The Third Floor, Inc. is a visualization studio that has been using Shotgun across virtual camera, previs and postvis pipelines. The company has facilities in Los Angeles, Montreal and London – plus production teams on location around the world –who contribute to major motion pictures, television shows, commercials, theme park rides, and games. The Third Floor worked on four of last year’s eight highest grossing films, including X-Men: Days of Future Past for which the company won a VES Award. Upcoming credits include Insurgent and Game of Thrones Season 5.
“We regularly use Shotgun to track asset builds and shots during previs, and throughout production and postvis,” explained The Third Floor production manager Charlotte Nelson. “We often start on projects in the early conceptual stage when there is not yet a tracking system in place for visual effects. So working from the project’s script, we build a shot list from the ground up in Shotgun. It’s very helpful to get a lay of the land and streamlines the way we distribute work among our previs artists.”
Previs is produced at The Third Floor’s offices and in the field as the teams collaborate alongside productions. In the postvis phase, artists from several locations may be working with previs assets as well as plates. “Shotgun is key because it’s one central location that lets us see up-to-date information on every shot and every asset,” Nelson continued. “Artists, supervisors, coordinators and project managers rely on Shotgun, using it in different ways to meet their needs – artists can update shot status and then supervisors can review. It’s great to have the simplicity of a central hub – it’s even helpful if you need to track down shots years down the line.”
On some projects, The Third Floor is using a virtual camera system that allows sequences to be blocked out while viewing previs within a video tap of the live scene. “Our virtual camera workflow captures a lot of information very quickly, and Shotgun lets us efficiently sort and track each shot so that we can transition into editing more rapidly,” said Nelson. “The sooner we can complete the previs, the sooner the director, DP and VFX supervisor can finalize what they need to move into production.”