AVGC Production Tracking Software: 5 Top Options!

As the entertainment industry keeps on scaling up, it's vital for AVGC studios to be smart about their VFX pipeline management. Ambitious movies and long-length series have raised the bar, compared to what the audience preferred earlier. With raised visual standards, AVGC studios must buck up their speed to match the tight deadlines and scale up their VFX and animation project management tactics.

But what happens if a studio does not employ a sophisticated array of tools for VFX project management? According to the FICCI report in 2024, by animationxpress.com. Production delays or suspensions impacted 46 films as well as 48 TV Shows. The Indian VFX industry depending on international collaborations, is also affected in an adverse manner.

Now, traditional project management is an option, but VFX studios can set themselves up with powerful VFX project management software.

This blog goes on to explore 5 production tracking software that are streamlining animation, VFX and CGI projects in a smart way!

Top 5 Production Tracking Software for VFX, Animation& CGI Projects

1. Vani

Vani is the best solution for VFX and CG studios – who require efficient project management and tracking. Plus, the cost is way less than all the models provided in this blog. It is the most cost-effective software provided in comparison with loaded features.

Key Features:

  • Task Scheduling & Management: You can map out project goals, prioritize tasks and meet deadlines with ease. All team members are aware of their responsibilities and deadlines. There are no chances of last-minute scrambling and missed deadlines. 

  • Real-Time Visibility: Streamline your workflow with live status updates and reports. You can address issues proactively with such real time visibility features. You can even identify potential delays or bottlenecks early on, allowing for adjustments and course correction. This way, we are on the right track before we snowball into major problems.

  • Informative Insights: Visually appealing and clarified reports from any data size, are available into your workflow. You can analyze project progress, identify trends and make data driven decisions.

  • Performance Analysis:: Employee performance and resource availability is highlighted through bid utilization reports. By understanding individual and team performance, studios can effectively assign tasks and optimize workloads.

  • Offline Access: No need to provide internet connection to your artists or resources. Control the access protocols and use your existing network to use Vani with ease.

  • Enhanced Collaboration: You can provide feedback. When you improve communication – your team’s creative alignment is great and faster iteration cycles also happen.

  • Leave Management: Leave requests and approvals are needed for efficient project planning and staffing. Vani helps studios anticipate potential staffing gaps as well. 

Vani is a VFX studios’ hero with great high-quality features and valuable insights. By leveraging these features, studios can manage complex projects efficiently!

2. ftrack

fTrack Studio breaks down barriers of versatile project management, as it is tailored for the AVGC industry. It is an emmy winning and academy award winning solution which helps creative VFX teams coordinate and stack their projects efficiently.

Here are the key technical features of ftrack Studio that contribute to efficient AVGC project management:

  • Customizable Dashboards:: There is nothing more unique than AVGC project requirements and with customizable dashboards from fTrack, users can create their personal dashboards as per different VFX project requirements. They showcase key performance indicators, task status, VFX project progress as well as team productivity. Users can also customize the dashboards to focus on the metrics which they think – are the most relevant for a particular project. Their API allows you to create custom integrations and automated tasks.

  • Version Control: They simplify asset management as well as version management by enabling your VFX team to fetch the latest version of assets easily through the API. Track assets easily through the API & thus, the VFX workflow is flawless.

  • Remote Work Support: Remote working styles are the biggest pro as well as the con in the VFX industry. But ftrack empowers remote work styles in a great way, with tools like CineSync, ftrack review, and smart content management features. CineSync is a desktop review and approval tool that lets you review work even if your resources are working remotely. If your resources or collaborators are working on sensitive assets remotely, ftrack makes your life easy with its remote VFX production tracking.

  • Client Review Sessions: ftrack review provides an easy-to-use, browser-based platform which makes client-team collaboration very easy. Clients can dive in into each shot, add detailed notes, and provide frame-accurate feedback. With simplicity, your review process speeds up. Supervisors can also check the videos out in real-time sync with the clients, review them together – as both parties see the same frame simultaneously. It is a free-flowing process without missed assets or dropped frames.

  • Integration with Industry-standard Apps: ftrack offers powerful possibilities for integrating with third party apps. Creative apps like Foundry Nuke, Adobe After Effects & Premiere Pro, Autodesk 3ds Max & Maya, and more can be added without any hassle. You can even create a custom tool for deep integrations which are critical for animation and vfx production management.

  • Media Review and Approvals:: It is extremely necessary for a VFX supervisor to stay on top of their episode progress, which the platform supports immensely. They have a review process which is clear, fast and effective – and clients can quickly arrive on a decision due to a seamless feedback loop with smoother project progress and timely approvals. The review sessions can also be exported as a PDF with thumbnails, timecodes and notes. Your project vision is clear and aligned.

  • Security Measures: ftrack studio follows the below security certifications and practices which are lauded worldwide for their credibility.
    • SOC2 Security Compliance: an internationally recognized standard for data security and integrity.
    • Two-factor authentication (2FA): It has a 2FA login for both ftrack studio and ftrack review – which adds an extra layer of security to protect creative content.
    • Private Projects: This feature is introduced for managers specifically, and they can select a specific team for limited access to a project.
    • Secure watermarking: If needed, they offer visual watermarking, which protects intellectual property during the review process.
    • TPN Certified: It is a TPN compliant plaftform and offers encryption features as well for data security.

These features demonstrate exactly why, ftrack is a favorite amongst VFX project management tools – as it enhances the AVGC project management process with ease and seamlessness.

3. Projectal

Projectal is a VFX project tracking tool designed for helping the AVGC industry projects stay on their toes. Optimal bids for projects, booking staff and resources, tracking project progress and more sounds daunting, but can easily be managed with Projectal.

