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Punch (alpha 0.0.2) Mac and PC!

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Updated! Download Alpha 0.0.2 here: Mac | Windows

 

Fun sample AE project included in the download!

 

Hey all, so here's a little program I've been working on. It's called "Punch" and it is a tool for people that do lots and lots of versioning, replacing text on stuff like lower 3rds etc. This is an alpha release, so the features are limited, and so far it has only been tested on Windows Vista, Windows XP, and OS X Leopard 10.5.2. However, you can help me test by posting your experiences here!

 

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Here's a quick little tutorial:

 

First off, run the .jar file. The first thing you'll see is the settings tab.

 

dyov1c.jpg

 

You pick the location of your AE file, and the program generates an expression for you to use in your comp. Once you've set your project location, copy the expression into your AE comp.

 

The program tries to find your aerender.exe location, but if it's installed in a weird place, you have to set that as well.

 

2m5gt9x.jpg

 

Before you save your project, set your comp to render, and set your preferred render settings. Save your project, then close if you want.

 

On to the Render tab, you plug in your comp name, then fill in the lines with whatever content you want rendered. It will do one render for each line you fill in. You can also pick an output location, and choose if you want each render to go in its own folder or not (i.e. for image sequences).

 

atkowz.jpg

 

Once you hit render, it'll start working through your renders, and give each render a name based on the comp and content.

 

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This is a pretty basic program right now, but there are lots of other features I'm working on adding:

 

- Ability to save your punch project

- Ability to add lines (currently limited to 12)

- Ability to do multi-line (currently limited to 1)

- Built in render status instead of launching the CMD prompt

- Possibly auto-detecting comp names, or some workaround to remove that step

- An expression to auto-resize long strings of text based on preference

- Cleaner code (HA!)

 

Credit to Harry Frank and Lloyd Alavarez for the expression that makes this work!

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Yeah I'm pretty ashamed actually that there is no mac version yet :( It's really just a matter of me getting my hands on a mac and finishing some debugging. It's like 99% there, but I am not really much of a programmer, so everything takes me forever. I'll be sure to bump this thread when the mac version is ready.

 

Do you do a lot of versioning? I'd really like your input as to what other features you'd like to see...

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yeah, I do a lot of versioning. I have a client that does a lot of promos for conference and multi-part events.

I'm running through a lot of names, professional titles, segment titles, locations, etc on lower thirds and billboards.

 

this looks like it could streamline a lot of that work.

 

Will there be a function to auto-adjust font size for longer names to fit within a limited space? - that would be nice :)

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i'd be willing to help out with testing this as well... i found and modified a script for my team that can pull data from an excel doc, (well, a csv) to help with automation of this sort of thing. i wish i had more programming experience, so i could help with your mac development.

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mr. beavers, it may be a little premature for me to say this, but i think a lot of people are going to be falling in love with you.

 

you should at least just put up a paypal donation button.

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Like I said, let me know (PM) if you want the source code. I'd love to have some help putting together the Mac version. It's mostly there, I mainly just need to figure out the right line to launch the terminal properly.

 

This looks like a wonderful idea. Put me down as a mac tester.

 

-gl

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Bump! Just updated with the mac version! Finally! Also there were some minor bug fixes to the windows version.

 

Will there be a function to auto-adjust font size for longer names to fit within a limited space? - that would be nice smile.gif

 

This has been a popular request, so I will definitely be looking into this.

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Another little update: I've got the auto-scaling issues figured out! This will be in the next alpha release!

 

Also, I'm thinking that I will also start using a spreadsheet for the content entry. Punch will still automate everything else, but there's no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to data-entry. For one-off animations people might still want to be able to plug like one render into the program without needing to open a spreadsheet though... I think it could be handy, but don't want to make the app unnecessarily complex...

 

Look out for alpha 0.0.3 coming soon. These features will be implemented:

 

- Auto scaling for text that is longer than space available

- Spreadsheet data entry

- Multi-line comps

- Remembers your comp names!

 

If you've had a chance to play with 0.0.2 let me know if you run into any issues. I have a limited variety of machines over here to test it on.

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Yes... i am awaiting this for sure. Downloaded link is down, but looks sweet!

 

Hey all, just saw this got bumped. Rusty Ace had just sent me a private message about this, and this was my reply:

 

To truly make it a useful app turned out to be quite a ways over my head so I just put it away and haven't touched it in a long time. I didn't feel like the very basic level of functionality would have been enough for most people, and honestly I spent way too much time on what I did manage to accomplish. I really wanted to add the ability for someone to import a spreadsheet, and that was about my breaking point. I also couldn't help but think that all my efforts could easily be trumped by someone who actually knew what they were doing, and rightfully so because I am a terrible programmer. I am a little surprised that no one else (or even adobe) has attempted to make something similar. If they make Contribute for the web, why not something like Punch for video?

 

Now that CS5 is out I am curious about what improvements they've made to the XML project format and if that could somehow make this a little easier to develop, but it's not likely that I'll ever really have the time to seriously try it out again.

 

If you want to see what the latest version ended up like, here's the download:

 

http://slct.tv/dropbox/punch_02.zip

 

I don't really remember exactly where I left it, so no promises on if it even works. I think if you open the sample AEP file and poke around a little you can probably figure it out.

 

Alan

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