2016 Shotgun Reel Call for Footage

It’s that time of year again folks! We’re getting ready to cut our annual client reel and would love to include your work. The work of our community is what drives us – after all, our tools are successful only as much as they take roadblocks out of your way so you can spend more time creating. When we go to events like Siggraph, it’s important to us to not only showcase our technology, but also the amazing work that you create while using it. Would you consider sending us footage to include by Friday, May 27?

How we’ll use it:
We will show the Shotgun client reel in our booth at Siggraph 2016 in Anaheim, CA between Tuesday, July 26 and Thursday, July 28, 2016. We will also use the Shotgun reel in our marketing after Siggraph.

Type of material:
We’re looking for finished and making-of clips from feature films and shorts (live action or animated), TV shows, commercials, trailers -- whatever you’ve created that used Shotgun in some way.

How it will be credited:
Feel free to put your logo bug on footage you submit, and we’ll include your clip with your bug. Many clips will appear without logo bugs. We will credit all work featured in the reel in a list of company names at the end.

Format:
Please send us ProRes HQ QuickTime movies if possible.

Submission channels:
-Please send your footage on a drive to ℅ Jocelyn Moffatt, Autodesk, 210 Main St., Venice, CA, 90291, USA, (we will return it!) or

-Upload your footage to a dropbox folder. Please email support@shotgunsoftware.com for uploading info.

Thank you for considering it! We know this is extra work for you and really appreciate anything you can share.

Cheers,
The Shotgunners

Check out last year's reel:



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Phil Peterson Joins the Shotgun Team!

We're excited to welcome Phil Peterson to our team. We’ve known Phil for a long time, first working with him in 2007 at Digital Domain, then at IMD and later bringing him on as a consultant for Shotgun in 2012. Over the years, we’ve kept in touch, collaborated on several projects, and even had the occasional drink together at tradeshows, and now Phil joins the Shotgun crew as a senior architect with a focus on helping studios make important decisions quickly through analytics. 

Prior to joining the Shotgun team, he consulted leading visual effects and animation studios and technology companies on digital studio architecture and technology strategy. He has help several key technology positions with Lucas companies including leading R&D for ILM, heading technology for Lucasfilm Animation in the US and Singapore, and as both Principal Engineer for ILM and Chief Architect for Lucasfilm. Phil has also served as CTO at Digital Domain and as SVP and CTO at ImageMovers Digital, and began his studio career at Mainframe Entertainment on the pioneering television series, Reboot!

Phil received an Academy Award for Technical Achievement last year


Phil will be working with our new Pipeline Team, which was formed to collaborate closely with clients on pipeline projects. The Pipeline Team grew out of the idea that small studios should be able to do amazing things without having to build custom software, and larger studios should be able to focus on developing new functionality on top of the pipeline versus the pipeline itself - that’s where we come in. Together with the Shotgun team, Phil will lead research and product development on next gen analytics tools for studios of all sizes.

Welcome to the team, Phil!

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Shotgun at NAB!
We're a couple weeks away and getting ready for an action-packed week at NAB 2016. Visit us at the Autodesk booth SL-3316 to see our latest developments in review, production tracking, and pipeline tools - or just to catch up. We'll be highlighting Shotgun's review toolset, creative tool integrations, and more!

Here's where you can find us: 
We'll be showing Shotgun's review toolset and integrations with tools like Maya, Nuke, and Flame all week at the booth. Come by anytime to catch up with us at our demo pod, and make sure to attend live demos happening every day: 

Overview of Shotgun - April 18-20, 1pm & April 21, 9:30am
Shotgun Review - April 18-19, 1:30pm & April 20, 3:30pm

We're also super excited that two of our clients will be joining us at the show to give presentations on how they're using Shotgun:

Derek Moore, Managing Director and Co-Founder at Coffee & TV, will talk about how the boutique VFX house creates big effects with Flame and Shotgun.

Monday, April 18, 3pm
Tuesday, April 19, 12pm
Wednesday, April 20, 3pm
Thursday, April 21, 10am



From dragons to post-apocalyptic worlds, Nhat Phong Tran, VFX Supervisor at Pixomondo LA, will share how his team creates amazing visual effects on a global scale with the help of Shotgun.

Tuesday, April 19, 2pm
Wednesday, April 20, 12:30pm




You can find more info on our presence at NAB here.

