Thursday, May 15th, 2014 Posted by Jim Thacker

Shotgun announces first ever Pipeline Awards

Framestore’s VFX breakdown video for Gravity. Tools developers, whose work makes effects movies and AAA games like this possible, can now nominate themselves for Shotgun Software’s first Shotgun Pipeline Awards*

Spare a thought for pipeline developers: they create the tools that make movies like Gravity and Frozen possible, but it’s the artists who walk off with the Oscars.

It’s something that has clearly been on the minds of Shotgun Software, which has just announced the first Shotgun Pipeline Awards, intended to recognise the work of leading tools developers and pipeline engineers.

“We want to shine a spotlight on those who well deserve it and rarely find themselves in it – the tool builders inside studios,” said Shotgun CEO Don Parker.

“We see people building amazing stuff … even though that work never makes it onto the screen. We want to acknowledge the coolest, best pipeline tools in the industry and credit those who have built them.”

The awards categories
There are nine general awards categories, aimed at both VFX and games work:

  • Review tool/pipeline
  • Artist-facing tool
  • Business-side/ROI tool
  • Coolest hack
  • Tool/implementation for games
  • On-set/motion capture tool
  • Open-source virtual production
  • Most creative use of a game engine
  • Mobile app

And since this is a developer-run event, there are also a couple of Shotgun-specific categories.

The Outstanding Pipeline Achievement Award will recognise “the flat-out best implementation of Shotgun”, and the Pipeline Hero Award is for “an individual who regularly shares best practices on the dev list and/or a customer-developed tool that has been adopted widely across the Shotgun user base”.

Prizes and entry process
The winners will be announced at Shotgun’s user group meeting Awards at Siggraph 2014 in Vancouver on Tuesday August 12, and announced publicly on the Shotgun Blog.

We don’t have any information about prizes yet, other than they will be “something awesome”.

Prizes for Shotgun’s annual hackathons have included honey-baked hams and nine pounds of bacon – which makes a change from the usual statuettes.

As well as nominating yourself, you can nominate other people or tools you think worthy of recognition; and you don’t actually have to be present at Siggraph in person to win.

Updated: Shotgun has announced the winners of this year’s awards. You can check out the full list, which includes heads of pipeline Mike Romey of Zoic Studios, Patrick Wolf of Pixomondo and Tony Barbieri of Psyop, plus Cluster Studio CTO Armando Ricalde, in the news release here.

*Editor’s note: Shotgun really was used on Gravity. According to Framestore, the movie’s VFX co-ordinators “wrote the equivalent of four copies of War and Peace while taking notes during feedback”.