Asset Management 101
Include Extra Data
Variation vs Option DescriptionsOften we are producing more than one option. For all files, this also belongs after the revision control number, unless the options and variants represent unique elements that can or should be used.
To clarify, suppose we are making a single element in Photoshop of a gaseous cloud for compositing. We've designed three Layer Comps and named them, “red”, “blue” and “mixed”. If only one of these should be used we would name these:
But suppose we are asked to provide three unique gas cloud variations for a shot. These might be named:shot12_gasCloud_v01_red.jpgshot12_gasCloud_v01_blue.jpgshot12_gasCloud_v01_mixed.jpg
This implies, of course, a requirement for explicit and clear instructions to the artist. However, giving explicit instructions will strengthen your command and control system. When in doubt, the artist should ask if they are presenting options or variations.shot12_gasCloud1_red._v01jpgshot12_gasCloud2_blue_v01.jpgshot12_gasCloud3_mixed_v01.jpg
Other File Classification DataRights Managed Files – One company I worked for found it important, when collecting stock files, to include rights usage information in the filename. They developed some simple abbreviations to indicate Royalty Free and Rights Managed assets. When collecting or accepting assets from the client for reference or use, it might be useful to encode the file with information to indicate whether the file is only for reference, client use in a particular project, or general use for all client projects.
Camera Data – Sometimes it might be useful to file footage with information about the camera angle (wide, close-up) or a camera number. Suppose you have stereo footage, then you need a consistent way to name your left and right view footage and asset files. Likewise, suppose you're assembling work from a multi-camera shoot, you may want to identify which camera was used in the source footage filename.
Use your imagination, and remember, that the most important aspect of asset filenaming is to facilitate control, yet accommodate unpredictable needs. Allow in your convention for modifiers and additional data, don't try to predetermine every possible situation, and update your specifications and review them with your staff often.
Just remember to protect your sort order, Usually the most important aspect of sort order will be the asset name and the next most important will be the revision control system numbering. After that come your modifiers and other data.
Asset Management 101 – part 9: Ten Essential Rules of File Naming-Summarized