VAM Summit and Awards: Here is how Autodesk’s software Shotgun eased the workflow for Futureworks Media

The VAM Summit and Awards, organised by AnimationXpress, saw an assortment of distinguished speakers sharing their stories and industry updates. It was that time of the event, where Autodesk India and SAARC Technical Solutions specialist  Media and Entertainment Samit Shetty hosted a session  Connect, Collaborate & Conquer your Creative workflows in 2021 with Futureworks Media founder and CEO – Gaurav Gupta and Futureworks Media pipeline specialist  Siddhartha Basu .

The session commenced with Shetty’s presentation on how Autodesk’s tool Shotgun, simplifies creative project management and unifies visual effects (VFX), animation and gaming teams of all sizes. Shetty enlightened us with various features of the tool and by using them how organisations will be benefitted. He added, “Productions are going global as all artists need to work from home which again, becomes an independent location for facilities, so the complications started becoming bigger and global and to overcome that we have this tool Shotgun which does production management, creative collaboration and integrated workflow.”

Shotgun  Software won the science technology award at the OSCARS Scientific and Technical awards 2021 and during the pandemic, it also won  National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The remote working style, which the industry adapted massively during the pandemic has a lot of challenges especially for a studio working on multiple projects. As multiple projects require multiple data respective in respect to each project in the form of notes, PDF, project file and so on which creates chaos where artists are located in different parts of the world. To ease the process Shotgun comes into the scene.  He shared “Shotgun database sits on the cloud the task is assigned to an artist and the artist is going to submit the job to the cloud and simultaneously everyone from internal stakeholders to external stakeholders  can review them and give the feedback and this tightly integrated cycle goes on.”

Benefits of using Shotgun:

  • Every aspect of production lives centrally in Shotgun, not buried in email or spread across spreadsheets, apps and tools. One can see the status and latest versions at all times.
  • One will always know who’s working on what, and when are the tasks  scheduled to start and finish. It proactively fills gaps and handles unexpected changes with ease.
  • Having accurate data on past projects helps with planning, staffing and estimating, so you can bid aggressively on new projects.

Moving to the next section of the session Shetty opened the floor for Futureworks Media to understand how the studio has benefited from using the tool. Gupta shared “We can’t think of working any other way without using Shotgun. As you grow from five artists to 200 artists, it becomes impossible to communicate and keep track of the various different assets on excel sheets, the complexity is tremendous.”

As the workload increases, maintaining the project’s pipeline and supervising everything under one roof become essential and all the files when located separately can become chaotic and that is when Shotgun eases the challenges. “At Futureworks everything begins and ends with Shotgun. The idea is to bring everything in, be it either it is production tracking, production planning, scheduling all are reviewing, all our different versions, all our different assets, everything is part of Shotgun.”

Further with Basu , Shetty discussed RV which is also part of the Shotgun platform and Future Works have been using it for a while. Here is how RV helps-

  • To review mixed resolutions, formats, and frame rates.
  • Better performance out of the box with improved default caching settings.
  • View in context on your desktop or in the theater.
  • Enjoy annotation and synchronised review from anywhere in the world.
  • Compare shots with wipes, A/B, or tiled contact sheets.
  • Load in color profiles with OCIO, perform interactive color adjustments, view the final image.
  • Transcode frames, movies, and audio formats.

Basu added “ RV is mighty in terms of media playback, we not only use it for reviews, but we also use it to debug and check all the render passes that we have from the lighting department. So the images with layers were perfect, and we can scrub through the timeline very easily.”

 Futureworks projects like Paatal Lok, Tandav, The Family Man Season two , Mumbai diaries 26/11, Bombay Begums, Sardar And Grandson, and more everything was done on Shotgun.