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VFX plates should be named in a consistent way that allows them to be identified as VFX plates, and in a way that allows them to be versioned up if re-pulls are required. Plates will typically be named by the editorial department or the VFX editor as they are identified by editorial as shots that require VFX work.

Plates are named by adding a Plate Number, and a version number to the end of the associated shot’s name. This allows multiple plates to be associated with a single VFX shot and allows organization to be maintained as additional plate elements are pulled or as elements within a shot are changed. Plate files also will include frame numbers and a file extension.

For example, if a version were named AGM_104_065_010_comp_NFX_v005 the associated plate for that version may have been named: AGM_104_065_010_PL01_v001.[1001-1058].exr

 

Elements of a Plate Name

Plate Number

Example: PL01

Usage: The number increments for each different plate added to a shot.

Note: Note: Typical padding is 2 letters and 2 numbers (PL##). If using Advanced Plate Naming (see below), some projects may elect to use 2 letters other than “PL” or more than 2 letters (examples: FG01, BG01, EL01, RF01, smoke01, snowfall01, fire03, rain01, muzzleflash02).

 

 

Plate Version Number

Example: v001

Usage: This number increments if the plate that was already pulled needs to be pulled again.

Note: Versions must start with a ‘v’ and typical padding is 3-4 numbers (v### or v####)

 

Frame numbers

Example: The file for plate frame 1023 would be named AGM_104_065_010_PL01_v001.1023.exr

Note: Typical padding is 4 numbers, but special circumstances may require additional frame number padding (####)

 

Legal characters: [ a-z ], [ A-Z ], [ 0-9 ], [ . ], [ _ ], [ - ]

ILLEGAL: spaces or any other symbols/characters

ILLEGAL: Duplicate files and folder names

 

Updating Plate Numbers and Plate Version Numbers

Assume the first plate was named: AGM_104_065_010_PL01_v001

Incrementing the Plate Version Number

A new pull is needed to add more frames at the tail of the same plate

  • Increment the Plate Version Number
  • Do not increment the Plate Number

          AGM_104_065_010_PL01_v002

 Note: For a head or tail extension, the new plate should consist of all frames required to complete the shot work -- not only the new frames. If there is significant cost savings to only pull the added frames, the plate can keep the original name and new frames would be added to the pre-existing plate -- the prior-existing frames and added frames would need to be manually assembled together to make a new plate file where the Plate Version Number has been incremented. A batch rename process may need to be run on the original image files.

 

A transcoding glitch that can be corrected with a re-pull

  • Increment the Plate Version Number
  • Do not increment the Plate Number

          AGM_104_065_010_PL01_v002

 

Incrementing the Plate Number

A new foreground element needs to be added to the VFX shot

  • Do not increment the Plate Version Number
  • Increment the Plate Number

         AGM_104_065_010_PL02_v001

 

The editor has selected a completely different take to be used for the VFX shot

  • Do not increment the Plate Version Number
  • Increment the Plate Number

          AGM_104_065_010_PL02_v001

Note: This guideline is somewhat subjective. The Plate Version Number could be incremented instead of the Plate Number, but follow the rule one way or the other to help maintain consistency.

 

Advanced Plate Naming

Some projects prefer to further describe plates within the naming convention to help the editorial and VFX departments quickly identify whether a plate is intended as a foreground, background, element, reference, etc. Instead of using PL01, PL02, and PL03 for a single shot that includes all of these elements, the three plates may instead use FG01, BG01, EL01, RF01, or another designation (such as CH for chromeball).

 

Plate Number Examples:

FG01 (foreground)

BG01 (background)

EL01 (element)

RF01 (reference)

BS01 (bluescreen)

GS01 (greenscreen)

CC01 (color chart)

LG01 (lens grid)

CP01 (clean plate)

smoke01, smoke02

snowfall01, snowfall02

fire01, fire02, fire03

rain01

muzzleFlash01, muzzleFlash02, muzzleFlash03, muzzleFlash04, etc.

 

Plate Version Name Examples:

Foreground: AGM_104_065_010_FG01_v001

Background: AGM_104_065_010_BG01_v001

Element: AGM_104_065_010_EL01_v001

Reference: AGM_104_065_010_RF01_v001

Smoke Element: AGM_104_065_010_smoke01_v001

 

Each plate number type can be incremented independently using the same guidelines as described above for the PL01 plate numbers. If using advanced plate naming, it is recommended that a list of plate type definitions be created and distributed to help your production team members and vendor partners understand the meaning of different plate types.



Scenario Increment Plate Number Increment Plate Version Number Example Plate Name Notes
A new pull is needed to add more frames at the tail of the VFX shot

  X AGM_104_065_010_PL01_v002

For a head or tail extension, the new plate should consist of all frames required to complete the shot work -- not only the new frames. If there is significant cost savings to only pull the added frames, the plate can keep the original name.
A transcoding glitch that can be corrected with a re-pull

  X AGM_104_065_010_PL01_v002  
A new foreground element needs to be added to the overall VFX shot

X   AGM_104_065_010_PL02_v001

 
The editor has selected a completely different take to be used for the VFX shot X   AGM_104_065_010_PL02_v001 This guideline is somewhat subjective. The Plate Version Number could be incremented instead of the Plate Number, but follow the rule one way or the other to help maintain consistency.



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