Shotgun replaces Blur’s proprietary production management software; frees internal development resources to focus on creative tools.
Los Angeles, CA – Shotgun Software announced that Blur Studio has standardized on Shotgun for production management and tracking. Shotgun is the visual effects, game development and animation industry’s trusted platform for production management and review. Blur, known for a diverse roster of work on feature films, commercials and game cinematics and trailers, adopted Shotgun to replace their in-house production management software that was tying up valuable internal development resources.
“Pipeline and infrastructure software may not be the sexiest application you’ll find in a VFX and animation studio, but it’s certainly one of the most crucial to producing great work,” said Tim Miller, co-founder of Blur Studio. “The less time our artists and producers spend managing the more time we can spend creating. As projects get more complicated and schedules get more challenging it’s critical to have tools to efficiently manage the huge amounts of detailed data needed to get the job done. Shotgun is both producer and artist friendly which makes it in our opinion the best tool out there for helping us deliver great work.”
Prior to integrating Shotgun into their pipeline, Blur had two full-time developers working on a proprietary toolset called “Trax” for production management. The developers were allocating a majority of their time to updating the toolset; time and resources that would have been better spent on building artist’s tools that give studios like Blur a competitive advantage. As project volume increased and the studio expanded with a new facility move, Blur’s production management needs were no longer being met by their in-house system.
“While Trax has certain features and advantages that will continue to be utilized for studio wide planning and reporting, as a production tool it was falling further behind. Shotgun was gaining prominence for offering a highly equipped, out of the box production management platform for animation, games and VFX studios,” said Jeff Beeland, Blur Pipeline Supervisor. “Shotgun has over a dozen dedicated developers, and a full-time support team, and once we started testing it we quickly realized we could never match what they deliver with something created in-house.”
Once the decision was made to standardize on Shotgun, Blur seamlessly connected the Shotgun database with their pipeline and in-house database. Both feature a lightweight Python API, allowing Shotgun to link effortlessly with their internal system along with core artist applications including Autodesk 3ds Max. Now fully integrated into their daily operations, Shotgun powers production management for an average user base of 85 artists across all of Blur's projects which most recently have included Thor: The Dark World and promotional trailers for The Elder Scrolls. Using Shotgun’s web-based interface, producers, coordinators and artists at all levels can add and link data seamlessly to the database for easy access.
Blur additionally has benefited from choosing Shotgun because of its ubiquitous use in the industry. Prior to integrating Shotgun, new artists and freelancers brought on for short schedule projects had to invest time in learning how to use Trax, which was complicated for new users. With the integration of Shotgun, Blur is able to customize their internal engines and applications while maintaining Shotgun’s consistent web and user interface so that freelance artists can start using it immediately without training. The web interface has proven to be another advantage for Blur, allowing their producers and coordinators to add data via a browser that links seamlessly into Shotgun.
In the future, Blur plans on further integrating Shotgun into their daily operations to track budgets and artists’ time sheets. “We’ve come a long way in a short time with Shotgun,” concluded Beeland. “It’s been great for our artists, producers and supervisors alike, and aside from building a great production management platform—Shotgun’s support and customer service is significantly ahead of what is standard in the software business.”
Source: Shotgun Software
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.