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Shotgun Software Helps Jaunt VR Streamline Production
Jaunt Inc., the leading producer and publisher of fully-immersive virtual reality experiences, recently launched its Los Angeles-based production arm Jaunt Studios to focus on producing original VR content. Shotgun’s Pipeline Team was tapped by Jaunt Studios to develop a production management solution for their entire VR production pipeline, including features for tracking principle photography, editorial and review collaboration workflow all integrated into Shotgun’s cloud-based production management and review software platform.

“Pipeline is crucial, and partnering with Shotgun is helping us set up our production management workflow much faster” explained Buckley Collum, Jaunt Director of Production. “Not only do we have huge volumes of data to manage, but we also have at least ten different projects going on at any given time, so there’s a lot of coordination. The Shotgun folks are experts in pipeline and together we’re building a solution specific to our needs while leveraging best practices.”

Collum and the Shotgun Pipeline Team, along with Jaunt Production Technology Supervisor Curt Miyashiro and Production Manager Chris Blasko, are all guiding the pipeline development effort. The end goal is to develop a rich VR production management toolset – including editorial publishing tools and tighter integration with Jaunt’s cloud based stitching and rendering system – to compliment the studio’s existing workflow and tools including Adobe Premiere Pro and stereo VR plug-ins. Jaunt also makes heavy use of Shotgun’s RV to review shots and is working closely with the team to build out support for head mounted displays (HMDs) from Oculus, HTC and Sony.

Jaunt's first content release was Sir Paul McCartney, playing "Live and Let Die" at the final concert held at Candlestick Park in August 2014.

Though Jaunt is still extending its Shotgun deployment, the software is already being used to track shots internally, as well as for review with third party vendors. “A lot of people in VR have worked with Shotgun before. It’s the industry standard for efficient production tracking, shot management and has a great set of tools,” explained Collum. “It’s nice being able to farm out work to other facilities and have access to that detailed level of shot tracking, so we know when we have final versions, where they’re going and how they’re moving through editorial.”

Jaunt is also banking on Shotgun to become a main hub for managing the data associated with terabytes of high-res footage from its VR productions. Jaunt ONE, the studio’s professional grade VR camera rig houses 24 HD camera modules, which capture 1TB of footage per hour. When that footage is stitched together for positioning, color and stereo pair entry at 60FPS, file sizes are typically 40 times larger than traditional productions. In the future, Jaunt anticipates working at even higher resolutions and frame rates and Collum believes Shotgun and RV will remain crucial components to securely managing the data associated with all of these assets.

“We are proud to be working with Jaunt VR who is helping to lead the charge in the rise of VR,” said Don Parker, co-founder of Shotgun Software. “We have always innovated by working closely with our clients, and we’re excited to be building up our understanding of the challenges VR studios go through while working shoulder to shoulder with Jaunt.”

Jaunt Studios has produced several VR experiences including “Paul McCartney: Live and let Die,” “Jack White: Third-D,” “The North Face: Nepal” and “The North Face: Climb”. The studio is also continuing to produce content with partners that include Sky News, NHL Films and ABC News, shooting most recently in Nepal, Syria, North Korea and across the United States.

For more information about Jaunt VR, visit www.jauntvr.com

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We're Hiring!
Shotgun and Pipeline Toolkit Support Engineer

We are currently on the lookout for a Shotgun and Pipeline Toolkit Support Engineer based in Europe to join our Street Team.

For those of you coming to us for the first time, Shotgun is the Film, TV and Games industry’s most widely adopted platform for project management and collaboration. The Street Team is Shotgun’s presence on the ground and our Pipeline Engineers work to solve the hardest problems that our clients are facing.

As part of the Street Team, you will gain an understanding of client workflows, dig into the guts of Shotgun and Toolkit, and be the pipeline hero in keeping multiple high-profile Film, Animation, VFX, and Games Studios on track every single day. Through a mix of engineering support, client care, consulting and product research, this multi-faceted role provides unique challenges requiring broad production experience and technical skills.

If you’re looking for the chance to work with an amazing team and incredible customers on some really exciting challenges, come join us!

More info here

Toolkit Pipeline Tutorial

Hi everyone!

Last year, we put together a series of posts entitled Two Guys and a Toolkit. The primary purpose of those posts was to talk about our experiences getting up to speed with Toolkit as we built a very simple end-to-end pipeline. If you haven't had a chance to read the series, we'd love for you to check it out and send us your thoughts.

