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Creation Flow: web based visual review collaboration for video and images.

We at "El Viaje Imposible", my production company, are working on a quite complex short film. I have casually discovered a great tool that we are using to review videos remotely:
1) The artist uploads a video that needs to be reviewd.
2) The supervisor (the "boss") can play it, stop it anywhere, and paint over any frame adding some text.
3) The artist can later click on a comment in a list to access that frame directly and read the information, and then upload a new version of the video on top of the old one, to keep the old comments.

We are using it to fine tune the animatic of the short movie, while in preproduction, and it works great.

"CreationFlow is a web-based collaboration software for digital art production which aims to manage the review workflow between designers, bosses and clients thorugh visual reviews over images, videos and pdf files using a built-in mark-up tool." (edited partly, from their web).

If you are interested in this tool drop me…

GI Joe Asset Management

Miguel Angel, our most prolific collaborator, has sent the following information:

" FX Guide videopodcast # 67 is about G.I. Joe FX. Specifically starting in 7:24 it explains the Asset Management system they developed, and the automatic scene setup. All fully illustrated and in 3DS Max!

Thanks as always, Miguel Ángel

Shotgun is now in private beta.

Shotgun initially focused on "production tracking" and has evolved into "a powerful web-based collaboration tool for digital studios of all sizes".
After 3.5 years working in "stealth mode" keeping a low profile while collaborating closely with a cross section of studios, they have more than 2,000 people from the visual effects, feature animation, and video game industries using their software every day in production.
Some relevant features are:
- Web-based, Cross Platform. It runs right in a browser.
- Constant access to the latest project schedule for everyone.
- Integrated Messaging with Shotgun Notes to replace emails.
- Issue and Bug Tracking
- Highly configurable, with customizable fields and flexible python API to let you integrate into your pipeline.
The software is now in private beta, looking for studios and individuals who are interested in what they are building and would like to take a closer look.

Celtx 2.0

Celtx has appeared a couple of times in this blog. I have started using it for a project where the script-writer is offsite. Google Docs is quite OK, but it is a hell to keep the script in format.

In short, Celtx is an "all-in-one media pre-production software. It has everything you need to take your story from concept to production. Celtx replaces 'paper, pen & binder' pre-production with a digital approach that's more complete, simpler to work with, and easier to share."

Celtx is free, has a hybrid desktop-web architecture, with versions for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. It has presets for different types of media, covering the entire pre-production process (scripts, storyboard, development, breakdown, schedule & reports), allows for collaborative remote team work and also to share your project with the world through Project Central.

Version 2.0 was released some time ago, adding among other things the possibility to use Celtx Studios, a paid project accou…

Mogware set of tools

I found an ad in ANIMATION MAGAZINE about an asset management system called FileHamster, a free version tracking application for content creators which "enables you to monitor specific files on your hard drive and automatically create incremental backups whenever those files are modified".

However, since the software is only for Windows I haven´t had the chance to test it and see how useful the core app is without any of the several optional plugins that you can purchase separately: Team, Replication, Script, FTP, Report Window, Notes, Diff & Zip.

The company behind it, Mogware, claims to have "spent years developing a comprehensive suite of products designed specifically for complex data management and workflow automation. Any data pipeline will be sure to find Mogware's comprehensive suite of products complimentary to their existing adhoc tools improving their team's workflow."

They have other products that seem slightly more oriented towards console …

Some links about Crowd-sourcing

I have been doing some research on crowdsourcing ( businessweek definition: "the practice of using large, distributed and minimally directed groups to accomplish tasks") and its applications on 3D animated production.

Check Mass Animation to get an idea of what is coming just around the corner. Scary, isn´t it?

So what do you need to set up your own film studio for free? Well, not much, one might think after visiting Wreck a Movie :" a collaborative film production platform, where anybody can come and set up their own film production, and find a community to collaborate on, or find an interesting film productions and become a collaborator". It is free for everyone, serves all kinds of audiovisual productions, from short films and music videos all the way to feature-length films.
The founders are a group of filmmakers from Finland.

This cnet article about Open-source films gives a wider scope on the subject.

More links pointing in the same direction:

Film Riot, a project…

Rendering and Pipeline Management forum on CGTantra

Miguel Ángel has found this CGTantra forum , to "Discuss topics on Scene optimization, Rendering Management, Pipeline Management and IT Infrastructure and Studio Setup." It is organized in three subforums:- Render Management - Pipeline Management - Studio Setup and IT Infrastructure
This particular forum is powered by DUX Soft Pvt. Ltd., "a unique company created to address the growing needs and demands of the Animation, Gaming & VFX industry. Dux brings to market over 14 years of experience in setting up from scratch and managing the IT infrastructure of major Animation & VFX studios." who claims to have "delivered services like "IMS" "Studio Design" "PipeLine" Rendering" "Data center Design" "Optimization" to almost 45 Studios across India & Asia."
In their web you can find, among other things, an unfinished "Knowledge Zone" with tips on Data Center , Storage , and Render, as well a…
On November 2007, Eskil kindly answered my generic request for information on the subject of this blog, but then I simply forgot until today, when I found the emails I exchanged with him.

I can only recommend you to have a look at it.
I think the implications are immense.

He mentioned Verse, "a network protocol for 3d graphics". This might sound a bit abstract, but if you dig a little deeper, you get to the fascinating part, for instance, this introduction comes from his own site, Quelsolaar:

"Verse is a network standard that a allows graphics applications to share data in real-time. It means that two or more independent applications can share the same data. If you make a change in one you immediately see the change in the other. It is a free and open source system that can be integrated in to any graphics application to allow them to share data. You can collaborate with other users over the Internet, use it for content pipe-lining, games, VR, simulation and much much more.…

Research on visual effects production databases

I was checking this interesting Research on visual effects production databases by Jan Heinze, commenting on Showrunner, shotrunner, Missing Link & Mathilda, and stumbled upon another software in the comments section: Cinesoft´s Cerebro ("a complete visual project management solution") and Duma ("a sophisticated render farm management system").

Later, Konstantin, from cinesoft, left a comment with a link to his even more complete listing.
In his site you can also see two other lists:
- Remote review and approval tools
- Multiplatform Render Management Software

Thanks Konstantin!

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