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Schedule Best Practice for TV (Fast turn-around)


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Hey Guys,


Wondering if anyone has advice for best practice integrating the schedule functions into your pipeline with quick turn-around and fluid schedule projects.


As a house that mostly handles TV we frequently go from turnover to final in 14 days or less.


Artists might be working on any number of projects in house at any given time and it doesn't make sense for us to assign specific artists to specific tasks for specific durations. 


We can assign a general due date to tasks to help artists manage their workload and publish milestones for render deadlines, but that doesn't currently translate to the scheduling system in terms of the calendar views and team planning. And the milestones quickly clutter the artist's my tasks page rendering them less useful. 


Everything happens so quickly in our studio, it doesn't make much sense to commit administration to constantly updating each individual shot/task/artist with new deadlines. 




- Can tasks automatically inherit the start date/end date of projects? This baseline would allow for some measure of artist prioritization automatically, and production could modify exceptions. 


- Can artists automatically inherit schedules from tasks to which they are assigned? This would give supes and managers another way to view artist workload.



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  • 4 weeks later...

Since this post received so many views and no replies, I imagine other users were interested in some best practice ideas.


Here's what we're doing at the moment (primarily dealing with episodic television):


1. On episode creation "Episode Due Date" is set to the likely final submission based on air dates and previous deliveries for the particular client. 


2. All shots are imported from a spreadsheet and assigned a "Composite" task template which assigns a single compositing task to every shot. Regardless of complexity, every shot eventually goes to comp as the last step.


3. From the "Tasks" spreadsheet view select all tasks in the show (currently only compositing tasks) and assign a due date based on the final delivery. You will need to display the "due date" task attribute in your spreadsheet to do this.


4. From the "Shots" spreadsheet view click in the calendar next to "Shots" at the very top of the spreadsheet, drag to the current delivery date to schedule all shots for the duration of the project.


5. Other tasks can be added at this point and scheduled on a per task basis as the already scheduled compositing task will always fall last in dependancies. 



While imperfect, this approach gets the broad strokes information into Ftrack and allows tweaking down the line as necessary. Given the relatively quick turnaround, production can't devote too much time to micro managing artist schedules but this allows supes to get an idea at a glance what's going on in house and also shows artists (particularly 2D) when their shots are due so they can bug anyone further up the chain for elements they are missing if something slips through the cracks. 


If you've got suggestions/solutions I'd love to hear them!

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