4 Replies Latest reply on Sep 9, 2014 1:07 PM by Trent Armstrong

    Personalised Named Video - Want to merge unique video clip with generic clip, hundreds of times to produce many video files. How do I automate this?

    Al@JMC

      Hi,

       

      I hope the community could advise me on the following challenge.

       

      So I'm looking to produce hundreds of personalised videos. Filming them all sounds daunting enough but editing them all sounds a nightmare so I'm wondering if there is any form of automation that can help me do the following:

       

      VIDEO CLIP #1a - "Dear John thank you for watching this video, I'd like to explain how our services can help John Ltd" - specific to individual so hundreds of these edited, only a few seconds in length.

       

      VIDEO CLIP #1b - "Dear Dave thank you for watching this video, I'd like to explain how our services can help Dave Ltd" - same again

       

      VIDEO CLIP #2 - "We have a range of options that suit...." and so forth - Generic video, not specific to individual.

       

      How do I merge #1a and #2 to make one file, then #1b and #2 to make another, hundreds of times. So the end result is hundreds of individual video files?

       

      Is this possible?

       

      Running Adobe After Effects CC v13.0.2.3

       

      Thanks

       

      Alistair.

        • 1. Re: Personalised Named Video - Want to merge unique video clip with generic clip, hundreds of times to produce many video files. How do I automate this?
          Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          You can create a structural template for each edit, then simply replace the footage for every iteration. Sounds simple, huh? Well, it's not that simple.  :-)

           

          Firstly, how will you provide the footage to After Effects?  Will you pre-edit each and every clip?  In which case, why not just edit it in Premiere Pro (or similar NLE)?

           

          Secondly, how slick does this need to be?  Because every performance is likely to be slightly different, with different name lengths, fast and slow performances, bad takes, etc etc.  At some point, there needs to be some hands on assessment and construction of any edit, if you want it to look half decent.

           

          I suspect there are ways of writing an After Effects script that could look at the audio of a given clip to designate it's start and end point, then cut it accordingly into a template edit.  You could hire an experienced AE scripter to write you that script.  But scripts are only so good.  You'll absolutely need to check all your product after the script builds it to ensure it's got things right.  It will invariably make a few mistakes.

           

          Personally, I'd just hire a kid out of film school and get a human on the job. :-)

          • 2. Re: Personalised Named Video - Want to merge unique video clip with generic clip, hundreds of times to produce many video files. How do I automate this?
            Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            This might be more suited for your video editing application (Premiere Pro, Final Cut, etc.). I did something similar for a university a few years ago, but it wasn't automated.

            • 3. Re: Personalised Named Video - Want to merge unique video clip with generic clip, hundreds of times to produce many video files. How do I automate this?
              Dave LaRonde Level 6

              This is an editing job, and not an AE job.  And because I doubt that each of the custom pieces of footage are PRECISELY the same length, it will require an edit tiemeline for each of the videos you want to create.  It's not that tough once you have the basic format in place, but it ain't automatic.  You'd better get busy.

              • 4. Re: Personalised Named Video - Want to merge unique video clip with generic clip, hundreds of times to produce many video files. How do I automate this?
                Trent Armstrong Level 1

                Let me start by saying that it is entirely possible that this is an editing job as Dave LaRonde and Szalam have said. But I have a thought I would like to pass along.

                 

                It's possible to use expressions to read Comp and Layer names as well as arrays inside the expressions. This solution allows you to set up the Final Pitch Video and then have the text change dynamically as you duplicate it for what you described as 1a, 1b, 1c, etc . Create a folder for your final pitch videos and make a new comp named something like "Final Pitch Video 1".

                 

                Create a precomposition with your Video #2 content in outside the Finals folder. Then layout your Final Pitch Video 1 comp as follows:

                1) Intro Text Layers with all the animation first (Make sure to have a separate layer for Name and Business)

                2) Then add the Video #2 Precomp (Leave this as a precomp so you can edit it at any point and not have to replace it in your hundreds of videos) If this is just a video clip, you don't necessarily need to us a precomp. I'm just guessing you'll want to be able to easily update it at some point in the future.

                 

                After you have your text layout and your separate layers for Name and Business, put these expressions on your Name layer in the Source Text expression field:

                // NAMES LAYER

                 

                try {

                compName = thisComp.name;

                compNum = compName.substr(compName.length -1, 1);

                 

                theNames =  ["blank", "Bill Jones", "Tom Riddle", "Frank Frankenstein", "etc."]; // Add your names here

                 

                theNames[compNum]

                } catch(err) {

                "No More Entries"

                }

                 

                 

                 

                And then on the Business Text Layer in the Source Text expression field:

                 

                // BUSINESS LAYER

                 

                try {

                compName = thisComp.name;

                compNum = compName.substr(compName.length -1, 1);

                 

                theBusiness =  ["blank", "Jones Construction", "AA Plumbing", "Frank's Hot Dogs", "etc."]; // Add your businessess here

                theBusiness[compNum];

                } catch(err) {

                "No More Entries"

                }

                 

                At this point the name and business text layers use the comp number to read the arrays for each text layer. For example:

                 

                The text layers would work this way each time you duplicate the Final Pitch Video. Either start with "Final Pitch Video 0" or leave the first place in the array "blank" since arrays start counting at zero.

                COMP NAME                         Name from Array                    Business from Array

                Final Pitch Video 1                    Bill Jones                              Jones Construction

                Final Pitch Video 2                    Tom Riddle                            AA Plumbing

                Final Pitch Video 3                    Frank Frankenstein                Frank's Hot Dogs

                ....

                Final Pitch Video 10                  No More Entries                    No More Entries

                 

                 

                Let me know if you have any questions on this! I don't know your exact situation, but I hope it helps.

                 

                Cheers,

                Trent