Versioning Timeline FX

Got a bunch of shots in a sequence with FX done in the timeline. Need to deliver that as individual shots for grading.
I am using the Sequence Publish method to export segments with handles.
Is there a way of versioning the work done in in the timeline per segment?
Versions can be different from segment to segment as I may receive notes for specific shots.
It would be ideal the version can be recognized by the version token when exporting the segment for automatic naming.

I guess you can add the versioning tokens when using the Sequence Workflow.
But not sure if you can add versions to Timeline bfx segments.

Hi Abel,

The best way to do this is use the Rename Shot function on the whole timeline. My favorite name for shots is <project nickname>_sh0<segment##>0 - but for this to work you must fill out the Project nickname when creating the job. If you don’t, no worries! You can prepend the name with something or nothing - your call.

Once the shots are named, you can export the timeline with <name>/<shot name>_<version name> or <name>/<shot name>_<version name>/<shot name>_<version name> if you’re sending out frame sequences. This will keep the shots named with the version names, in separate folders, in a folder named for the sequence. If you’re trying to break it all out by track names as in you’ve got a layer for Opticals, one for VFX, etc., then name your tracks and add the <track name> token into the mix!

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Was already on this path and building the structure with some of these token. Stuck on the versioning part. Where do I define the version name? Are you referring to the “Source Version Name” token?

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Hi Abel,

Got it. I assumed you were using versioning in Sequence Publishing already. My bad. Let’s back up a little.

When you publish a sequence, you have a LOT of different options what to do and how to track the shots. The “Video Options” tab is where you set the location of the files you will create. The “Clip Options” is where you control the metadata and parameters for where to put all the control files. Personally, I’ve found using all the parameters the “Clip Options” tab works really well:

  1. Create Open Clip: The OpenClip it creates is called the Segment Clip, this contains the original file information and looks a lot like the original file when it comes back in. But it’s not. It’s an XML file that Flame reads as a container - containing all the versions of a clip.

  2. Copy Exported Clip in Project: Copy Exported Clip in Project just brings the sequence back into your Media Panel automatically - albeit populated with the Segment Clips on V1 and the Output Clips on V2.

  3. Clip Versions: Clip Versions is the one you’re really interested in here. These are the options for how it versions your clip and what naming convention is used for those versions. The result is generated by the <version name> token.

  4. Create Shot Setup: Create Shot Setup saves the BatchGroup for each version, to a destination of your choosing. This is INSANELY useful because when you bring an OpenClip into a BatchGroup, you can select the version you want to use and append it into your current Batch. It’s a perfect snapshot. It also means your BatchGroup is not managed by the Flame and you can keep it with your source and results when backing up or sending out.

  5. Create Batch: Create Batch just loads that batch into your Media panel as it’s own NAMED Batch Group. If you’re in a team, just drop that in your Shared Library, and anyone can work on that shot.

The metadata fields in the tab are up to you to create a recipe that governs where you save and how you name. That part is up to you and your facility. I do have to say though, even if it’s just me on a job, and there’s no massive group, I’ll still use the sequence publish process because the versioning and archiving and workflow is just so much easier to manage.


Thanks so much for the detailed explanation Josh. I think I get it now. Also watched Grant Kay’s videos series on this workflow. It is definitely something that is better to setup as a starting point for all VFX work in the sequence.

I’m good with what I doing now, but just for the sake of knowledge I am investigating if I can create the Shot Setup with RAW media files already linked. As far as I can see the Shot Setup forces you to render the source media… right?

Another thing I will look into is to be able to take advantage of the Clip Versions in a timeline that was not started with the Sequence Publish workflow, but already have VFX work done.



Hi Abel,

There is a flag in the publish to use links instead of generate media. But I should caveat that we couldn’t use it at my old work because our san ran havoc with it. But I’d start there - it might work with your setup.

Sorry I can’t advise on what it takes to make a version/setup from an existing unversioned clip in a timeline.


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As someone who has only recently made the switch to full unmanaged, I too have been wondering if a publish workflow exists that simply creates batches and open clips linked to the existing media “in place” rather that requiring a full transcode of the media… especially when the source material is in container or raw formats.

Or perhaps you were thinking about something else? I haven’t looked lately but last time I checked published forced a media out I thought.

This is exactly my situation. Working with RAW sources. According to the docs seems like linking media only works with DPX and EXR.

The sequence must be exported in the file format of the source media: DPX to DPX, OpenEXR to OpenEXR

I haven’t look to hard for doing timeline versioned BFX tho.

Yeah, it’s odd right. In my mind it seems like it would be an easier, and honestly a less insane proposition. Maybe @fredwarren can shed some light if it’s possible.

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