Getting started as a Production Manager
Create your first production
The first step on Kitsu is to create a production. Click on the Create a new production button.
Enter the name of your production, choose TV Show if you need more than one episode. Then validate by clicking on Confirm.
To navigate through Kitsu sections you need to use the sidebar. It can be accessed through the 3 lines button on top of the screen . It will open a menu on the left part of the screen. We want to see the production list. So in below Studio section, click on the PRODUCTIONS button.
There, you can see all the productions you have created, their type and their status (open for an active production, or closed if not active). When you cursor is above a production line you can see 2 news icons on the right part of the line : edit and delete .
To modify a production go into the Edit production page.
You can add some specific information as the FPS (Frames per second), the Ratio and the Resolution of the picture.
NB: The default avatar for a production is the first letter displayed on a colored background. You can change with a picture if you want.
Create some assets
So, now you have the first script for your production. It's time to do the breakdown and the creation of the assets. It will allow you to list your assets, dispatch the work to the CG artists, and follow the progress of each related tasks.
Let's begin with the asset page, you can access it via the drop down menu on top of the page
On the asset page click on Add assets.
A pop-up window opens:
It asks you to choose the asset Type (1): Camera, Characters, Environment,
FX, Props, etc.
Let's start with an environment. You will then select the Episode (2), or the main pack (All). We will give it a Name (3), and enter a description that will help the designer to know what to do, and later to indentify easily the asset. If you have multiple assets to create, click on Confirm and stay. You can change the asset type, and keep adding assets.
You will see the newly created asset appearing on the background everytime your click on Confirm and stay. After you added your last asset, click on Confirm, it will save the asset and close the window. If you don't have more asset to add, click on Close, it will cancel the window.
For now the assets are linked with the first episode, or with the main pack.
You can edit assets by going to the asset page, hovering the asset you want to modify, and then click on the edit button (1) on the right side of the line.
On the main asset page, to extend the description, click on the first words (2), and a pop-up will open with the full description.
Create tasks for the assets
And now we can create tasks for the assets (3), like Concept, Modeling, Texture, Setup, and other if needed (see How to customize the workflow ).
Click on the + Add tasks (3) on top of the spreadsheet, a new window will open and on the list under Type you can choose the task you need to add, validate it by Confirm button.
These tasks will be added to all the assets.
If some assets don't match the task (as environment and setup) we will just delete the status of this task.
To change a status click directly on the status you want to change (1).
A pannel on the right of the screen appears, and here you can change a status, post a preview and add a comment to explain the status change (1). Choose a new status for the task (2). Then, click on the Post status button (3).
If you want to delete a task, click on the menu to change the action (1), then select the delete tasks button (2) on the left top of the page.
Now that we have created all the assets and related tasks, we can now add the artists to the team and assign tasks to them.
Add a CG Artist to the team
An account is required for each artist. Go to drop down menu , and under the Studio section, choose PEOPLE page.
Then, click on the + Add a new employee button.
A creation window opens. You can enter the first (1) and last name (2), the email (which is mandatory to create the account) (3), the phone number (4) and define the role of the employee : CG artist, Supervisor, Administrator or Client (5). If the artist is working right now keep him as active, otherwise select no. Validate by clicking Confirm button.
See the permissions section for more information. To make it short, CG artists, supervisors and clients will only see the productions they are assigned to.
All the people are now part of your studio. They will be added to a specific production when you will assign them to a task on a production. Otherwise they won't have access to anything.
You can also add someone to a production without assign him a task.
On the drop down menu on the top of the page select the TEAM page.
On the Team page you can see all the assignations for a specific project. If you want to check another project team you will need to switch the project on the top of the page.
You can also add someone to a production without assigning him to a task, you can select his name on the search box (or type his name), and validate with add.
Assign tasks to a CG artist
We can now get back to the ASSETS page via drop down menu
Now its time to do your first assignment!
Click on the status (1) you want to assign.
The Action Menu on top of the screen appears.
You can now do the assignation. Click on the text input and you will see the list of available people. Click on a person name to perform to select him. Then click on the confirmation button to perform the assignation.
