Getting Your Project Started

As we get started on our new project, let’s think back to those key questions, focusing in on:

How does our project start?

So, we have a new project called Drednots. We’ve been awarded the work from our Client. Previously we kept track of all of our Assets, Shots, and bids in a VFX breakdown; now we’ll need to get that data into Shotgun so we can refine our workflow with key people involved.

Let’s base our Dreadnots project on the Film VFX Template since it has sequence-based work. Once we create our project, we’ll land on Project details. All the important things we are tracking are visible in the Project Nav. Let’s add a project thumbnail and fill in a few key details.

We create Assets from the Assets page. Let’s make the “drednot” vehicle and the “flats” environment. Notice how there is an option for a Task template. Let’s clear for now as we’ll explore Task templates next. We can hold the option/alt key to create an asset and keep the form values to speed up the process.

Now that we have these two Assets, let’s create tasks on the Tasks page. We can create one-off Tasks, link them up to an Asset, and again hold the option/alt key to keep the form values.


What is our workflow?

Let’s think about our pipeline, and how things move through different stages of their lifecycle. For Assets, we have four different departments responsible for completing Tasks: Art, Model, Rig, Texture.

Let’s update our workflow in our Project. This also reflects the order Tasks flow through the pipeline, and we have the ability to reorder these.

From our Task page, we can assign Tasks to Artists and Reviewers, and input bid and duration information. Since these tasks need to be completed in this order, let’s create a Task Dependency chain.

Now, if we enter a start date on the first Task in the chain, others will cascade after. And, if one Task shifts in the schedule, others downstream will follow.

Since Tasks are typically the same per Asset, we can apply a Task template to multiple Assets to cut down on redundancies. Thus, automating our workflow. Now, on our Asset page, we just expose the Task Template field via the Fields dropdown, select our other flats Asset, and add the “Film VFX” template. And viola, we now have Tasks created on these.


How does the data/information come in?

Let’s use the Shotgun importer to get the remaining data into Shotgun. First, we’ll select the “More” dropdown and then Import Assets. We can drag and drop our excel breakdown directly into the window, or copy and paste from the sheet.

Let’s match the columns, deactivate Shots from importing since they don’t exist in Shotgun yet, and then specify “Asset Name” so that asset names that already exist get updated with more information in our breakdown, like a description. Then, let’s add thumbnails to make this more visually appealing.

Note: importing may take a little while depending on thumbnail image sizes.

Now that assets are imported, we’ll select the Assets that use the standard task template we created, and apply our Task template to the ones that are blank.

Let’s do a similar import, but this time for Sequences from our breakdown.

And, let’s tie it all together by importing Shots that link to the Assets and Sequences which are already in Shotgun.

Now, we have a great foundation to build from and can say “goodbye” to our manual spreadsheets and “hello” to our more automated workflow.

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