Here are some notes on file versioning and date naming conventions for 3D animation production:
I recommend using the following “_###” versioning system:
It depends on the project you’re on, but most project files won’t have a 1000th version so 3 frame padding is very very safe for almost all purposes in animation, while 2 frame padding doesn’t allow for the occasional 100th version.
The letter “v”
Some pipelines use “v” to denote version number, and I think it’s not a bad idea. In a pipeline where it’s understood that “_###” already denotes versioning, it comes across as an additional letter without providing more information.
Using the “.”
Please avoid using the “.” for file versioning because some softwares may confuse that with a file extension! That said, Maya’s imagePlane sequence only accepts “.” for image sequence number.
For Maya image sequence
animation_001.jpg animation_002.jpg animation_003.jpg
animation.001.jpg animation.002.jpg animation.003.jpg
Date naming convention
Most file browsers default to sort by name. It quite confusing to date files with DDMMYY because 301216 will numerically be after 011217 when it should actually be chronologically before:
011217 151217 301216 310118
Thus I recommend YYMMDD where it will make both numerical and chronological sense:
161231 171201 171215 180131
Why use YY over YYYY?
In fact, it is clearer to see 2016 as compared to just 16. As long as the entire pipeline understands the date convention, we can essentially save on the redundant “20”, since most of the projects we work on don’t run past a century.
That’s all for now!