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Converting Nikon D90 Videos to work with Adobe Premiere Pro CS4

Sunday, August 2, 2009

I recently bought my first DSLR, the Nikon D90, which I have been having a blast with. One of the cool features of the camera, is that it supports creating HD video clips (of up to 5 minutes) (view an example here). However, the way the clips are created seems to confuse Adobe Premiere Pro CS4, which won't open or import the clips without a little work on your part.
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I found instructions here on how to use the terminal to get Premiere to understand the clips, and based on that (with some tweaks and fixes), I have put together a bash script that will "fix" all of the Nikon D90 AVI clips in a directory so that Premiere Pro will recognize them.

Usage:

d90topremier [dirWithClips]

The dirWithClips argument is optional, and if not specified will assume the clips are in the current working director.

The output will look something like this:

./DSC_0002.AVI --> ./DSC_0002.mov
./DSC_0003.AVI --> ./DSC_0003.mov
./DSC_0004.AVI --> ./DSC_0004.mov
./DSC_0005.AVI --> ./DSC_0005.mov
./DSC_0007.AVI --> ./DSC_0007.mov
./DSC_0008.AVI --> ./DSC_0008.mov
./DSC_0009.AVI --> ./DSC_0009.mov
./DSC_0010.AVI --> ./DSC_0010.mov
./DSC_0011.AVI --> ./DSC_0011.mov
./DSC_0014.AVI --> ./DSC_0014.mov

Requirements

The script requires the setfile command, which is available in the free Mac OS X Developer SDK.

Script

#################################################
#
# Bash script that modifies Nikon D90 AVI Video
# file so they are reconized by Adobe Preiere Pro CS4
#
# Created by Mike Chambers
# http://www.mikechambers.com
#
# Based on original script at:
# http://www.alexbeckett.co.uk/blog/2009/07/02/techie-importing-d90-dmovie-video-into-premiere-pro/
#
#################################################i

oldExt=mov
newExt=AVI

d="./"

if [ -n "$1" ];then
        d="$1"
fi

if [ ! -e "$d" ]; then
        echo "$d does not exist"
        exit 0;
fi


for filename in "$d"*.$oldExt
  do
        if [ ! -e "$filename" ]; then
                continue;
        fi

        setfile -t "VfW " "$filename"

        newFileName="${filename%$oldExt}$newExt"
        mv "$filename" "$newFileName"

        echo "$filename --> $newFileName"
  done

Just place this into a file called d90topremier, place it in your path, and make sure to chmod it like so:

chmod 755 d90topremier

If you run into any issues, or have any improvements for the script, post them in the comments.

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