The main content creation tools in Encore’s workflow include Autodesk 3ds Max and Maya, and Foundry’s Nuke. Everything from assets to shots are tracked through Shotgun. Artists also rely heavily on Encomp, a proprietary tool built into Nuke to tie into Shotgun to allow for reduced file system interaction from a compositing standpoint, and better manage assets for shots. When artists have Nuke open using Encomp, any relevant data such as the latest references, plates, 3D elements, or camera track, appears in front of them pulled from Shotgun directly into Nuke.
Rather than assign artists to specific shows, Encore taps all its artists for work across shows, allowing them to work on a range of projects. “Artists float according to specialty,” said Taranyan. “We like everyone to have a general understanding of all shows so that we can shift talent around based on need. From a pipeline perspective, Shotgun helps us stay organized and lets us work in this manner. Before we had our current system in place, it was like the Wild West where every show producer/coordinator would organize things their own way.”
In addition to sharing artists, Encore uses assets across certain shows. Approximately 1,000 different assets, including characters, vehicles, and props are being tracked in Shotgun. They can be tracked to a specific show, but artists often use them for multiple shows, making adjustments as the creative requires. Any time an asset adjustment is made, it’s tracked in Shotgun. Having assets organized and centralized is particularly helpful for crossover episodes, which regularly pop up each season.