Have You Ever Shot With Cameras That Always Create the Same Filenames?
There are a lot of situations where shooting with action cameras or DSLRs allow stunning perspectives and prevent expensive gear from possible damage. But many consumer cameras don’t come with the elaborate file naming mechanisms of professional camera systems. Ending up with countless cards labeled No Name, each containing identical clip names (like 0001.mp4, 0002.mp4), or multiple folders containing identically named files on a single card, can be a nerve-racking result.
The ambiguity of one file name referencing multiple clips in a project impairs complexity: you (and everyone in the post process) need to be extra-thoughtful when offloading, organizing, and processing them to ensure no mix-ups – even more, when sharing proxies and conforming. Therefore, the flexibility of these camera systems comes at a high price.
Some users try to resolve the ambiguity of file and clip names using batch-renaming scripts or dedicated applications, adding custom pre- or postfixes to make the file names unique. Batch renaming files on the original card itself is a bad idea: you alter the OCF and have no backup if something goes wrong. On the other hand, batch renaming the first backup of a card interrupts the workflow of copying to multiple destinations, editing metadata, QC’ing, and transcoding. In any case, you lose the information that the OCFs were renamed, and you need to perform additional work steps with different software components.
Wouldn’t it be nice if Silverstack could help you take care of ambiguous file names in your usual offloading workflow and with minimal effort?
File Renaming on Offload With Silverstack
Silverstack 8.0 introduced a file renaming option in the offload wizard that provides a transparent and easy solution for these scenarios. During the copying process, the file and clip names can be individualized by a selectable pattern, resulting in consistent and unique file names on the offload destinations while leaving the original files on the camera card untouched. It integrates seamlessly with other Silverstack features like verification or cascading copy and makes the renaming process transparent by referencing both original and new file names in the resources panel.
How to Use
In addition to your usual offload settings, make sure you set an individual bin name for the card you are offloading in the “ingest” section (e.g., A001) and a renaming pattern in the “Copy and Verify” section. That’s it.
According to the selected renaming pattern, Silverstack generates unique clip names using these components:
- Chosen card name/bin name, e.g. A001
- Original file name without extension, e.g. Clip0008 or GOPR0008
- Optional: Individual clip number (starts for each offload with 1)
- Optional: Shooting date
The new name will show up as a clip name in Silverstack and as a file name on all copy destinations. In addition, the selected card name is set as reel name for each clip in Silverstack’s library and as bin name in the library’s folder structure.
Workflow Considerations With Differing Camera Models
As it does for all offload settings, the offload wizard automatically restores the chosen renaming pattern from the previous offload session. However, suppose there are differing camera models in your production, and you only want the renaming functionality to affect one of them. In that case, we suggest creating and applying individual offload wizard templates for each offload situation (e.g., GoProOffloadSettings and AlexaOffloadSettings).
Additionally, the renaming feature is strictly limited to .mov and .mp4 files of selected camera devices to prevent unintentional renaming of the clips from professional camera systems. Please check the article in our knowledge base for further details.
Some cameras’ file naming behavior is not suitable for professional film workflows, such as conforming. Silverstack 8 offers features to ease handling of their files by assigning unique names based on a selectable pattern and reel name during offloading. This process is documented by keeping a record of the original name for each file in the library. The result is properly named file names from crash cams and the like with reduced issues in the entire post-production.