Deploying ShotGrid and Maya to Produce Major TV Episodic
Autodesk ShotGrid workflow from Using Autodesk ShotGrid for More Than VFX
Jim Corbett is is one of the partners at Doberman Pictures, along with Dallas Parker, Craig Roberts, and Rob Simmons. The new, Vancouver-based studio specializes in 2D and 3D animation production. One of their most popular productions to date is the children’s sing-a-long Netflix series, Rhyme Time Town. Jim has relied on Kerry Corlett, Annex Pro’s founder, for expertise and technology solutions since before Annex Pro began in 1983.
Today, Jim considers the entire Annex Pro team indispensable for managing his hardware, software, and support needs. Earlier this year, Jim sought the help of Annex Pro’s account managers specializing in VFX & Animation, Chris Sutcliffe and Benjamin Walsh, to optimize their current Autodesk software workflow: Autodesk Maya for visual effects and ShotGrid (formerly Shotgun), the animation industry’s leading creative project management software. These two tools enable the Doberman team to collaborate seamlessly with one of the world’s largest, highest-revenue grossing animation studios on a much-anticipated 3D episodic production to be released on Netflix in 2022.
“I wouldn’t have the level of comfort I have with Annex Pro—the degree of peace of mind—if there wasn’t such honesty, integrity, and respect from the entire team.”
Partner, Doberman Pictures
Doberman Pictures lacked its own project pipeline before a direct invitation to collaborate with a renowned, global animation studio on 3D projects. As they transitioned from working primarily on 2D animation to 3D projects, it was necessary to expand beyond the Adobe products they were accustomed to (Photoshop, After Effects, and Animate). They also wanted to attract top talent by earning a reputation as a studio where artists are free to do their best creative work, a place where, as Jim describes it, “the tools work effectively and almost invisibly in the background.”
Jim and the Doberman Pictures team set out to integrate with a larger studio’s workflows, plus attract top talent by implementing cutting-edge tools. In anticipation of their growing needs, Doberman Pictures leveraged Annex Pro’s Autodesk 5-star Gold Partner rating to build a rapport with the Autodesk team. The Autodesk Gold Partner designation indicates that Annex Pro has demonstrated the ability to deliver complete Autodesk software solutions. Gold Partners have technical expertise in specific industries (such as Media & Entertainment production management), solutions, support, training, implementation, and consulting services.
The Annex Pro team offered ways to enhance and streamline the use of two of the studio’s most indispensable tools. They started with Autodesk’s Maya for visual effects, an Academy-Award winning solution for creating ultra-realistic 3D animation. Next, they looked at ShotGrid, the leading creative project management software for animation and organizing pipelines.. The two tools are fully compatible. In light of having a rapidly growing team, Annex Pro also issued several state-of-the-art, Wacom Cintiq drawing tablets.
“Anytime I email or reach out, they’re always there in such a positive fashion. Everything gets turned around quickly.”
Partner, Doberman Pictures
Maya: New Features for Animation
By choosing Annex Pro to navigate their technology needs, Doberman Pictures received everything available directly through Autodesk, plus additional value. Consulting with Chris and Benjamin, Jim had expert input on product comparisons and costing out potential solutions. Complete after-sales support, such as warranty services and training, are also provided by Annex Pro and are not available directly from Autodesk.
The team is now ready to scale from approximately 50 people to as many as 100. They will use ShotGrid as a better way to manage their projects, keep the team on the same page with communication, and collaborate in a secure, efficient manner with their global partners. In addition, Maya adds to their abilities with powerful new features that allow for cached playback, smooth mesh preview, layered dynamics caching, and more. All of this adds up to an integrated, secure, work-from-anywhere environment in which animators can do their best creative work.
(L-R) Chiara Ferrari, Storyboard Artist and Doron Meir, Lead Unit Director working with Autodesk and Wacom Cintiqs at Doberman Pictures