View Full Version : Large-scale batch compositing question
10-05-2006, 07:49 PM
Hello. I'm a 3D freelancer and am attempting to find a solution to a problem for my current client. He needs some kind of automated process that will create AVI files depending on a user's input on a website. There will be a number of different clips and a certain selection of these need to be compiled into a single movie file, plus some user-defined text will need to included in the movie file. He's hoping to have hundreds of customers every day so the process needs to be entirely or mostly automated.
My best idea is that it may be possible to use a scripting facility in a program like After Effects Pro (I'm completely unfamiliar with its scripting facility, though I'm guessing it's something like Maya's MEL script). You could then run a script that would read a text file created by the website and would automatically create the necessary AVI files. I think he's hoping that it could be entirely automated, so the file is created after the user completes their form, without anyone having to actually run any video-editing software themselves.
Any better ideas of how this automation could be achieved, or where he could start looking, or what software might be useful, would be very helpful.
Let me know if anything isn't clear. Thanks in advance.
10-06-2006, 06:44 AM
special encoder programs like
autodesk cleaner xl
have the option of "watch folders". you can define rules, what will happen to files that lands in a specific folder. im pretty sure that you can do it with these programs.
10-06-2006, 09:23 AM
I've forwarded on your reply. Thanks a lot.
Well you didn't mentioned some important details.
Does the users save this video afterwards for future use? Like burning to DVD, etc.
Does it need to be broadcast resolution?
Does it need to be high quality uncompressed video?
Case it's streaming video and there is no need for the user to save it on disk for other proposes you should take a deep look on Flash and FlashCom server, they both can solve your problem without much problem. With FlashCom you can even feed live streams in the montage if you wish, and you can create links within the movie to trigger many things.
I think that if what you need is meant for web interface only, Flash is the way to go.
But if you need a uncompressed high resolution video assembled on demand near realtime to be delivered and downloaded via web interface by the user I'm not aware of any solution that would solve that. Case waiting time for the user is not a problem you can setup a solution using scripts from the OS, Web Server and Compositing applications to generate your media.
I just don't know how and if After Effects would be the ideal solution for that. I would go for an application with better scripting support and command line rendering features. I doubt that would be simple to put this to work, but I don't think it's impossible.
You can make a web page that feeds a database and then the server trigger some OS scripts that triggers an application which then retrives the data from the db and run a process, when the process ends it's runs a command that triggers the OS to make the file available to the server trough FTP, HTTP or something. The great thing is that in theory everything always work :)
I hope it helps in some way man.
10-06-2006, 07:42 PM
Thanks for the response.
It doesn't need to be particularly high quality. It would send two videos to the customer, one by e-mail (800x600), one to their mobile. I've been advising my client to drop the mobile side of things, so that the whole thing could be done with Flash (my phone's old, I'm guessing they can't show Flash pages yet), but he's not keen on that.
I only mentioned After Effects because it's the only video-editing package I know well. I'm not really an expert on compositing or web technology.
Just to make sure that I haven't misinterpreted anything that's been said, could someone confirm that what he'd need are the following things:
-A dedicated server
-Software, such as the packages mentioned by Payton
-Someone who's an expert on both the software involved and web technology
I think that the best thing you can do is get in touch with a company specialized in such thing to develop a project for you. This is not a simple thing and it will take some time to develop and to implement it. So better talk to someone involved in things of this nature on a daily basis and that really knows what they are talking.
And they will certainly need a lot of in depth details on how this should work to be able to help you. Like how the whole system will work or be presented to the client, the proprose of the whole thing, resolutions, sizes and durations of the movies involved, etc.
I wouldn't risk saying that what you've mention is all you need.
10-08-2006, 10:31 AM
I don't suppose you would have the names of any companies that may be suitable, or any idea of where to start looking (apart from the usual search engines)?
Not in UK, but you can always call a web host service provider that you trust and check with them if they have someone to recomend. You might also search at Adobe web site, I'm sure they have a plenty of case studies that list the companies involved.
Sorry for not being able to help you much :rolleyes:
10-09-2006, 11:39 AM
Thanks a lot, you've been a big help.
It seems that there are now versions of Flash for mobiles, so I'll recommend that he looks into that, as I'm guessing it would be far easier to do things that way.
10-09-2006, 11:39 AM
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