VES Camera Report


VFX productions have been using multiple vendors for their VFX work for many years now. Additionally there is increased pressure from the production to keep the number of on-set people to a minimum, so VFX Studios need to rely on production crewed data-wranglers to record the camera reports for the VFX studios.

This frequently results in completely different types of camera reports been given to the studios. Each which have their own challenges in how the studio should ingest them. This becomes part of the hidden cost that cannot be passed onto the client, but yet the VFX Studio needs to absorb.


The goals for developing the VES camera reports:

  1. Provide baseline camera reports that productions can adopt and adapt (where necessary).
  2. Provide a known standard set of fields and a well specified format for exporting (or importing) the data.
  3. Make it as easy as possible for a facility to ingest camera reports and their associated data even though they may have been created by another company or production.
  4. Provide versions of camera reports for film and digital shoots, as well as stereo shoots and support for multi-cam.

The initial deliverable will be a filemaker-12 database, but we would like to explore other options, especially if it allows better integration directly with the digital cameras. The key advantage of filemaker 12 is that the ipad client is now free, which lowers the barrier for some productions.

Key Interface Guidelines

The database needs to be easy to extend, making it easy to extend certain types of fields (in particular checkboxes related to what's on set, or what is being recorded).

Wherever possible, fields should be selection lists to help with rapid (and accurate) data entry.

The ipad screens should be designed for easy display and entry using fingers, which mean the font-size and boxes should be quite a bit larger than normal.

Database Layout

We plan to split the scenes and takes into separate tables, which should make it easier to handle an unlimited number of takes per scene.

Additionally we have tables for the following:

  1. Lens database - this is used to make a popup of lenses used in production.
  2. VFX Work - This is the list of what is being expected to be done to this plate, this is used to create a checkbox list in the forms.
  3. Set Media - This is a list of possible media that is being created on set to be delivered to productions, this is used to create a checkbox list in the forms.

The default export format will be a single CSV file, where we will merge the scene and takes. The take fields will be prefixed by “tk” to make them easy to identify. The first line will include the file fields. We are actually going to be using a mail-merge format, which is mostly CSV based, but there is some special handling of some characters.