Los Angeles — Blur Studio, makers of feature films, commercials and game cinematics and trailers, is now using Shotgun’s software for production management and tracking. Shotgun replaces Blur’s in-house production management software, which 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,” says 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. 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,” says 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 apps 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.
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,” concludes 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.”
Photo Caption: Blur’s pipeline supervisor, Jeff Beeland, using Shotgun.