Wanting to continuously improve my workflow, I like to pick other people's brains from time to time to check if someone is doing a certain process a smarter way, i.e. less steps, better naming, etc... Thinking this is a good place to share each other's ways of doing things, what's your way in terms of folder structure and file naming practices? We may also talk about what's good and what's not so good.
My way of doing things are using a refined post haste folder structure. It starts with reverse date naming, then a one word client short name then the name of the project: so for a red bull project created today it would be "16-0606 RB Project".
All files (especially exports) keep the whole name above and add onto it a clip name (such as "action clip") and a version number. So an export for the client would become "16-0606 RB Project Action Clip v 1.mov"
So the reverse date (16-0606) works like a serial number (usually it's the creation date, or the first day of an event) and stays the same throughout the project.
The media folder and files follow the same concept with a few twists. The reverse date is the shot date. This keeps card folders organised by day. Add onto it a camera short name (for color correction info) and a card number. So for footage shot yesterday on an A7SII for the project above the folder (and file names) would look like this:
Hi Nick. Interesting concept. FWIW, I'm not a fan of large file names. I keep my camera cards in folders based on the camera that filmed the footage within the project library so no need to add that to the name for me. Also, I'd remove the dash in the date and append letters as versions as well as removing the word "project" (not sure what benefit that adds). So your file version 2 of the RB project could be something like "160606B RB". Still sorts the same. I don't typically add the style of clip or export such as "action clip" but if that's helpful to you then the file becomes "160606B RB action clip". Just my thoughts, but thanks for raising an interesting topic.
Hi! I'm actually not a fan of large names either, I am a fan though of important information about a file - on the file, and I guess that won me over!!...
Lets pretend there is a Red Bull event called Art of Motion 2016 (there actually is). Now Red Bull requires several different edits for that project, such as an action clip, and event clip, a story clip, etc... The word "project" above is a placeholder for "Art of Motion 2016". So my above example would read "16-0605 RB AoM 2016 Action Clip v 1" or "16-0605 RB AoM 2016 Event Clip v 5".
I love the idea of perhaps adding letters to version numbers: reading something like "16-0605 RB AoM 2016 Action Clip v 1b" perhaps using the number as a client delivery version and letters as internal revisions.
I do run into a few "issues" I haven't worked out yet such as footage shot in the same card but spanning several days. Does it still all go into one folder (with the wrong shoot date) or split up into days?
With your way, don't you have identical file names with different projects?
I place each camera card in it's own folder with the camera name. (i.e Sony PXW folder contains sub folders for B-roll 6-6-16 which contains the XDROOT folder structure, as well as additional sub folders for XDROOT folders named for other cameras and dates.). Spanned clips aren't an issue as long as the entire camera card structure remains intact. Problems can arise when people copy only portions of clips or folders from a camera card. all this is within the client library (or libraries). I never have duplicate file names because the top level folder is named with a unique project number for the client. If we shot two segments of footage for the same client on the same day with the same camera but for different projects, each card would be located in a different event of the library for that client which would identify the specific project. I may not care as much about detailed file names as you do because I can always get back to a client's projects and we maintain a separate database of client completed projects (full res masters, deliverables, etc. with 2 backups). For multicam shoots we follow the same general workflow but are more specific in camera card names. These are just my preferences and we occasionally deviate but for the most part this is how we do it. There are many variations of how people organize their client content.
UPDATE: I should mention that we assign metadata in all our cameras that ensure each clip recorded is named "DGWxxx" where the x's represent project unique data and the rest of the clip number is assigned from a starting point in camera (i.e DGW7AY6135.mov or .mxf, etc.).
You might want to spend some time looking up "metadata for video" and "digital asset management" industry's best practices. File naming conventions have been more or less perfected for many years but for some reason we want to reinvent them.
The standard templates have evolved logically and to maximize efficiencies for sorting, searching, and mnemonics. The trends are to use keywords and sidecars in databases (like FCPX or DAMs) and to keep filenames to minimums without encoding metadata into the filename field. Eventually you must find a system that works for you and your production style.
We tend to use serial numbers for most media and apply keywords and descriptors in FCPX. However, it's impossible to get the graphics designers not use absurd and flowery filenames that attempt to encode client, project, date, version, and the phase of the moon.
Hi bogiesan! Like everything, there are many ways to go about organising and editing. I opened this thread in order for one to show their way of organising. This can help many new comers or disorganised editors looking for a fresh start to have a proper foundation. Though conventions may have been perfected, they can't be applied to all workflows and in the end one has to find their own way of working. After 10 years of editing, I have a workflow I'm completely happy with, and at the same time I'm always looking to refine and improve it - think lean management on a process. We do like getting into specifics here at FCP.co, so why not show us your way of naming things?
We use external media almost exclusively.
We agree on the name of the Library. this difficult because everyone wants to encode metadata into the name. I insist it must be simple.
I have a folder for [Library Name] resources. Inside that are folders for music, graphics, still images, scripts, movies from other sources, and anything else that comes in for the FCPX Library. This can get granular and unwieldy as the Library grows in complexity. Sometimes I must revert to subfolders but I try to keep it all at one level by insisting the collaborators plan ahead.
I have a folder called [Library Name] Motion. In there are all of the Library's Motion projects but more importantly is the folder for Motion project output files.
There is often a [Library Name] folder for After Effects projects and output movies.
Then there is a [Library Name] Output folder. This is where all versions of projects go when they get shared out of FCPX.
Filenaming is a joke among my usual collaborators. They want to be creative. I insist they follow conventions. The script dictates the scene numbers and some kind of code is often used to distinguish the individual components. They use those codes or I don't accept their files. Versioning is another issue. They are not allowed to use "new, old, golden, new-new-new, final, of final-final-final." They must increment using a V. But that gets weird, too, because a Motion project can evolve from version 01 to V10 and each time you render a movie it has to be versioned. Scene02_titles_02_v04_v07.
Our NFS servers are managed and backed up by IT so we do not keep camera archives or create additional backups.