LOS ANGELES — At this year’s SIGGRAPH, Shotgun Software (www.shotgunsoftware.com) showed its recently announced asset management solution — Tank. Tank is designed specifically to support rapid and constant pipeline evolution, while organizing and automating a studio’s file-based workflow. The solution is the third product available from Shotgun Software and is built on top of the Shotgun production tracking platform alongside Revolver, its all-in-one review and approval toolset.
Visual effects and animation pipelines evolve constantly as new tools, workflows and requirements emerge, such as globally distributed teams, 4K image pipelines, and stereo conversion. This evolution is an operational reality, requiring modern studios to constantly invest in rebuilding and adjusting tools and practices. Tank not only anticipates change, it provides studios with the flexibility to change faster in an organized way while ensuring stability and consistency.
“Shotgun helped us successfully manage our global effects team on Hugo, and now Tank will allow us to unify all 13 of our facilities on a single and flexible asset management system,” explains Thilo Kuther, founder, VFX company Pixomondo. “Tank’s core provides the foundation and management tools needed for a global pipeline, while Tank’s app framework provides the flexibility each location and project requires for the studio to continually evolve.”
"When supporting more than 700 people collaborating on the same projects across more than a dozen facilities around the globe, shared development resources and worldwide efficiency makes the difference between being profitable and going bankrupt,” adds Ben Grossmann, visual effects supervisor at Pixomondo. “Each of these offices is full of people with brilliant ideas but speaking different languages with different development styles. Tank gives us a framework to unify their development so it can be used universally across shows and across facilities, and makes getting awesome new stuff as simple as downloading a new app on your phone. Using shared libraries and shared development assets through Tank gives a branch with 50 artists the power of a global development team just as large. But with the flexibility to tackle local challenges.”
Tank is fully integrated with the Shotgun production tracking platform, providing tools to keep the file system organized and an app framework that provides a wide range of independent apps for specific functions such as file publishing, versioning, and scene building. The apps will integrate natively with a growing list of artist tools such as Maya, Nuke, 3DS Max, MotionBuilder, Houdini, and Photoshop. The Python apps can be easily configured, branched, or re-imagined. Tank’s pipeline tools can even be configured per project, so that studios can continually evolve their pipelines without disrupting active productions. The Tank app store will offer a marketplace for distributing artist-friendly apps that work out of the box, making it fast for studios to adjust parts of their pipeline without having to reinvent the wheel.