As promised at the end of the blog series, we've put together a brand new tutorial that provides a set of step-by-step instructions for building a simple, end-to-end pipeline using Toolkit.
The tutorial is intended for anyone who is interested in learning the basics of how Toolkit works. It covers how to push Assets through each pipeline step from modeling all the way through to compositing. Included are a few examples of how to customize Toolkit to meet your studio's specific pipeline needs as well as an introduction to each of the primary out-of-the-box Toolkit apps and their respective roles in a production workflow.

As always, have a look and send any feedback to support@shotgunsoftware.com. Enjoy!

- Jeff & Josh

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Get to Know... VFX Legion
We recently spoke with James Hattin, founder of VFX Legion, which has the unique distinction of being a virtual visual effects company. While maintaining a small office of production staff in Burbank, California, the company’s expanding and contracting team of between 30-50 artists are spread across more than six countries. James explains the benefits and unique challenges of operating under this business model and how having Shotgun at the center of it all is instrumental in keeping the company afloat.

Tell us about your company. 
We started the company in 2012 as a television and feature film visual effects facility. Our work leans heavily on the compositing side, and we’re also starting to grow our 3D pipeline. Our claim to fame is that we are entirely remote, and all of our artists work from their homes or personal studios from locations all over the world. We have worked on television shows like Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder and feature films, which include Insidious 3 and Jem and the Holograms.


How many artists do you have on staff and how do you recruit?
We have between 30-50 active artists at any given time and mostly recruit through referrals and word-of-mouth. We maintain an office in Burbank, California with a staff of 10 production managers, coordinators, VFX supervisors and producers.

How did the company get started?
The concept for a remote or virtual VFX company originated when I used to live in Sacramento while maintaining a visual effects job in Santa Monica, and it was in 2001 when I set up a rudimentary version of our current model. Due to the technology limitations of the times, I was duplicating data in Sacramento and Santa Monica, keeping After Effects composites and Electric Image renders in both places to always have files available because back then, the Internet speeds couldn't adequately transfer large QuickTime files. This set up enabled me to do screen shares with directors and supervisors from wherever I was at any given time. I later spent some years working at Zoic, and it was there that I first started using Shotgun. When it came time to start my own company, I knew that Shotgun would be a key part of making our model work. Our first movie at VFX Legion was Stretch from Joe Carnahan, we had 400 shots to complete and ended up delivering them after a long hiatus in just 10 days. That helped us prove that we could do anything with this model.


Why is it important to focus on pipeline, and how much time do you spend on development? 
It is the most important thing for us, because unlike a traditional facility with one server in a room, we are wholly dependent on our pipeline to communicate with artists to make sure that naming schemes and workflows are the same, so that to the outside world we are indistinguishable from a traditional VFX facility. We actually have to be extra buttoned up! We mostly use what Shotgun has to offer off-the-shelf, but are also working to get Toolkit’s integrated with Nuke and Maya tools configured into our pipeline. For security purposes, we’re also working on encryption for our users and a new way to control assets.

What role does Shotgun play at VFX Legion?
It’s the lifeblood of this studio. On the front end, we use it for shot assignments, shot reviews, and always do a first pass review to make sure artists are getting their shots right in the first place. The artists publish to Shotgun from wherever they’re based and we review everything here in Burbank. We’ve also been building tools to leverage the Shotgun API so that we can automate Aspera transfers without artists having to do anything manually. We also have an artist portal website where they can input their availability and schedule, and can also see their latest tasks and shot assignments. All of the information on that portal comes through Shotgun, and anything additional added by artists is collected from Shotgun in the background. It’s an essential part of how we do business.

Tell me about the artists at VFX Legion, where they’re based and how they get up and running. 
Some of our artists are full time staff, and for some of them this is a nights/weekend freelance job. When we get stellar artists we do our best to bring them on full time. We have several on staff now who work on our TV shows where deadlines demand having accessibility during normal business hours. Our artists are based in New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, Canada, Germany and all across the United States. We have a standard operating procedure for bringing new artists on board. Once they’ve signed an NDA, they get a login for Shotgun and Aspera, training on our naming conventions and how we work and pretty soon we start assigning them shots in Shotgun.

