Post Magazine

May 2010

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R E V I E W Shotgun Software T oday’s productions for film, broadcast and even the Web are seeing ex- tremely large digital pipelines and even By JIM GEDULDICK Senior DI/VFX Artist Offhollywood NY Co-leader AENY crazier deadlines. Media is coming from every which way, be it on Compact Flash, P2, drive or telecine. Just keeping track of the media, let alone the production schedule, who is on the job, and which tasks a certain depart- ment has, can be very daunting and at times would require you to hire a database whiz to design some custom software. This is where Shotgun Software comes into play. Shotgun is a cross-platform,Web- based production tracking and collaboration system for studios.This software was cre- ated by people working in the 3D feature film industry; they saw a need for a well- rounded set of tools for studios to track and collaborate on projects. A Web-based production tracking and collaboration tool. VERSATILITY Shotgun had been in development for about three and a half years before I joined the beta team about a year ago, and the time and effort spent really shows in Shot- emails, and attachments, which can be fil- tered by type, status or a custom header. Hosting your own data, or having Shotgun host it for you, lets you choose where your data will be stored. One of the many things PRODUCT: Shotgun Software WEBSITE: PRICING: Ranges from Lite ($19 per user/ month) to Partner ($149 per user/month) · integrated · customizable workflow · secure that keep a studio on track is its schedule, and Shotgun allows you to customize pretty much anything to fit your studio’s needs. If you happen to have someone handy with Python, you can start creating some really new ways to tie Shotgun to your visual effects or post pipeline. Shotgun also partnered with Tweak Software to bring in the RV Playback System for review and playback. I have been using RV for visual effects and animation for a schedule conflicts, then you are not really being productive. Shotgun offers a subscrip- tion-based pay system, which allows you to only pay for what you need and save on overhead.You don’t have any contracts or commitments when subscribing, so after you’ve finished a project you can stop and start up again when a new production begins. CUSTOM SHOP Because of Shotgun’s open technology, you can really tailor it to your studio’s needs. Open Python API, event triggers, asset man- agement integration and being able to ex- tend the UI with tab widgets are just some of the tools at hand to get your pipeline where it needs to be. One thing that comes to mind with the above listed feature set is automation. Shotgun allows you to automate very tedious tasks with some of its scripting capabilities. Let’s say you need to pull the same shot for 13 artists who then need to comp that shot into 40 different scenes? Cre- ate the temps and have everyone be notified of when a change is made. How much time could that save you? Shotgun partnered with Tweak to bring in the RV Playback System. while now and the feature set and stability make it tough to compete with. gun’s versatility. Since it is Web-based, all you need is a Web browser and an Internet con- nection to log in. And because it uses the Web, there is no need to wonder if some- one is looking at the most recent version of the project because as soon as a task or field is changed on the server, everyone on the project is updated. Integrated messaging al- lows everyone to keep track of notes, tasks, INVESTMENT Shotgun is like Filemaker on crack, but much less daunting to set up or maintain. Producers, artists, leads and interns can im- port, export and share information, whether it’s stills, Excel spreadsheets or reference clips. Because it’s so easy to use, a studio can have everyone up and running quickly, allow- FINAL THOUGHTS I have been using Shotgun daily for roughly the past year and am just finishing up another feature where it has been instru- mental to my workflow on visual effects and collaboration with the other artists in the studio. Shotgun allows me to get work done without the hassle of jumping around to different databases or apps to get the in- formation I need for my projects.The fu- ture of Shotgun is looking even better from a user standpoint thanks to integra- tion with studio tools such as CineSync, Qube and others. May 2010 • Post 43 ing more time for productive things, such as roto and Starbucks runs. If your artists, or staff, are spending large amounts of time worrying about who has what file, if a shot was finaled or if there are VITAL STATS

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