ftrack AB, a leading developer of production tracking and asset management tools has announced ftrack 2.6. The latest version of its platform brings game-changing key features, Locations and Client Portals, to the table. The version is now in beta and the new release launch by the end of June 2014.
ftrack allows users to easily track their production or project, manage assets, review shots, schedule workloads and assign tasks and collaborate together in one easy-to-access portal. Originally developed as an in-house production tracking tool at Fido Film in 2008, commercial development of the product began in 2011 and it’s already being used by a number of high-profile facilities including Cinesite, Filmmore and Saddington Baynes and now The Mill.
Collaboration across multiple locations on a global level is the future for many industries, whether it’s between large companies or smaller indie groups. In the VFX world, ftrack embraces this forward-looking direction with Locations, a new solution that simplifies the once-tangled web of tracking the flow of files on disk and their usage.
With Locations, you can set associations between a file and a location (which could be anything from a specific workstation, an IP address, or even a city on the other end of the globe). This boosts efficiency by cutting out the confusion of constant data-chasing. You can now track versions, file locations, ownership, availability, file-sizes, and usage with ease. Taking things a step further, Locations makes automated file transfer a breeze by integrating with a range of popular user-selected cloud storage services (like Dropbox, for example) and tracking the space used.
ftrack 2.6 rolls out the first phase of Client Portals by offering an extremely simple and user-friendly way to run client review sessions. Now, with the ability to invite individuals who are not in ftrack to join a review through a streamlined UI, you can bring clients into the picture to make comments, draw on frames, give approvals, and provide other critical input on a project.
In a future update, ftrack will expand on this with a dedicated Client Portal system that adds even more features to streamline the way you interact with clients.
Growing momentum in commercials
The Mill group recently purchased a site license of ftrack for use on all its commercials going forward. With several hundred commercial projects in the pipeline at any given time across the studio’s London, New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago locations, the need to track and manage a tremendous number of assets in real-time is integral to the operation. The group recently adopted ftrack to speed up and streamline this process. “This is an exciting development for us,” said Fredrik Limsäter, CEO of ftrack. “We have really been able to focus our toolsets so that they can be used in a collaborative way. The Mill’s adoption of ftrack is a great endorsement to the functionality we now have in ftrack.”
Dave Levy, Group CG Technology Director at The Mill, added: “The team at ftrack fully understand our distributed model. We use per site utility servers which must be able to perform local heavy lifting but still be recognised as part of a global common structure. The recent "locations" system will bring this capability to any multi-site organization which faces the same issues. What excites us the most is the extension of the locations concept beyond the case of the local high performance storage into other aspects of the pipeline. Examples of this would be distributed libraries, archives and Flame file systems.”