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Today, we revealed a deeper collaboration between Unity and Autodesk. As part of this, we announced a new Shotgun Software, an Autodesk company, integration template coming early next year, which will empower creators in media and entertainment with better production management workflows.

Artistic innovation in filmmaking has enabled artists to express their talents in new styles and mediums, from creating huge worlds to perfecting art at the pixel level, frame by frame. However, maintaining quality while also iterating and remaining flexible can often require major investments in assets, team sizes, and ever-increasing render times. Thus, complex and efficient pipelines have become necessary to keep the production rolling while ensuring the highest quality. Whether you’re working on an episodic series or short film, Unity cares very deeply about your success — and that’s why we’re pleased to share details of the work we’re doing to integrate Shotgun with Unity.

What is Shotgun?

Shotgun is a production management, review, and collaboration tool for animation and VFX teams of all sizes. It consists of a cloud-based database back-end, a web front-end, and desktop and mobile tools to manage your production and assets. Because of Shotgun’s integration with many DCC tools (Houdini, Photoshop, Nuke, Autodesk Maya, Autodesk 3ds Max, and others), it provides a connection to data pipelines that can drastically improve workflows.

Unity and Shotgun

Below is a sample integration of Shotgun’s Toolkit with Unity. This video is a work-in-progress demonstration of our upcoming Shotgun template. (Assets shown are from the new Unity Film Sample Project).

First, we launch the Unity project directly from the Shotgun Desktop.

 

Inside Unity, the new Shotgun menu provides an entry point for common workflows, like accessing your assigned tasks from the Shotgun Panel. (This particular layout task requires adding some boulders to the scene.)

Next, we jump directly to Shotgun to view the storyboard in the browser.

Back in Unity, we update the task status.

Then we load the rocks using the Shotgun Loader app, place them in the scene, and see how they look in context when we scrub the timeline.

Lastly, we render out the final frames with Unity’s Recorder, which has an option to automatically publish the render to Shotgun. We’ll take a quick screenshot for use as a thumbnail, then publish our recording to Shotgun using the Shotgun Publish app.

 

Once the new version is published to Shotgun, it’s available for other team members to review, just like any other content. For example, when the layout supervisor requests some sharper rocks, the task is tracked as the modeling department makes the requested changes to the boulder asset.

Unity leverages the same interface Shotgun Toolkit provides in Maya, and because the workflow is the same, artists will be up and running within minutes.

The Asset loader in Maya (top) and Unity (bottom).

Once the rocks look sharp, they are published. Back in Unity, the familiar Shotgun Scene Breakdown shows assets in the project that require updating. A few clicks and the boulders are refreshed to the latest version.

 

Over the coming months, we will continue developing this sample integration so technical directors and teams can begin customizing their real-time workflows with Unity in early 2019.

Learn more about real-time filmmaking and Unity for film and animation, as well as find a recap of our Film and Animation Summit, where we celebrated the award-winning pioneers who are using Unity’s real-time workflow to tell beautiful stories. Creators ready to dig in today can download our Film Sample Project to experiment with linear storytelling tools, and professionals in animation can request a consultation or check out our new Unity for Animation Training Workshops for more customized, hands-on learning.

Find out how Unity and Autodesk are collaborating to improve workflows across the gaming, film, automotive and AEC (architecture, engineering, construction) industries.

Unity and Autodesk: Powering your creativity with better workflows

Visualizing your BIM data with real-time design

Bringing VRED data into real-time customer experiences

FBX Exporter and round-tripping between 3ds Max/Maya and Unity