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Batch process file names with applescript

Just now I found myself with an angry Nuke install that wouldn’t recognize quicktimes unless they ended with “.mov” I have a few hundred linked files at this point, and thankfully most of them weren’t in nuke yet. What did I do? Well I mentioned finder “scripting menu additions” before, but this time I opened one up and tweaked it just a tiny bit to make it much much faster for the specific job I had to do.

The one I modified was “add to file names”. As it comes it brings up a popup box when called and asks you to type in your new text to add, and then asks you if you want prefix of suffix. That’s not really a lot of work, but it is a separate typing step and a mouse clicking step. That slows things down. I modified one line in the script so that it auto populates the text box with “.mov” and also has the default button set to suffix. That means I can call it and hit return and I’m done!

The code change is stupid simple. I added default answer “.mov” and default button 3 to the existing popup. Done. If I would have had more time I would have made it work recursively, so that I could do my whole directory structure in one blow, but that would have been more time coding than compositing, so I stopped there.

Posted by: Ross Daly on Aug 15, 2011 at 7:15:33 pm applescript, nuke

Get faster in the finder – reveal the script menu

Applescript is a powerful thing. It can do incredible things for those who know how to code, but it can be a bit daunting for those who don’t. There is one great way to be able to use some sample scripts without writing any code and it is built into the os by default!

If you go into applications>utilities you will find “Applescript Editor” Open it up and go into preferences.

Click on the “show script menu in menu bar” radio button and quit the app. Now you should have a little icon in you upper right menu bar that looks like a piece of parchment. That is a shortcut to open a bunch of applescripts. The os has a few installed by default. The most important ones (to me) are in the finder scripts folder. There you can add suffixes or prefixes to filenames, you can find and replace text, change case, or trim from the start or ending. This set of tools really helps when you need to batch change a bunch of .movs to .mp4, or when you want to add a job number or date to a bunch of deliverables.

There are definitely other standalone apps for renaming files out there. A better finder rename, name mangler, and automator all come to mind, but they aren’t as easy to use, or they don’t come pre-installed. Give it a shot. You might not need it every day, but no one wants to have to manually do anything that can be automated.

It should also be noted that if you do write any applescripts, you can put them in the scripts folder and have them appear in the pulldown menu. Have fun automating!

UPDATE-I just saw that 10.6 (snow leopard) doesn’t install all of the scripts that previous versions did. Most importantly it doesn’t install the finder scripts. I’ve zipped the 10.5 scripts up and you can download them here.

Posted by: Ross Daly on Dec 2, 2010 at 11:06:45 am applescript, finder

2 more applescripts for final cut pro and after effects!

This is a follow up post to my original “2 applescripts for final cut editors” post and boy is it a doozy! I didn’t write these – both scripts have been found elsewhere, but they are so useful I’m putting them up here to spread the word!

The first script is called “Render Notification 1.0.2” by Josh Petok from the current cut. It is a nice little script that watches the processor usage of a few pre-selected apps and will email you when the load goes down. In other words it alerts you to your render finishing. This is possible in a few other ways, but there hasn’t been a nice clean solution that works across multiple apps before.
Josh’s version is available for download here.
I poked around in the code a little bit and enabled it to work with after effects. This is relatively untested, so it might give you an email too early or too late. All credit goes to Josh, as I’m just adding a few lines of code to his.
If you’re feeling lucky, you can try the AE compatible version here.

The second script is the strangely named “AE Suicide” (try to find an ad for that google!) from scott at It is a great little app that does one thing: it kills after effects! AE has a pretty good crash control system built in so that if it crashes, then it generally will save a version of your project file to you current directory. The only problem is that AE also loves to hang. It will get stuck for hours if not indefinitely. What this app does is it gives AE the little nudge off of the cliff that it needs for it’s self-preservation to kick in and save out a file. The author does have a disclaimer saying that it doesn’t always work, but then again if it ever works it is better than the alternative.

You can download AE Suicide here

If you have any other useful workflow scripts I would love to hear about them! Hit me up on the “Contact me!” box to the right, or leave them in the comments!

Posted by: Ross Daly on Nov 10, 2010 at 2:13:40 pm applescript, final cut pro

Hello all, this is my little corner of "the cow"! I'm a vfx artist and I work in final cut, nuke and after effects. I love finding workflow hacks, and I'm always looking for a new keyboard shortcut! For more posts check out You Down With FCP
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