  • Staff planner: VFX supervisors would have a field day with software as expert as this one, for VFX project management. Let's look at the detailed features – for staff management allocated by Projectal.
    • Staff Usage View: Comprehensive view of staff pool, tasks and projects as per a given date period.

    • Real-time view: You can see in real time the staff pool by allocation, departments they are placed in, locations, skills and more. Quickly identify resources across departments and projects for any specific client requirement.

    • AI-based recommendation engine: It uses AI technologies and machine learning algorithms for determining the specific task described. It takes 10 factors into account – and auto-assigns tasks to recommended staff or by auto-leveling staff locations.

    • Contractor Management: You can manage your external contractors exactly as you can manage your regular staff.

    • Staff availability calendars: You can create calendars for office locations and staff, where the tasks are assigned to only the available staff and more.

It would take a whole different blog to explain the features of projectal – but it is a must-have for staff management in a VFX and animation studio.

  • Task Management: The task management features in Projectal are a godsend for VFX supervisors and can help with efficiently assigning tasks to team members. You can track progress, check if the right artists are working on the right projects at the right time. You can easily optimize the VFX pipeline and make sure that every shot and every asset is completed effectively and on time.
  • Dashboard: This feature provides a visual representation of project progress, resource allocation and key metrics. Project status insights, bottlenecks of a project, and more can be identified with transparency and informed decision making.
  • Reporting: VFX supervisors and managers can generate customized reports on project performance, resource allocation and utilization and other key metrics. These reports are valuable and provide insights into project efficiency and budgets as well.
  • VFX Project Bidding: The best part about Projectal is that it facilitates project bidding in an excellent way.
    • Intelligent importing of client bid documents in XLS, ODS, CSV or PDF formats.
    • It auto-detects client’s area of interest mentioned in the client files and converts document content into project data like task names, descriptions, milestones and more.
    • Real-time visibility into project estimation and costs for accurate judgements.
    • The task templates feature allows you to create a library of the shots required and these can be reused in the project time and again.
    • It can change key factors in bids to better match AVGC client requirements.
    • Crew sheets can be exported in real time for project planning purposes
    • Create and apply rebates, tax incentives and discounts to projects for their tasks.
    • Export of bid data – for preparing a ‘customer-facing’ response to clients.

This bidding accuracy leads to better outcomes for businesses and supports the VFX studios in a smart manner without much documentation hassle.

In summary, the task management, dashboard, reporting and integration features can help every VFX producer manage their VFX projects with ease and generate successful project outcomes.

4. ShotGrid By Autodesk

AutoDesk Flow Production Tracking is formerly known as ShotGrid, and it is an advanced management and review tool which is designed to streamline VFX project management processes. It has a comprehensive set of features which can bring your creative visions to life, track deadlines and enhance collabs with media and entertainment projects.

  • Cloud-Based Collaboration: The production tracking flow is whole, and sole mentioned in the cloud, which allows for seamless collaboration among team members – regardless of their location. From a single source of information, Autodesk ensures that everyone works smartly, and collaboration is enhanced. Enterprise level collaboration ensures that VFX supervisors can accelerate workflows by sharing the right data with the right people. AI powered scheduling works with generative scheduling and automating the scheduling process to deliver faster results in minutes. With this feature, you can predict, plan and optimize resources efficiently. You can make sure that your projects are delivered on time and within budget. Flow production tracking can connect the entire production pipeline, people and data and workflows. By integrating on-set and post-production data, it enables the seamless management of assets from the camera to post-production stage.
  • Customizable APIs: Artist resources with resource planning views is a superb feature for all VFX project managers. can assess capacity, workload and balance resources by integrating APIs and ensuring a balanced workload distribution.
  • Real time project tracking: Cloud collaboration enables easy data access for the right people at the right time. Your VFX team of artists and other resources can collaborate seamlessly from anywhere at any time.
  • Production insights: For the media and the industry, Autodesk Flow provides production insights with real-time data access. Various stakeholders, architects, engineers and film editors can communicate seamlessly with the entire organization.

In summary, Autodesk has integrated a broad portfolio of products and services under one umbrella. They provide holistic solutions for diverse industries. Also, it offers a range of support services, training resources and a vibrant user community which assists people in maximizing the software’s usage potential.

5. Spreadsheets for VFX Project Management

Spreadsheets are both the boon and the bane for VFX project management and VFX studios. Here's a breakdown of their usefulness and limitations:

Ways Spreadsheets can Help

  • Simple Task Tracking: Spreadsheets can be used to list tasks and assign them to team members. It can also be utilized for tracking progress and is extremely helpful in small projects with straightforward workflows.
  • Basic Budgeting: Spreadsheets can be used to create budgets, track expenses and more. You can also monitor resource allocation with spreadsheets.
  • Data Organization: Spreadsheets are the most cost-effective solution for shot lists, asset tracking and render times. This can be helpful for quick reference and basic data analysis.

Spreadsheets have limitations which make them a headache for complex VFX projects

  • Scalability Issues: Spreadsheets may be cost-effective, but they are dangerous to project progress when projects frow and become complex. They become difficult to manage and large amounts of data become cumbersome to navigate and update.
  • Error Prone: Spreadsheets fall prey to manual errors which can lead to missed deadlines, budget overruns and communication breakdowns.
  • Limited Collaboration: Spreadsheets are not ideal for real-time collaboration among multiple team members working on different tasks. Version control becomes difficult, and data conflicts can arise.
  • Lack of Automation: Spreadsheets require manual calculations and updates. They are inefficient in handling complex workflows and resource allocation.

Wrapping up

Well, this was the list of superb VFX project management software available in the market. Do let us know if you find this blog interesting – and we will get back to you with more blogs like this one!

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