Page 1 of 1

Naming Individual Clips on Export for VFX Pipeline

PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2023 4:08 pm
by gjhobbs
Hey all!

So we have a project where we've edited it all in resolve and it has a ton of VFX shots in it. We need to render out the individual clips as PNG or EXR sequences for tracking in PFTrack with handles, which is easily done in the Deliver page. But getting it to name the clips automatically... I haven't had so much luck with without doing it a clip at a time. I know there's some prefix/suffix options so I was wondering if someone could tell me if autonaming like this is possible.

We have our VFX shots named with this convention

PROJ_SEQ_###_SHO_###_REF_###.PNG

So that broken down means - Project Name (PROJ), Sequence Number(SEQ), Shot Number(SHO), Reference Label(REF), and then the frame number for the export.

So that would look like:

PROJ_SEQ_001_SHO_003_REF_###.PNG

SEQ wouldn't have to be updated, but Shot Number would and it would just have to be sequential.

Any ideas?

Re: Naming Individual Clips on Export for VFX Pipeline

PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2023 7:09 pm
by philipbowser
DaVinci is kind of lacking in this area for VFX editorial to be honest. But here are some tips I've found that help:

1. It is possible to use metadata as tokens in file names or folder names on export. To do this, use the "%" symbol in the file name / folder name field to bring up a list of possible variables. You can choose tokens like %Timeline name, %File Name, %Clip Name, %Scene, %VFX Shot # etc. The downside to this for VFX workflows is that clip metadata can only be set for the source media, and it cannot change for each instance of a clip in the timeline. So if you have two different VFX shots that come from the same source media, you can't use metadata like VFX Shot # to distinguish between them.

2. A solution to this is creating sub-clips of each VFX shot, or at least for the ones coming from the same source. This will allow you to populate the metadata fields like VFX Shot #, Scene, VFX Notes etc with different data for each sub-clip.

3. You can also automatically change the Clip Name of each clip on the timeline based on metadata. With all your clips selected, open up the Inspector panel, then the File tab, and under Name you can update the name to something like "MyProject_%Scene_%VFX Shot #" and it will update each Clip Name according to those individual metadata fields. This Clip Name can also then be used on the Deliver page as a token using %Clip Name. FYI, I believe Clip Name and Clip Colour are the only metadata fields which can be different for each clip instance, everything else will change the source clip's metadata.

4. On the Deliver page, under the File tab, you can name a File subfolder for each individual clip rendered (also using tokens) which is helpful for image sequences. However, something to note here is that if you have any clips in the timeline with the same metadata which would generate the exact same file name and folder name (e.g. same %VFX Shot # and %Scene metadata) then the last clip to be rendered will overwrite any frames of a previously rendered clip using that metadata. So you have to make sure 100% that each clip has unique metadata if you're going to use this approach. This is why I like updating the Clip Name in the timeline using metadata so I can see if there are any issues I need to fix manually before rendering, then I just use %Clip Name on the Deliver page as a token. A safeguard to this though is checking the "Place clips in separate folders" checkbox. This will put each rendered clip in a folder called something like "Event__0001_####". This naming unfortunately cannot be changed, but at least you won't run into overwriting issues.

I hope this helps! Also there may be much better ways to do this that others in the community can chime in with, these are just solutions I've figured out after a lot of trial and error.