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New App To Auto-Name VFX Locators on Timeline

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Chris Conlee
New App To Auto-Name VFX Locators on Timeline
on Jan 4, 2014 at 8:47:53 pm

Hello Everybody:

On the network episodic show I'm currently working on, we name our VFX something like this: ONC308_001_001, indicating the show title/episode, the scene, and finally the VFX number. Because we always have more than 200 and usually closer to 500 or 600 VFX per show, I've written this small utility to aid in the marking and naming of VFX shots.

To use, simply place a blank locator of a given color (you choose) on every single VFX shot in your sequence. The position of the locator is not important, so long as it is somewhere on the shot. Then, if you want your scenes to be broken out for you, name the first locator in each scene with a 3 digit number (ie: 001 for scene 1, 002, 003 etc.).

Again, only do that for the first shot of each scene block.

At this point, export your locator list as a text file and import it into my app.

Once in the app, indicate how you'd like your VFX to be ID'd, such as ONC308, in my example above.

Then indicate how you'd like your VFX count to increment, ie: by 1s, 2s, 5s, 10s etc. It's your choice.

Tell the app what color your VFX markers are. You have to spell it precisely, so if you don't know, look at your exported marker list. It is NOT case sensitive, however.

The "FPS" and EDL checkbox are optional (more in a bit).

At this point you can hit "Convert" and the app will generate a new marker list with appropriate VFX names automatically added. Save your marker list with a .txt extension. You can then import this marker list back into your project and then export a new EDL with these markers and process it with my other utility here to create a Sub-Cap file to automagically label your shots too.

Now, about those optional thingys...

I've made it a personal habit to put my VFX locators on the FIRST frame and a second marker of another color on the LAST frame of every VFX shot. In this way, I can visually see if my editor has changed a shot, such that I'll have to re-pull it and resubmit to our vendor. If he's rolled a head or tail beyond the 12 frames our vendor typically provides as handle, I can see it. If he's trimmed a locator off, I can simply re-add it, as it won't affect our vendor's delivery, most likely.

The FPS and EDL section allows you to perform this step of moving the locator to head of the shot and automatically inserting a "closing" locator at the tail of the shot.

To use: simply indicate your project's framerate. 24, 25, or 30, typically. (Note: use 24 for 23.976 projects)

When you click on the EDL clickbox it will open a dialog seeking an EDL of your sequence. At this point, click the "Convert" button. Armed with the framerate and the EDL of your sequence, the app wil automatically name your locators, move them to the first frame of each shot, and then add a Yellow locator at the tail end of each shot.

In my download Zip, I've included a sample marker file and EDL of a sequence so you can play with it immediately to see what all this blather is about. It's all fairly specific, but if it's useful, by all means enjoy it. Let me know if you have issues, and I'll try to sort 'em out. For my own use, this utility will save DAYS of work. Hope it saves somebody else some effort too.

Download here: http://www.chrisconlee.com/avid.htm

Chris Conlee


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