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Autodesk Shotgun Taps New Tech for the Future of Production Management

Machine learning-generative scheduling and asset lifecycle management will to be built into Autodesk’s cloud-based Forge platform, driving creativity while meeting ever evolving workflow challenges.

In response to a new and evolving global marketplace that involves increase demands as well as increase opportunity, Autodesk is using groundbreaking technology to meet and address the resulting workflow challenges. Productions are addressing new on-set and in-studio safety guidelines while integrating cloud-based services. With Autodesk’s acquisition of technology known as Consilium, machine learning-driven generative scheduling is coming to Shotgun Software, which will enable more accurate bidding, scheduling, and resource planning decisions. Open standards, which are leveraged to deliver story-in-context integrated editorial/VFX workflows so updated effects shots can be reviewed in context of the latest edit of a scene; and asset lifecycle management, which is currently in early stages of development, will be built on Autodesk’s cloud-based Forge platform. This will enable the sharing of assets and all their dependencies across teams and studios

Generative Scheduling

Machine learning is being brought to production management with generative scheduling in Shotgun, currently in early testing. For producers and production managers, this will make the manual and complex challenge of optimized scheduling and resource planning more dynamic, controllable, and predictive. This feature set will allow producers to plan faster, with greater accuracy and agility to help their teams produce the best work possible.

At Portland, Oregon-based stop-motion animation company LAIKA, making a film requires the creation of thousands of sets, props, puppets, and costumes. The work must be coordinated across groups, and scheduling is an essential part of this intricate filmmaking machine.

“The first time we successfully got a schedule from Consilium back into Shotgun was a big ‘aha moment’,” explained LAIKA pipeline technical director, Michael Nowakowski. “Instead of having to manually level out 12,000 tasks, we were able to just press a button and get a schedule round trip back to Shotgun. And with Consilium’s generative scheduling functionality being built directly into Shotgun, I’d imagine even greater gains will be realized in the near future.”


By leveraging open standards to enhance editorial timeline support in Shotgun, the communication gaps are closed that can occur between VFX and edit teams. This will enable artists to access and review their work in the context of the latest edit ingest. If the edit changes, VFX teams can respond immediately, track and examine new edits, and ensure the best creative decision is informed by the current state of the cut.

Autodesk has long championed open standards across products to unlock benefits, both for individual artists, and for studios looking to optimize their processes. They unlock scalability and automation and enable companies like Shotgun collaboration partner X2X to create a plug-in dubbed to get on-set and editorial data into Shotgun directly from within Adobe Premiere Pro. This bespoke tool was developed for the production team on Terminator: Dark Fate, but plans are underway to bring more expansive edit timeline integration and support into Shotgun.

“When you are tasked with processing hundreds of versions of shots per day for review, it’s incredible to be able to select them all, hit execute, and rely on a tool to automatically cut those shots directly into the timeline,” noted Jon Carr, VFX Editor on Terminator: Dark Fate. “This makes review faster and easier for the director and executives, with faster turnaround to relay notes back to the VFX vendors. I’m cutting hundreds of shots in a matter of minutes, which would have previously taken many hours.”

Asset Lifecycle Management

The Shotgun engineering team is ramping up investment to bring full-featured, open standards-based asset management to the cloud. This technology will allow studios to manage and share assets across teams and studios over the entire lifecycle of a project. To make the leap to network studios in the cloud, Shotgun will bring rich asset management features into Autodesk’s proven Forge cloud development platform.

The entertainment industry is evolving and new generative scheduling, asset lifecycle, and story-in-context technology previews in Shotgun provide a glimpse at the future of production management. For more information about these technology previews, visit the Shotgun software website.

Source: Autodesk