Case study

Neoscape Keeps the Creative Wheels Turning with Autodesk Shotgun Software and 3ds Max

Studio: Neoscape
Office location: Global Offices
Specialties: Architectural visualization, commercial VFX, experiential marketing
Favorite Shotgun Feature: Streamlined review

Neoscape has perfected the art of envisioning worlds that don’t yet exist, from futuristic skyscrapers to picturesque landscapes. Spread across the globe, its team thrives on problem-solving and taking chances on cool ideas – a strategy that has paid off in spades, with its work capturing the attention of prominent architects, real estate firms and brands. Though Neoscape’s roots lie in architectural visualization, the creative studio has evolved into a full-service marketing agency over the last 25 years, fusing arch viz and design savvy with modern visual effects (VFX) techniques to create compelling brand campaigns, public installations and other media. With a steady project flow, Neoscape’s team depends on a robust technology infrastructure built on Autodesk 3ds Max and Shotgun Software to manage and deliver a range of client projects.

Challenges

In recent months, as the company has temporarily closed down its offices throughout the U.S. in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, its entire team has pivoted to remote working largely uninterrupted. Neoscape’s 3D artists and film team are set up for remote access to their on-premises workstations and the company server is accessible via a web-based app. The transition has proven unexpectedly simpler than the team imagined. Carlos Cristerna, Neoscape principal and director of the company’s R&D arm, RadLab, shared, “Working remotely introduces new complexities, mostly in terms of connectivity, but with collaboration tools like Shotgun and remote workstation access to content creation apps like 3ds Max, we’re able to operate at full capacity with slight adjustments like video conferences versus in-person meetings.”

About a week into lockdown, the team was tasked with delivering a one-minute animated short film for a client, which it managed wholly in Shotgun. Cristerna noted, “It was absolutely crazy how quickly we were able to turn around the project and eye-opening in terms of what Shotgun is capable of. We had team members working from San Francisco and Boston, as well as three people from the client side in Tampa, Florida who interacted remotely with our lead artist on the digital set dressing, sculpting, camera angles and editing, and collaboration was seamless.”

Adaptability Wins the Day

While the cadence of project work remains largely unaffected as clients move forward to the best extent possible, Neoscape has seen delivery method preferences shift, while new business inquiries tied to virtualizing events have increased. “We’ve seen more clients inquire about new approaches and deliverables, but at Neoscape, we’ve always used a breadth of techniques to match each client’s specific needs, whether a 360-degree experience, a responsive smartphone application or cinematic film, so we’re equipped to handle it all. If they can dream it, we can create it,” shared Cristerna. “We’ve also noticed an uptick in new clients coming to us with questions as to how they can use 3D imagery to enhance now-virtual events.”

Whether creating a space film for research and development non-profit Draper, a sleek marketing campaign promoting the 88 Wareham urban development in Boston or an installation for an NYC attraction, there is no project that Neoscape’s team is afraid to tackle. To troubleshoot and keep the creative wheels turning, Neoscape leverages AEC and VFX technology solutions like Autodesk 3ds Max, Shotgun Software, and Maya, as well as Epic Games’ Unreal Engine for virtual reality projects along with a motion-capture system. Although the team tailors each workflow to the project, a Revit or Rhino file is typically first imported into 3ds Max where the artists bring their designs to life.

“I can’t think of a content creation project that 3ds Max has not touched since Neoscape opened up shop,” said Cristerna. “It is our 3D workhorse, and we love the file format flexibility it provides; nearly every format we need is supported. It’s also incredibly easy for our 3D artists to use, and the built-in MAXScript scripting language gives us the flexibility to create custom tools that help us work the way we want to.” 

Improved Context and Collaboration

In the last two years, Neoscape has invested in building out its Shotgun production management pipeline to manage its project flow and help team members collaborate more seamlessly across projects. “Even though we’ve had Shotgun for two years, we’re using it now more than ever, given its remote collaboration capabilities. It’s been instrumental in keeping the team connected across projects and giving us the ability to handle complex projects requiring multiple deliverables at the same time,” Cristerna explained. “It’s also streamlined our internal and client review processes. We can easily keep track of all our assets from 3d models to Photoshop files. File upload and download is more straightforward internally as well as for client review.”

[Shotgun has] streamlined our internal and client review processes. We can easily keep track of all our assets from 3D models to Photoshop files; and file upload and download is more straightforward internally as well as for client review.

For more details about Neoscape and its latest project work, visit: neoscape.com.