Jellyfish Pictures Taps Shotgun for VFX, Animation & Motion Graphics Workflows

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Last Updated: December 8, 2016 10:48 pm GMT
(London, UK--December 8, 2016) Jellyfish Pictures provides a full range of visual effects, animation and motion graphics services, and has earned BAFTA, Emmy and VES Award recognition for its work. Founded in 2001, the company currently operates out of three locations in London. The Noho studio handles live action film, TV and advertising projects like “Star Wars Rogue One,” “Black Mirror” or “Outlander,” and the Brixton outfit and recently opened Oval office specialize in animation, largely for children’s TV including BBC’s “Bitz n’ Bob” and “Floogals,” now available in the US. Shotgun has been part of Jellyfish’s workflow for a while, but they’ve recently integrated it more deeply using Shotgun’s Pipeline Toolkit to automate repetitive tasks, free artists’ time to create and enable more iterations.



Jellyfish Pictures 2D Lead Matt Plummer helped instigate the implementation of Pipeline Toolkit and writes a lot of applications and systems for publishing from Shotgun. Originally a compositor, Plummer began learning Python a few years ago and quickly realized the time that could be saved by automating simple but tedious tasks. He said, “Shotgun is a lifesaver for every project. If you have to deliver 52 episodes with 150-200 shots per episode, having Shotgun means it’s all organized and it’s all easy. I can’t imagine doing another season of ‘Floogals’ without it; we wouldn’t be able to do it.”

Given the high volume output by Jellyfish’s animation arm, any means for streamlining is hugely beneficial. The level of automation afforded by Shotgun has freed Jellyfish artists’ time for creating, rather than asset management. On “Floogals,” Flash comps were assembled automatically through Shotgun. Lighting would publish passes to Shotgun then a template system coded by Plummer would read those passes and create a composite of them, enabling artists to turn around a first version super quickly. Another useful Shotgun application written by Plummer automatically publishes OBJs from Autodesk Maya, instead of having to open the Maya file and export an OBJ every time it’s needed.

After successfully integrating Shotgun Pipeline Toolkit for Maya into its workflow, Jellyfish has added Pipeline Toolkit for The Foundry’s NUKE and Adobe Photoshop, and is looking to add The Foundry’s MARI in the near future. Plummer explained, “Pipeline Toolkit provides a lot of free useful features that remove tasks you’d normally have to work out yourself – like where work files are located on disk, how it publishes, generating QuickTimes for publishers and what it’s actually publishing. I only need to configure the high level bits and pieces rather than manually coding them. It’s made my life a lot easier.”

With access to Shotgun’s inner workings through Pipeline Toolkit and the Python API, Plummer has a lot of power to configure the software to do what artists need. “In terms of just installing Pipeline Toolkit and getting the basics, Shotgun is super easy. Building custom applications depends on the difficulty of what you’re trying to make it do, but if I can learn Python and get a full studio pipeline working, pretty much anyone can do it,” concluded Plummer.

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About Jellyfish Pictures
Jellyfish started as a two-man band back in 2001 and since then we have grown into one of the most respected visual effects and animation studios in the world. We now employ over 150 artists across three London studios and are as dedicated as ever to creating stunning moving pictures. Whether we’re working on feature films like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, or animated series like Dennis and Gnasher, Jellyfish offer an unrivalled service that blends creativity, craft and capacity. Over the last 15 years we have built a brilliant creative team, an expert production service and a pioneering technical pipeline. We have won a string of EMMY, BAFTA and VES awards for our work. Our unique technical achievements in cloud technology over the last three years have allowed us to collaborate with the best artists wherever they may be as well as allowing us to set up “virtual” offices in an instant as we have recently done at The Oval in South London.

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