We had the honor of recognizing excellence in pipeline tool development and people who have made significant contributions to the pipeline community at the 3rd Annual Pipeline Awards at Siggraph yesterday!
Allan Johns (left) accepting his Shotty Award for Rez, and Janice Collier (right) accepting this year's Hero Award
Once again, we recognized two types of contributions – pipeline tools (cleverly-developed, elegant solutions that solve problems common to many studios) and pipeline heroes (people who have moved the field forward within the Shotgun community and out in the wider industry). Without further ado, here are Shotgun's 2016 Pipeline Award recipients:
Pipeline Shotty Awards
For the top tools of 2016
Rez, Allan Johns
Rez is an open source, cross-platform package manager which creates standalone configured environments for third party and internally developed software. Rather than installing packages directly into environments like most other package managers, Rez installs all package versions into repositories on disk and references them in dynamically-created standalone environments. Rez is widely used by the pipeline community and solves countless package management problems for pipeline developers in VFX and animation production around the world.
Blur Dev Tools, Blur Studio
Blur’s open-source software has provided Python integration for 3ds Max for many years, and has acted as the foundation for visual effects and animation pipelines around the world. In addition, a bevy of workflow-enhancing tools for 3ds Max are provided and have given countless artists a substantial boost in speed and capacity. The ability for engineers, technical directors, and artists to write their own tools using Python and build their user interfaces using the Qt framework in 3ds Max has made Blur’s open-source plugins invaluable to the industry at large.
Shotgun Task Triggering Workflow, Brown Bag Films
Brown Bag Films has developed two tools - a Task Trigger Workflow Setup utility and a Shotgun Trigger Engine - which help them track the steps required to move tasks along in their asset build pipeline, from artist to artist or project to project. Tasks are pre-created using the task templates and then assigned to artists. When a task is set to “Ready to Start” it goes into the artists queue. Once they have finished their work, the task is set to “Complete” and the triggering engine then sets the next task in the workflow to “Ready to Start” moving it onto the next artist.
Burrows Dropper Ganger Tool, Burrows CGI Studio
The Burrows Dropper Ganger Tool enables artists to easily drag assets from within Shotgun in the browser and open them within other applications including Maya, 3ds Max and Rhino. As assets are dropped into the application window, the URL link from the associated webpage is used to set the context, so assets are connected to all of the right things in the pipeline. This tool has massively impacted the speed at which artists at Burrows CGI open hundreds of individual files.
Pipeline Hero Award
For people pushing the field of pipeline forward significantly, within the Shotgun community or in the broader industry
Janice was recognized with the Pipeline Hero Award this year for her outstanding contribution not only to Mammal where she has helped create a pipeline for the 15-person company on par with international facilities 10 times their size, but also for her contribution to the ongoing development of Shotgun’s Toolkit. She has provided valuable feedback over the years through her participation in debugging sessions and willingness to have longer discussions with the Shotgun team on Mammal's workflow - ultimately benefiting the entire Shotgun community.