Does this model allow you to work more cost effectively?
Absolutely, our overhead is hands down much lower than a traditional facility. I don’t have to buy machines because artists use their own hardware. Most of them also own software licenses because they’re used to working as independent contractors. In a traditional VFX facility model, you need a massive network and overhead. With Shotgun, Aspera and good communication, we don’t need any of that. We use cineSync and Zoom to stay in touch and have regular meetings on long-term projects.


What tools do you use in-house?
We use Maya, Nuke, Adobe Creative Suite, DaVinci Resolve, Avid for editing, SynthEyes for tracking, though some of our overseas guys use 3D Equalizer, Modo and Redshift for rendering, it’s an amazing GPU accelerated renderer. Maya, Nuke and After Effects are our primary creative applications though.

What is the biggest challenge in running a studio today?
Our biggest challenge is managing the work—it’s having a tight enough control over the work itself and knowing who is doing what at all times;, that will never not be the most important element of our success. Our artists are great and we have a lot of amazing self-starters. The struggle and ongoing challenge we face is staying on top of each and every detail, deliverable and timeline. Other VFX companies have tried and failed at this ‘virtual company’ model but luckily our recipe and process seems to be working!

What led you to visual effects?
I found out I could do it! When I was about 25, my high school buddy Jason Hill, who is at Blizzard now, told me to get a Mac. I got a Power Mac 7500, an early version of ElectricImage and After Effects, and figured out pretty quickly that I could make cool things in 3D. I’ve been doing it ever since!

What’s a day in the life of like for you? 
I start reading emails at 7AM and stop reading them at 10PM. I’m generally at the office by 9:30 and do my best to manage our 24-hour workflow in a reasonable 12 hour day, but all of our people are wildly connected. You never stop being aware of what’s going on. Right now we have nine projects we’re working on simultaneously, and I’m looking at nine tabs open in Shotgun. When I get in each morning, I go over emails, and then start going through Shotgun to see what was published overnight, start reviewing shots and give notes, and then approve what’s finished to deliver. In that case, I’ll flip shots up to RV, load up the DPX frames to do a final QC pass. Typically there’s a meeting or a lunch, then back to keeping an eye on Shotgun, meetings with production staff and the occasional diversion into Twitter and Facebook to stay on top of the latest news.


What are the three most important things in your office?
My office houses the firewall and the drives—so those are pretty high up there!
Top three though are my Aeron chair, my standing desk for when I’m not sitting and my computer.

What inspires you?
I love visual effects. I love the magic of the craft, the fact that we are magicians, changing what people see, faking people out constantly. Even simple things like rig removals or green screens, people can’t tell what’s been done to bring a scene to life and that’s really cool.

How do you do to stay connected to the artist community? 
Twitter and Facebook! I personally don't make it out to user group meetings very often.

When you aren’t working, what’s the ideal way to spend a day in your city?
An ideal day not working is hanging out with family, taking my kids to Disneyland, bowling, or going to a movie at the Arclight in Sherman Oaks.

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30 Tips in 30 Days- That's a Wrap!

We've officially wrapped our 30 Tips in 30 Days series, and hope these tips have helped improve the way you're using Shotgun. Please feel free to share your thoughts on the series below and share any ideas you'd like to see us focus on in future series- we'd love to hear from you!

If you missed any of our tips, you can view all 30 anytime on our YouTube channel.

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Good Luck to Our Clients at the VES Awards!


We'll be in the audience cheering you on!

Check out the full list of nominees here.
30 Tips in 30 Days- We're Halfway There!

Today marks the halfway point for our 30 Tips in 30 Days series. We hope you've enjoyed the tips we've shared so far and we're excited to bring you 15 more!

For daily updates, follow along on Twitter and our 30 Tips in 30 Days Youtube Playlist.

If you missed any of the first 15 tips, be sure to check them out below:

Tip 1: Home Page



Tip 2: Setting Permissions



Tip 3: Following



Tip 4: Email Notifications



Tip 5: Power Editing



Tip 6: Gantt Overlays



Tip 7: Keep It Simple



Tip 8: Custom Tabs



Tip 9: HKS Playback in Overlay Player



Tip 10: Zoom & Pan Tools in Overlay Player



Tip 11:Annotation Tools in Overlay Player



Tip 12: Filters



Tip 13: Filter Panel



Tip 14: Create Form Options



Tip 15: HKS Global Navigation Bar


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