VES Launches Open Source Camera Initiative

The Visual Effects Society (VES) has worked for more than a year with data management specialists Shotgun Software and 5th Kind and leading VFX companies to standardize data fields and specify data transfer formats to create a new universal system for providing reliable camera sheets and metadata.  The format is open sourced and is available with no fees or restrictions. As a result of this effort, the VES has now released a standardized interchange for camera reports, allowing essential VFX information to be better captured and transferred through production into post.

“A key ingredient to creating high quality visual effects is the ability to recreate a digital replica of the environment in which the scene was captured; yet, despite the fact that most studios agree on the fundamental data that needs to be captured on set, there has not been a consensus on a standard camera report format to ensure accurate notes,” said Jeffrey A. Okun, VES board chair. “We’re proud that the VES Technology Committee, under the leadership of Rob Bredow and Sam Richards, have successfully attempted to address this critical challenge and develop a much-needed solution.”

The initiative was developed by Sam Richards of Sony Pictures Imageworks as part of the VES Technology Committee, with assistance from numerous visual effects artists and data-wranglers. The original Filemaker database used as a starting point was contributed by Rhythm & Hues.

The initiative has received tremendous input from data and asset management companies and some of the industry’s biggest VFX companies through a dedicated working group.  Third-party vendors are encouraged to produce custom solutions that support this format as a standard tor interchange and several companies have already pledged their strong support.

“We’re enthusiastically committed to supporting this new standard in an upcoming release of Shotgun and promoting it to the Shotgun community,” added Don Parker, CEO, Shotgun Software.  ”We hope it’s one of many steps to help the industry gain efficiencies around how metadata is tracked and communicated.”

“It has been a great honor to work with the VES on standardizing a format that allows for streamlined integration into our real-time production backbone,” added Steve Cronan, CEO, 5th Kind. “We believe this standard will be a great contribution to the industry and integration will be released with our COREv4 platform in Q1 2014.”

The VES camera reports are freely downloadable as an example Filemaker database as well.  More information, free forms, software, and full specs are available at

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Movies, performance capture, previs, Tech, VES, Virtual Production

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