Shotgun Create: Out of Beta, Into Your Studio

Aug 8, 2019



How do you keep artists connected to the shifting priorities of the studio and crucial feedback from supervisors and clients without disrupting their creative flow? That’s the challenge that Shotgun Create was conceived to resolve. Now that we’ve concluded an eight-month beta that saw the application continuously evolve in response to client feedback, it’s the perfect time for you to explore how Create can help your own studio function more smoothly.

You use Shotgun because it increases your efficiency, enabling your studio to complete more work, faster. If your artists aren’t all using Shotgun, or if using it is distracting from their creative work, then your studio still isn’t being as efficient as it could be. Shotgun Create is a desktop application that provides an entirely new way to connect artists with production priorities, without needing to use the Shotgun website. Taking the place of complex tables are visual thumbnails that quickly communicate the status and priorities of all of an artist’s assigned tasks. Integrated media playback — built on Academy-Award-winning RV and Flame technologies — makes it easy to compare the latest work against prior versions and to communicate with supervisors and other reviewers about required changes. With Shotgun Desktop capabilities built in, Shotgun Create can launch artists directly into their creative tools while maintaining the necessary context to complete a task. Because the goal, really, is for artists to be able to spend less time in Shotgun, while having that time be more enjoyable and productive.

Artists begin their Create experience in the My Tasks view, where they can rely on a visual overview of their outstanding work to determine what demands their attention. 

They can launch directly into their creative tools from there, or they can select any task to dive deeper.

The Task View showcases the complete conversation around a task, including all versions and notes, and  allowing them to play back any media and annotations.

 An info panel displays a curated list of just the Shotgun fields that artists require. They can submit new versions directly from Shotgun Create and also log their time, though of course Create recognizes versions submitted to Shotgun through other methods.

Reviewers benefit from the same rich Task View for reviewing and annotating versions at their desks, but their experience starts with the My Reviews view. One of the key innovations of the Shotgun Create workflow is the addition of the Reviewer field to any task. This field, which can feature any number of users or groups, facilitates automation of the entire feedback loop. When an artist submits a new version, the version status is updated and the version is added automatically to the My Reviews view for all of the listed reviewers. Once they complete their reviews and submit their notes, the task returns to the artist’s priority list with any annotations highlighted. With appropriate permissions, reviewers can also update task status in Create to guide a task through to final approval. All of this can shave precious time from the process of completing a task.

The review experience itself breaks some significant new ground for Shotgun. Annotations are always shown in context in Create’s timeline, even if those annotations were generated in other tools like RV. A slick new Compare mode makes it easy to compare different versions of a task in side-by-side, overlaid, or interactive split-screen modes, and any resulting annotations are sent back to the artist with the same interactive comparison. 

Plus, new screen recording capabilities (already available on Mac and Windows, and coming soon to Linux) mean both artists and reviewers can get their point across using any content they can display on their screen. The result is richer communication, helping to ensure the best quality work even on tight schedules.

To ensure the best results with Shotgun Create, you’ll want to take a few simple steps to configure your site. Choose Manage Apps from the Apps menu on your Shotgun site, and then click on the gear icon next to Shotgun Create. Many clients use custom statuses, so you can use the options in the configuration dialog to ensure that Create’s automation correctly reflects the statuses you use. You can also customize what fields are displayed in the Task View, and how tasks are prioritized. If desired, you can also trigger a request for a time log each time an artist submits a new version.

Once your site is configured, users can easily download a copy of Create from the Apps menu in your Shotgun site. After doing so, they might never have to log in from their browser again, but it’s not an all-or-nothing proposition, as Create integrates well with the existing Shotgun website. Target your initial rollout where it can make the biggest difference for your own studio. At some studios, reviewers have been the first to adopt Create, because they’ve found it to be a streamlined and hassle-free way to keep up with the latest work. At other studios, the artists have been first, while the reviewers continue to rely on solutions like RV. 

As you expand your use of Create, we’ll be continuing to expand its capabilities. The artist workflow, and the feedback loop that surrounds it, is the heart of any studio, and it’s the Create team’s ongoing mission to make that workflow as powerful, efficient, and rewarding as it can be.