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Convert footage to ProRes automatically with folder actions! (OSX) FIXED!


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This is a little trick I figured out recently to automatically convert my AVCHD files to ProRes just by dropping them into a folder. It's works by using Folder Actions in OSX to launch an ridiculously simple Automator script. Now, since I think Mountain Lion is the first version of OSX to include the ability to natively play AVCHD files, this my not work on older versions of OSX. Please let me know below if this works in older version.

Here's the step by step instructions:

[b][i]I've updated this to reflect the "Actual" way to do this instead of the old one that was botched due to faulty memory. My apologies to those who muddled through the original with no results.[/i][/b]

1.) we need to create a folder for us to use as the drop convert folder. It doesn't matter where the folder is as long as it's easy to get to. One option is to put it just about anywhere and then drag a link into the "Favorites" list in a finder window. That way it will always be easily accessible from the finder. Another option is just to leave it on the Desktop. whatever you choose create a folder now. I called mine, "Convert" but you can call it whatever you want.


2.) Now Launch the "Automator" App located in your Applications folder. Once it opens you be presented with a screen asking you to "Choose a type for your document". Choose "[b][i]Folder Action[/i][/b]".

3.) at the top of the workflow window, you'll see a drop down menu that says, "[i]Choose folder[/i]". Click on it and pick "Other" and then locate the folder folder you just created. Now anything we do will be applied to that folder.

4.) in the left hand column you see a Library of main tasks that can be automated. Click on the "Files & Folders" entry and then just to the right you'll see a list of actions. Drag and drop "Get Selected Finder Items" into the workflow window. A bar at the top will appear with the same name just under the folder chooser.

5.) Now click on "Movies" in the main Library list and you'll see the window change to show you some more actions related to movies. Drag and drop the "Encode Media" action into the workflow window just below the "Get Selected Finder Items" action. You'll see that one automatically flows into the next so you can easily see how other things can be automated pretty easily here too. You can even make this script more and more complex if you need; moving items to specific folders and coping or backing up footage files. We're just going to keep this simple though.

6.) In the Encode Media action change the "Setting" Property to "Apple ProRes". This Automatically changes to ProRes 422 with uncompressed audio which is fine for most of our needs. If you need ProRes HQ or 4444 or something else, then this workflow probably isn't for you.


7.) Now, save this as "Convert2ProRes" or whatever you find appropriate. Since this is a Folder Action, it doesn't ask you were to save it.

That's all there is to it. Now, you can just navigate to your "STREAM" folder on your card and drag and drop the .MTS files on the "Convert" folder and away it goes. Pretty soon you hear your fan running and you see this little icon up in the menu bar.


As soon as it's done, the icon will disappear and you'll see all your files have been converted to Apple ProRes quicktime movies.

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That would be a really great feature. Unfortunately we are limited to the actions that are availible in Automator or ones that you can find on the Internet. I would imagine that someone with some programming skills could make a "resize" movie action. I haven't been able to find one though.
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Without getting too much into it with the anamorphic forum but a click away, it depends on the stretch factor of the anamorphic lens. There's 1.33x, 1.5x, 1.75x, and 2x. Multiply that by 1920 for stretch and divide 1920 by the number for squeeze.

If you are interested in anamorphic shooting, I recommend picking up Andrew's book. It's a good place to start.
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