A problem of numbers

Anyone working with digital intermediates will undoubtedly have experienced this situation.

You start off with a frame sequence, let’s say 090000.dpx through 180000.dpx. However, there are gaps in the sequence (maybe because these frames were captured using an EDL, or maybe they’ve been selectively exported from a more complete timeline). You process them in some processing application, but now you have something more like 0000.dpx through 7864.dpx.

Often it doesn’t matter how the modified files are named, such as if you are going to edit them into a timeline by eye, but sometimes you just really need the names to match and so you have to waste lots of time massaging all the filenames until they are just right.

I found myself in just that situation recently. We’d exported a bunch of frames from a timeline that needed some last-minute dust-busting. The quickest, most available option was to run through them all in After Effects. Great but then the problem was getting them back in. I imported the renders as a single, new reel, and then proceeded to cut and splice them back into the timeline shot by shot. That took around 2 hours. But we had time.

The next time we were in the same situation, I decided I would make like easy for myself. I essentially had a list of filenames I needed to use (from the original exported folder), so surely there had to be an easy way to automate renaming them. Well there wasn’t, so I made one.

One of the things that I’ve come to love about working with OS X is AppleScript. The process of writing some AppleScript, testingĀ and running it can be done (in this case) much more quickly than just doing everything manually. Granted, there’s a learning curve, but the other good thing is that even if you can’t program AppleScript yourself, you can benefit from someone else’s.

With that in mind, I’ve released the AppleScript I made on Google Code. If you find it useful, let me know.

Download

Posted: November 15th, 2010
Categories: Tools
Tags: , , , , , ,

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