The Digital Codebook Screenshot
January, 2020
Digital Codebook

Welcome to the Digital Codebook version 2.9.1. This is the exact database that Richard is currently using as VFX Editor on Bill & Ted Face the Music, and the further evolution of version 2.7.1, the database that helped him deliver just shy of 1000 shots on Catch-22 for Hulu.

There aren’t a ton of obvious changes, but there are some significant things under the hood that we’re very excited to share with you.

1). The Digital Codebook version number is now included in the Globals section. Often times, students would have questions about the database and Richard would ask what version they were using. The version number used to be in the filename, but if the filename was renamed it was hard to know. He’s put the version number in the Globals sections, so if there are ever updates or if he’s trying to assess a problem, we all know what we’re working on. See ref image 01 below.


2). In the lineups, when you enter frame numbers the range will become highlighted in blue. The idea behind this is that when you fill in lineup information, visually the lineups will look like clips in a timeline which should help the VFX Artist know how several clips in a shot makeup the intended effect. See image below.


3). There is a new layout called VFX Sequence Codes. This is because in a complex VFX sequence, you might have a long VFX sequence that encompasses several scenes. Rather than number your VFX by scene, it might make more sense to number your VFX by VFX Sequence. This layout was created so that you can keep track of those VFX Sequence IDs, and create PDFs to keep everybody on your team informed as to what those VFX Sequence IDs mean. See image below.


4). When you export PDFs using the PDF Counts button, it will burn in the date into the counts as well as including the date in yyyymmdd format in the filename. This will make it very clear to your vendors if they are using the current count sheets.

5). When you export spreadsheets using the Spreadsheet button, it now exports 2 separate spreadsheets instead of one. One spreadsheet includes just the shot count information, and the second spreadsheet includes the lineup information. It will take the Turnover number to label itself correctly and also include the date in the filename. To make your spreadsheets cleaner, I’ve included an Excel file with file headers that you can replace with the default headers from Filemaker. This is based on my turnovers for Catch-22, and has proved to be a much cleaner and clearer way of working.

6). Many students have asked for the OSX services that convert .txt to .edl and .ale.¬†Richard had been looking for a solution to this problem and found that Automator had broken the services that he originally built for this and he hadn’t yet figured out a new proper solution. Also, converting txt files was always an extra step that he was trying to mitigate. In this new version of the Codebook, there’s no need to use other services to convert ALEs or EDLs as they are already formatted properly upon export. In addition, the ALEs will be default named as “VFX Subclips” with the date, to keep organized.

All enrolled students can find and download this latest update in Module 3, Lesson 1 of Feature Film Assistant Editor Immersion at the bottom of the page under “Available Downloads.”

Enjoy the new Digital Codebook, Happy New Year and Happy Editing!