One major new concept I’m introducing with Demeter is the idea of priorities. At any given time, we have multiple projects for multiple clients broken down into many shots. Each project has a different deadline and complexity. On top of that, each shot may have a different deadline because it may be needed by another artist to complete their shot. With our current system, there is still a lot of manual work involved in figuring out which shot to work on, or where that shot’s destination may be.
With Demeter I plan to change that. Each project will have a “priority,” and each shot for that project will have a “priority.” The priority is a color-coded scale of 1 through 5, with 5 being ASAP and 1 meaning it’s on the back-burner.
The priority is influenced by the complexity of the shot, if the shot needs further work by another artist, the deadline of the project, and more. The list of projects and shots needed to be done per project are sorted by their priority. So, with a quick glance, any artist should be able to see what shot on what project they should be working on. This simple concept is a huge workflow-streamliner and leaves little room for error.
Imagine the following scenario and how easily it is resolved using the priority system:
Artist A has a lot of shots to work on. For Shot Ten, Artist A has to build and animate a scene in 3D. Shot Ten also has to go through Artist B to get polished and have effects added. Artist B can’t do anything on Shot Ten until Artist A finishes it. Shot Ten can be ranked at a very high priority so Artist A finishes it first so Artist B can work on it.
The first build of Demeter has been released here and we have a few jobs starting that we can use it on. So far it has been a huge improvement. That also means that most of the work I’ve done this week has improved Demeter. Little things are changing, like how the user interface looks and how information is presented to the user.
Maybe next time you stop by the studio for a tour you can get a glimpse of our behind-the-scenes production management system.