Visual Effects Tracking and Collaboration Takes a Mainstream Approach

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Creating a system for tracking Visual Effects projects has traditionally been an in-house undertaking. Introducing VFX Nexus, a web-based solution for visual effects studios of all sizes to collaborate and track their entire workflow. Years of VFX production experience has been married with modern web application principles to form an easy-to-use and secure system designed to keep VFX project management simple. VFX Nexus is available now; more information at http://vfxnexus.com

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Creating a system for tracking Visual Effects projects has traditionally been an in-house undertaking. The results are varied, proprietary and often expensive - if not in money, in terms of the time taken to build, learn and maintain. Introducing VFX Nexus, a web-based solution for visual effects studios of all sizes to collaborate and track their entire workflow. Years of VFX production experience has been married with modern web application principles to form an easy-to-use and secure system designed to keep VFX project management simple.

VFX Nexus was born out of a need to achieve a bulletproof record of all notes, status changes and client requests for an increasingly large workload of VFX shots. The solution was to keep the feedback loop and status updates at the fingertips of the artists and supervisors at all times. "Like a lot of other FX Supervisors, I was accustomed to shoehorning a spreadsheet program into tracking this complex workflow. We knew there could be a better way to do this while also adding collaboration features," says PJ Foley, a full time Visual Effects Producer and designer of many of the key features within VFX Nexus. "The way we accomplished this is by creating a system that's accessible from anywhere. Now we track the status, details and feedback of our shots online."

VFX Nexus addresses the complex array of needs in VFX production by keeping all needed information no more than a couple of mouse clicks away. "What's also great are the customization features. If a certain gig we're doing requires some additional stages of work to complete a shot, I can just add them in and now it's part of the pipeline," adds Foley.

Another simplifying aspect of VFX Nexus is that it presents a streamlined workflow for the artists. Every artist has a home page listing the relevant shots and tasks that require action. For project administration, there are various printed reports which are ideal for quick reference in a meeting or to post storyboards in a common area for viewing by all team members and departments.

A web-based solution provides a host of benefits over many of the current closed-network options on the market. All data is centralized and being accessible anywhere enables remote teams to collaborate as if they were in the same room. Potentially complex tasks such as tracking the progress of several vendors is completely seamless. In addition, the software can be updated at any time, leveraging all the latest developments of web software as they become available.

"While we were interviewing the various studios and creators that have a need for VFX Nexus, web security and dependability would come up as a big concern. That's why we decided to create all of VFX Nexus within a redundant, cloud-computing system. Now the system is fully protected from any issue where a single point of failure could prevent access or cause data loss," says Matt Nisonger, Lead Software Engineer for VFX Nexus. TJ Sakasegawa, movie producer and partner in VFX Nexus adds, "I've produced several VFX heavy movies and the pipeline afforded by using VFX Nexus has led to more movies completed on time and on budget. It's obvious to me how the artists come to rely on it and it's also great in review sessions to attach notes to each shot, knowing that the notes go to exactly the right people in real time."

With VFX Nexus, sensible and feature-rich VFX tracking and collaboration is now available to studios of all sizes. VFX studios now have a customizable and scalable solution at their command without the need to divert resources to a proprietary system. The VFX Nexus website demonstrates this point by describing how it works with new or existing VFX pipelines. VFX Nexus is available now from http://vfxnexus.com.

Started in 2005, VFX Nexus creates solutions for the visual effects industry that simplify the process of production and collaboration - always keeping the needs of the artists and producers foremost in mind.

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PJ Foley
VFX Nexus
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