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Reference Tables

For those who are experienced with VFX shot naming, the tables below provide quick reference on best practice recommendations for formulating VFX shot names. The rest of this document provides a more in-depth explanation of VFX shot naming. 

 

 

Shot Name and Version Name Fields: Usage reference table

Field (Example)

Best practice recommendation for usage

showID (AGM)

Required for series projects (except optional for IO). Optional for all other project types.

episode (104)

Required for all series projects. Not applicable for features.

seq (TCC)

Optional. (Not all projects get broken down by sequence)

scene (067)

Optional but required if project naming does not use sequences.

shotID# (0010)

Required

task (comp)

Encouraged (helps quickly identify the type of work that will appear in a given version)

vendorID (NFX)

Required for series projects (except optional for IO). Encouraged for all other project types.

version# (v001)

Required. Must begin with ‘v’.

 

Series: Example shot name options

No sequence

No scene

Both sequence and scene

showID_episode_scene_shotID#

showID_episode_seq_shotID#

showID_episode_seq_scene_shotID#

AGM_104_065_010

AGM_104_TCC_0010

AGM_104_TCC_065_0010

AGM_104_065_020

AGM_104_TCC_0020

AGM_104_TCC_065_0020

AGM_104_066_010

AGM_104_TCC_0030

AGM_104_TCC_066_0030

AGM_104_066_020

AGM_104_TCC_0040

AGM_104_TCC_066_0040

AGM_104_066_030

AGM_104_TCC_0050

AGM_104_TCC_066_0050

AGM_104_066_040

AGM_104_TCC_0060

AGM_104_TCC_066_0060

AGM_104_067_010

AGM_104_TCC_0070

AGM_104_TCC_067_0070

AGM_104_067_020

AGM_104_TCC_0080

AGM_104_TCC_067_0080

Version example: AGM_104_065_010_comp_NFX_v001

 

 

 

Feature: Example shot name options

No sequence

No scene

Both sequence and scene

showID_scene_shotID#

showID_seq_shotID#

showID_seq_scene_shotID#

AGM_065_010

AGM_TCC_0010

AGM_TCC_065_0010

AGM_065_020

AGM_TCC_0020

AGM_TCC_065_0020

AGM_066_010

AGM_TCC_0030

AGM_TCC_066_0030

AGM_066_020

AGM_TCC_0040

AGM_TCC_066_0040

AGM_066_030

AGM_TCC_0050

AGM_TCC_066_0050

AGM_066_040

AGM_TCC_0060

AGM_TCC_066_0060

AGM_067_010

AGM_TCC_0070

AGM_TCC_067_0070

AGM_067_020

AGM_TCC_0080

AGM_TCC_067_0080

Version name example: AGM_065_010_comp_NFX_v001

 

 

VFX Shot Name Intro

A shot is a portion of edited material that spans from cut point to cut point. Each shot that includes VFX work receives a defined shot name for VFX to use for tracking purposes. This name is usually set by editorial using a predefined naming convention. Using a predefined VFX naming convention helps ensure consistency in naming across an entire project.

Why not just use slate names?

One slate might be used across multiple different VFX shots, making it more difficult to track the difference from one VFX shot to the next. Multiple shots with varying slates often get combined into a single composited shot, making the choice for the shot name overly ambiguous.

Who is responsible for shot naming?

Naming is often done by a VFX Editor or an assistant editor. It's helpful to have a role embedded with editorial naming shots as editorial identifies them as requiring VFX work, so expectations between VFX and editorial are aligned on which shots require VFX work. Editorial and VFX both tracking names allows VFX to be able to cross check lists from editorial and make sure they aren’t missing anything or working on material that editorial doesn't expect VFX to do work on.

Difference between Shot Name and Version Name

A Shot Name is used to track the overall status of the work for a particular shot. A Version Name is a single iteration of that shot and includes some additional information that will vary with each iteration of the shot that’s submitted. Version information is logged to help keep track of information such as which version received a particular note, or which version is approved in the cut.

