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Working with variables / batch processing has been designed for mass processing of videos. However, where exactly 'mass processing' starts is subject to discussions. While some of you are happy to give every video an individual touch and submit it directly in the Graph Editor, others us the API to fully automate the generation of hundreds or even thousands of videos each day. However, there are also those of you who process too many videos to touch every single one but who process too little videos to bother with a full API-based integration. For those of you, we have introduced variables and batch processing.

Defining Variables

Working with variables is actually really easy. In essence, what you have to do is pretty similar to designing an individual video in the Graph Editor. The main difference is that you can substitute all content with a variable that can be filled later simply by giving a variables name in curly brackets. So, rather than selecting Intro_Speaker1.mp4 for a Video Asset you would just type {{IntroVideo}}. Remember: That doesn't do anything yet, you still need to fill the variables with content. We come to this in a minute.

But before this, let me emphasize that you can use these variables really everywhere and substitute even parts of a statement. So, in case that you have prepared HTML snippets as Lower Thirds, you don't need to add the entire HTML code as variable. Something like <div style="width:...{{Name of the Speaker}}...</div> is perfectly fine. Another good example are names of jobs - ProjectA_{{ID}} as name attribute of your Output element allows you to give each video a unique ID. Once you are done with defining your Graph - don't forget to save it as a draft!

To give you some example we have developed the hypothetical scenario of a virtual conference provider. A conference organized by this company consists of a multitude of pre-recorded videos. All those are structured exactly in the same way: A person working for the organizer of the conference gives a little introduction, which is then followed by the speakers' presentations. For both parts of a session a lower third should be shown after a few seconds. You can find the very simple Graph for this scenario here. As you will see, we have only seven variables here: ID, Intro_Video, Speaker_Video, Intro_Name, Intro_Comp, Speaker_Name, and Speaker_Comp. To keep things simple, we have skipped any further video editing like trimming, normalizing audio, adding a logo, etc. If you are interested in those, the article on Basic Branding is the right place to check out.

Filling Variables

Filling the variables with content is really simple. You can work with any spreadsheet software you like - Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, OpenOffice Calc, you name it. All you need to do is create a table containing one column for all the variables you have defined in your Graph and one row for all the videos you want to generate. The first row of the spreadsheet has to contain the exact variable name as given in the Graph Editor. The following rows contain the value for your variables. Remember, substitutes each variable exactly with the value given in the spreadsheet.

Table filling variables

To give you an impression on how this might look like, we have generated a table filling the variables for the above generated scenario here.

Submitting a batch job

Once you are done preparing the Graph with variables and the table with their content you are ready to go. Just open the Batch Processing Page. Here you see two text fields: A larger one for the content. Just mark the content of your spreadsheet that you would like to be processed. That doesn't need to be the entire spreadsheet. Especially for the first run it makes sense to submit just the first two or three rows to preview the results. In the smaller text field you have to give the ID of the Graph. Once you are done, just hit 'Submit Jobs' and the system takes care of everyhting else. You'll see a list of all Jobs in the batch with their status. In case that you don't want to wait for a larger batch, you'll also find all jobs at your Jobs Page.

That's all. As simple as that you can generate as many videos as your spreadsheet skills can handle. One final note on the example: Please don't submit that. These are just hypothetical names - the content doesn't really exist. All you will get are a bunch of error messages.