Naming Conventions and File Structure for 2D Animation?

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Naming Conventions and File Structure for 2D Animation?

Post by Jet » 30 May 2016, 15:09

For whatever reason different people use different naming conventions as does different industries and as personal as a file structure can be I'd be really interested in hearing how others manage their projects. How would you go about organizing your short film, series or feature in regards to terminology and file system so a director can best communicate? I ask because I wanted to do some more research on this topic but any articles relating to hand-drawn animation are extremely dated.

I personally use scene > cut and mark them on my layouts as #1 and C.1 with filenames ex1_001_0001 (ex-title abbreviation, 1-episode, 001-scene, 0001-cut) but cuts are named sequentially regardless of the scene number they belong, if there are 274 cuts then I mark them for example in the animatic/storyboards/screenplay #4 c32-c57 to define that scene 4 contains cuts 32 through 57 instead of #4 c0001, c0002 and #5 c0001, c0002 etc.

The file system I use is like this:
Spoiler : :

- docs
--| contract
--| events
--| schedule
--| shot_list

- dev
--| concept
---| boards
---| char
---| env
---| prop
--| model_pack
--| pitch
--| story
--| storyboard

- prod
--| assets
---| 3d
---| audio
----| music
----| soundfx
---| guides
---| palettes
---| reuse
----| bg
----| char-name_transform
---| textures
---| scripts
--| 1
---| s001
----| animatic
----| c0001
-----| bg
-----| drawings
------| A
------| B
------| C
-----| vfx
-----| layout
-----| render
-----| voice
--| edit
---| backup
---| final
I've encountered people using title > episode > sequence > scene > shot which seemed rather excessive and I've encountered people using the term "scene" for "shot" and sometimes "sequence" for shot. I wondered what others used. :mrgreen:
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D.T. Nethery
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Re: Naming Conventions and File Structure for 2D Animation?

Post by D.T. Nethery » 30 May 2016, 15:42

Good topic.
"I've encountered people using the term "scene" for "shot" .
I don't have time to comment extensively on this right now , but will mention that during the years I worked at Disney Feature Animation (from 1987 on Who Framed Roger Rabbit - through 2003 on Brother Bear ) the naming convention on the X-sheets and on the artwork was Production Name (or Prod. Number) _ Sequence Number _ Scene Number (always referred to as "Scenes" , not "Cuts" or "Shots") .
Last edited by D.T. Nethery on 30 May 2016, 16:06, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Naming Conventions and File Structure for 2D Animation?

Post by slowtiger » 30 May 2016, 15:53

Something I've worked with:

Code: Select all

- 00_Textures
- Animatic
- Char Library
- Episode 998 - Title
- - 00_heads.anme
- - 01_Backgrounds
- - - bg_998_007
- - - bg_998_077
- - 02_Layouts
- - ep998_sc001.anme
- - ep998_sc002.anme
- - ep998_sc002A.anme
- - ep998_sc002B.anme
- - mov
Episode 999 - Title
This was an Anime Studio project, that's why you have the backgounds at level with the scene files, and the textures in root. Files named A, B, C mark different versions of the same.
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Re: Naming Conventions and File Structure for 2D Animation?

Post by 2dbert » 11 Jun 2016, 09:49

I guess the at first sight different meanings of the word "scene" as traditionally used in theater, live action film and animation aren't so different when you remember it refers originally to the theater play's backdrop: what happens on stage in one scenery in temporal sequence requires one scene in front of which it happens, and that's what it's called: a scene. The same thing would possibly be shown not in one but a number of shots of the same set in live action, therefore the sequence of those several shots is still referred to as one scene. For animation, a new scene, namely a new BG, is required for each shot, therefore what you'd call a scene in live action is a called a sequence here, and the single shots are, quite rightly, called scenes.

Only if there's more than one project in the pipeline or if it's a series, you'd rely have to specify project name or episode number also: Ep__Sq__Sc__ (as David described above)

Unlike the editing process of a live action movie, where you figure out the exact order of shots after producing the footage anyway, an animation is usually "edited" before production as a storyboard or animatic, and because of this it's useful to have sequence and scene start not as no. 01 but as no.010. Like that, you can add new sequences and scenes (starting with, say 015, to leave more room either side) during production when you realize you'll need them, but without messing with your established names, being at the same time crystal clear about where in the movie this new sequence or scene has to go.

As far as I encountered it, that was generally the naming convention as long as live action and animation went pretty much their separate ways, and I still find it very useful personally, particularly the zero-figure-zero convention. But suggesting such a system to live action people you want to colaborate with usually puts some sort of expression on their faces... well, try it!

I guess by now it's best to come to an agreement with the almighty editor before you even start storyboarding.
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