11/19/14 19:00:14

Producer's Tools: Create New File Version

Here’s a little insight into the way I work. My readers know that I’m producing videos for a living. The thing is, I’m the nerdy kind of a video producer. I know my way around Xcode, I know AppleScript, Ruby, a little Python. I know what version control is, and I can see the advantages of testing and continuous integration1.

So considering all this, it’s probably no surprise that I version number my edits. Basically every day in the morning I create a new version (file in the Finder, or project in Final Cut Pro X). Renders have this version number in their name. For clients this has the advantage that they can refer to a fixed number to ask for edit improvements. For me this has the advantage that the exported version number has the same “meaning” for both of us. So when client is happy with version 25, while we’re already at version 30, it is very easy to go back to that version.

Long story short. Normally I work in Motion, Sketch, Affinity Designer, Final Cut, Keynote, whatever does, what I need to accomplish. Typically I number the files by hand; with an added v$versionNumber at the end. Example:

MindNode for iOS App Preview v14

In the past I’ve been doing this by hand. But why do it by hand, when a Keyboard Maestro can help?

Here’s a short demo:

What this macro does, essentially, it uses the Duplicate command to create a new file (actually the same thing that I would do by hand), and then use some regular expression replacing and variable trickery to assemble the new file name.

In the Finder a new file always gets an additional “copy" at the end, which I don’t need. In Final Cut new items get an additional "1”.2 I find the number by itself not telling enough, a space between v and the number itself unpleasant looking, and a written out version too long.

Download is here.

  1. I actually experiment with continuous integration workflows for video production. 

  2. Final Cut actually counts upwards when the last word is a number only.