 Screen_Shot_2019-09-17_at_7.39.21_PM.png

Shot: AGM_104_065_010 (shot = showID + episode + scene + VFX ID)

Version: AGM_104_065_010_comp_NFX_v005 (version = shot + task + vendorID + version)

 

Shot Fields:

  • showID (AGM)
  • episode (104)
  • seq (TCC)
  • scene (067)
  • shotID# (0010)

Version Fields:

  • task (comp)
  • vendorID (NFX)
  • version# (v001)

 

In the example below you can see the approved shot AGM_104_067_0010 has the overall status of approved and 5 versions were generated for it, one of which got approved and will end up in the final cut:

 

AGM_104_065_0010 - Approved

       AGM_104_065_010_comp_NFX_v001 - Not Approved

       AGM_104_065_010_comp_NFX_v002 - Not Approved

       AGM_104_065_010_comp_NFX_v003 - Not Approved

       AGM_104_065_010_comp_NFX_v004 - Not Approved

       AGM_104_065_010_comp_NFX_v005 - Approved

 

There are many other pieces of information that can be tracked against shots and versions beyond “approved” and “not approved” (such as “scope of work”, “assigned vendor”, “cost”, “notes”,  etc.). The above example has been simplified to demonstrate the difference between a shot name and a version name.

 

Shot and Version fields

Shot and version names are composed of fields that are often separated by underscores. These fields can help identify information about a shot by looking at the file name. These fields can also help automatic tools sort and organize files by their names.

 

A shot name that uses all of the field options may look something like this:

AGM_104_TCC_067_0010_comp_NFX_v001

(showID_episode_seq_scene_shotID#_task_vendorID_Version)

 

Shot Fields

showID

  • A 2-3 character abbreviation for the project name.
  • Example: AGM = A Great Movie
  • Usage: Required for series projects (except optional for IO). Optional for all other project types.                                                  

episode

  • A 3 digit season and episode code. The first digit indicates the season the episode is in. The following digits indicate the episode number within the season.
  • Example: 104 = season 1, episode 4
  • Usage: Required for all series projects. Not applicable for features.

sequence

  • A sequence is a 2-3 character abbreviation for a collection of scenes that are considered a VFX sequence. Sequences can also be assigned to numbers.
  • Example: TCC = The Car Chase
  • Usage: Optional. (Not all projects get broken down by sequence)

scene

  • Scene number from the portion of the script that a VFX shot came from. Usually appears on the slate.
  • Example: 067 = shot comes from scene 67
  • Usage: Optional but required if project naming does not use sequences.
  • Note: Sometimes scene numbers will appear with letters appended to them to indicate inserted scenes, camera setups or plate shoots. Letters can be ignored for shot naming purposes. It's usually simpler to manage shot names without including any scene letters for overall consistency of file naming.

shotID#

  • 3-4 digit identifying number assigned chronologically by sequence or by scene.
  • Numbers are typically assigned chronologically by sequence or scene and usually increments by 10s, so if a VFX shot is later identified between ID 0010 and ID 0020 it can be given an ID in between, such as 0015
  • Example: 0010 = shot’s assigned ID number is 0010 
  • Usage: Required.

 

Version Fields

Task

  • Type of work rendered. “comp” for work rendered by a compositing department, “anim” for work rendered by an animation department, etc.
  • Example: comp = version was rendered by vendor’s compositing department
  • Usage: Encouraged (helps quickly identify the type of work that will appear in a given version)

vendorID

  • Short abbreviation for vendor that produced the work.
  • Example: NFX = version was generated by vendor named Netflix VFX
  • Usage: Required for series projects (except optional for IO). Encouraged for all other project types. 
  • Tip: In addition to quickly letting you identify the originating vendor of any version, the vendorID field helps ensure you’ll never have 2 versions named exactly the same way when multiple vendors are working on a single shot.

version

  • 3-4 digit number starting with ‘v’ that indicates the version number of the version.
  • Example: v001 = first iteration of a shot submission
  • Usage: Required. Must begin with ‘v’.

 

Fully formed version name

When using all of the example fields above, you get the following shot name:

AGM_104_TCC_067_0010_comp_NFX_v001

 

Depending on specific needs, version naming may vary slightly from project to project, but inclusion or exclusion of naming fields should never vary by vendor or by shot within the same project.


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