(Another) Slate Workflow

Hiya All,

Adding some more python scripts for creating slates into the world. Why do we need another script for slates? We don’t. But I have been tinkering with this off & on since 2018 and it would seem like a waste to squirrel it away just all for myself.

Huge thanks to @ManChicken for his PHP script that revealed what is possible with text setups. Massive thanks to @MikeV for always answering my questions and inspiring me with your amazing scripts & gorgeous PySide classes. I am merely following in your footsteps guys.

So, I feel like there are 3 aspects to a slate workflow for your timelines:

  1. Generating the text setups
  2. Applying the text setups to your slate segments
  3. Making updates to the slates later

Generating the Text Setups

  1. Install pyslater_for_flame from the Logik Portal or download from github
  2. Click the Flame Fish Menu > Slates… > PySlater for Flame

This window is broken into 3 groups: Input, Filtering, Output. It helps to think of them taking place in that order as well.

Spreadsheet URL is the address of an empty default Google sheet that could be used for the slate data. Its just for convenience and can be changed by editing the script if need. The copy button to the right of it will put it on the clipboard to then paste into your web browser.

Once you have the slate data entered into your sheet, download it as a CSV and click the CSV File path bar to navigate to it. By default, this should be pointing to the current project’s text setup folder. Again, a Copy button to send this path to the clipboard to paste into you web browsers download window. I find it easiest to download the CSV to the project’s text setup folder.

Use either of these 2 fields to filter each row of data from the CSV. For instance, you only want to create slates for your 1x1 socials on this pass, enter *1x1* in the Include field. Use commas to separate if you want to filter for multiple search strings, for example *1x1*, *9x16*

The Output Path is a field for for the tokens that will make up your TTG file names. You can also generate folders with tokens by putting tokens within forward slashes.

The TTG Template is the path to your template TTG file. The template should contain tokens that correspond to your columns in the CSV. For example, <Title> or <Duration>. These will be replaced with the information from each row in the CSV.

Finally, enable the HTML button if you would like to generate an HTML document that you can copy & paste the filenames from. The path to this file will appear in the text field after the text files are generated. You may use the Copy button to the right take this path and paste it into a web browser.

Copy Paste HTML

See screenshot above. Its a convenient way to rename your sequences. When you click one of the green boxes, the text is loaded to the clipboard for pasting in Flame.

You have to 2x tap your sequence in the Media Panel, or hover the sequence on a Desktop Reel and press N to bring up the rename field. You can also use right click > Rename. Paste is Ctrl + V inside of Flame even on macOS.

If your sequences are named the same as your TTG setups, then the next part is going to be easiest…

Applying the Text Setups
Okay, great. Now you have dozens, maybe hundreds of TTGs. How to apply those to the correct slate segments easily?

  1. Install apply_text_timeline_fx_to_segments from the Logik Portal or download from github
  2. Select all of the timelines to receive TTGs on your Desktop
  3. Right click > Apply… > Text TimelineFX to Segments

This screen lists all of the segments inside of those selected sequences. You just need to select the segments that should receive a text setup and provide a file path containing tokens to find the right text setup.

So, in this screenshot, you can see that i filtered the list of segments using Find Segment = slate. Then, I put in the correct path & tokens into the Filename Pattern. In the Filename column, if the path is white then the text setup exists. If it doesn exist, the filepath will be red.

Now, just select the segments you to receive a text setup and press OK.

Since the slate segments are probably always at the same starting timecode,
sorting by the Record In column is another good way to group the segments necessary.

Making Updates Later

The final challenge is being able to easily update all of these segments with Text TimelineFX without going thru all of the previous steps again. For instance, the slates include the date on them, and you need to update those to today’s date…

  1. Install find_replace_in_text_fx from the Logik Portal or download from github
  2. Select all of your timelines on your Desktop
  3. Right click > Edit… > Find and Replace in Text TimelineFX
  4. Enter your Find & Replace terms
  5. Hit OK

The script will find any Text TimelineFX within the selected Sequences and replace these strings if found.

In Conclusion
So I hope someone else finds this useful. If these instructions are hard to follow, I can record a screenshare.

For any junior artists… Its still going to be a great benefit to become fast & efficient with the Text module and working with timelines. Dont let these scripts be a crutch.