Meet the Studio: SHED Montreal

From cartoony character animation, to photoreal CG and highly-stylized motion design, learn from Production Manager and CG Supervisor François Hogue how the team at SHED Montreal delivers high-end commercial work for clients with the help of ShotGrid for pipeline management.

Tell me about SHED Montreal.

We are a boutique studio that specializes in high-end post-production, visual effects and animation for commercial clients across Canada and the U.S. The majority of our 35-person team is based locally in Montreal, though we have a number of freelancers working remotely in the States, Russia and South America. We provide full CG animation, like our recent spots for IGA and Daily Grand, as well as stylized motion design, including our latest work for Schweppes, Anheuser-Busch and Sloche. Additionally, we offer post-production finishing services for short-form live action projects.

How long have you been with SHED?

I joined the studio about five months ago in January 2019, and I took the lead on spearheading a new pipeline solution to help artists work as efficiently as possible. My background is as an artist, so I have a strong understanding of the work creatives do and strive to help structure productions so that they’re at their best.

I chose to integrate ShotGrid for production management, budgeting and review, after having previous success implementing the pipeline solution when I worked at Moment Factory. My goal is to create a workflow where everyone excels, and that happens with proper tools like ShotGrid.

How long did it take to get your team up-and-running on ShotGrid?

It was really a seamless transition, and in just four months, all of our CG artists and supervisors use ShotGrid for publishing work, receiving feedback, notes and review – including our freelancers. Nearly everyone on our team uses the platform for timesheets, and I’m working to expand our integration with ShotGrid and eventually get all of our 2D Flame artists up-and-running as well. In the future, I also hope to expand our use of RV for internal screening room review, and soon use the client review site and functions as well.

Can you describe any interesting projects you’ve worked on recently?

Our most recent commercial production was a fully CG national Bud Light advertising campaign for Anheuser-Busch, where we were tasked with creating nearly 40 different deliverables for broadcast, web, social and print – it was quite the workload! We approached the project as a twist on classic motion design, with our artists creating an animated time-lapse of plants growing out of Bud Light cans to depict the different ingredients of the brand’s newest flavored beer.

Having a strong pipeline was essential throughout production, in order to create all of the final deliverables in different formats, specs and resolutions for viewing on separate distribution platforms. We relied heavily on ShotGrid for managing artists, tasks, outputs and organizing delivery, and it facilitated a collaborative workflow so that our team was able to produce the highest quality end results possible on schedule. With so many deliverables required, we needed to be able to validate and organize them which would have been difficult to do without ShotGrid.

How else has your studio benefited from ShotGrid?

We have a robust pipeline influenced by what you see in the film industry, as we’re constantly aspiring to deliver work of that caliber. ShotGrid helps with our internal structure and assists with better management, so that we’re able to plan and prepare in advance for productions. By taking the pain out of production management, ShotGrid keeps us organized and helps our artists create faster without needing to worry about confusing infrastructure or organization.

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