for your help.
Again, sorry for the newbie questions.