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Short answer: Buy a render manager like Qube or Deadline. They have options to create projects based on scripts and template projects and can incorporate existing sequences. Scripts by themselves cannot run automatically - they always require someone to fire them up and those render managers do just that by launching an instance of AE that has those parameters in the command line while they are controlling your watch folders.
Interesting. I'll take a look.
.....One of the CG visual effects we are producing needs to be composited on top of every sequence before it is imported into Avid.
Is there any specific reason why this has to be done BEFORE it's used in Avid? Could it also be rendered once and once only as an apha-channeled movie, then used as the upper layer in Avid?
Or could it be prerendered in AE with an alpha channel, then treated as just another piece of footage?
We're going to be producing a lot of clips. So the idea was to avoid having to import two versions of everything into Avid. Files with alpha channels seems to take especially long to import.
I just wanted to find out if there was a way that the two layers could be combined without someone doing it manually. Then we'd only need to import the combined version into Avid. So my first thought was a render farm and After Effects. I've now been told that we are getting a scripting guy to do some work on the 3DS Max side of the rendering so perhaps they might have some clever solutions. We'll see.
The standard animation you mention can be prerendered with an alpha channel, imported into an AE project and used in every AE comp as a layer above every other layer.
In an hour's time, I'm pretty sure I could add a new alpha-channeled piece of footage to about 50 comps. Perhaps more.
I'm not 100% positive, but I'd bet it would take more time than that to devise a script to do what you seek.
My apologies, I should have mentioned that this is for a series. As far as I know it's 52 episodes with, in the region of, 150 to 200 shots per episode. That's not including re-renders. So although the compositing isn't complicated there is quite a lot of it. This is all done on a very tight budget. So the idea was to avoid this taking up someone's time. Although, if in the end it is more efficient for someone to do it by hand, then that's what we will have to do.
That's all the more reason to create the single animation as an alpha-channeled video and add it in the editing application. You will avoid a LOT more rendering in AE.