You can assign several tasks to the same person in one step (1). Once you have the blue menu visible, just keep ctrl on your keyboard pressed and select multiple tasks. You can even use the shift key to select a range of tasks (2). When you have selected everything you need, apply with the Confirm button.
In the same way, you can click on Clear assignations to remove all assignations..
When you're done with all the assignations quit this mode using the Clear current selection button .
Now you can see next to each status the avatar of the CG artist.
To unclutter the list, you can hide this information with the Hide assignations button on the top of the spreadsheet .
Once you assigned someone, he will be added to the production team. Depending of his position (CG Artist, Supervisor) he will only see the production where he's assigned.
Now, everybody know what to do, and who is doing what!
Add an estimation for a task
Click on the name of a task type.
The new page is the Supervisor view. You have more detailed information specific to this task type.
To add an estimation to a task, click on the line, and choose Set estimations on the Action Menu.
You can now enter the number of days you estimate. As for any action with the Action Menu, you can select multiple assets or shots on the same time.
To go further in detail with the Supervisor view :
- (1) You can see and change the status of a task
- (2) You can assign people to tasks
- (3) You can add an estimation for the task (in day)
(1) to (3) is filled with the action menu.
- (4) Kitsu calculate the sum of the timesheet fed by the artists
- (5) The number of back and forth with the retake status
- (6)(7) the wip and validation dates will be automatically filled
- (8) the Last comment section will help you to keep an eye on the last activity of this task type.
(4) to (8) is automatically filled.
Create sequences and shots
It's time to do the breakdown of the storyboard. Meaning you can create the sequences and the shots of the episode and associate assets to them.
You need to go to the Shots page: you can use the drop down menu and click on the SHOTS.
To start with the shot creation click on the Add shots button.
A new pop up will open, as for the creation of the assets. You can now create the episodes, the sequences and shots.
Enter the first episode using your own code name, for example e01, then click on the add button (1). Do the same for the sequence, for example sq01, then add (2), and now the shots : sh001, then again add (3).
You can now see that new shots are listed, described by their episode and sequence. You have created the first shot of the first sequence of the first episode.
Now let's add more shots! As you can see the box is already filled with your name code but incremented, so you just have to continue to click on add to create more shots.
You have to do the same with the sequences and episodes.
If a shot is misplaced on a sequence, you just have to edit the shot you want , and change the sequence.
If at some point you need to delete a shot, just click on the trash can icon on the right of the line . If you need to import back this shot, click on the restore button .
We can now associate tasks to the shots. Same way than for the assets, click on the +Add tasks button on the top of the spreadsheet.
A new pop-up will open and let you choose what task you want to add. All the shots will be linked to the tasks.
Now we can do the breakdown of the storyboard, meaning associate the assets to each shot.
Create a breakdown list
Fill the breakdown will help you for the assembly of the shots. With the breakdown you have all the details of the assets you need to add to create your shot. We will be sure to omit nothing.
On the drop down menu choose BREAKDOWN.
On the left part of the breakdown page is the episode/sequence/shot menu (1), you can choose between the ones you have created. They are, the right part of the screen, all the assets available created for this production (3). And on the middle part it will be your selection for the shot (2).
So now you have to select the shot you want to cast, let's say the first one. Click on the shot sh001 on the left part (1), then click on the assets you want to assign: characters, backgrounds, etc. from the right part (3).
When you pass over the asset you can see a +1 or +10. It's the number of time you will add this asset. You can click as many times as you need on it.
You can now see the asset appearing on the middle part of the screen (2). Next to the name of the asset is the number of time it has been added. On this example we have added 2 times the character asset Paul.
If you add twice an asset by mistake, you just have to go on the middle part of the screen, on your selection of assets for this shot (2). From there click on -1. When you are done for this shot go on with the other shots. Your selection is automatically saved
If a new asset is created during the storyboard, just get back to the asset page (using the drop down menu), create the assets you need. The tasks previously created will be applied immediately to these new assets. But you will have to do the assignation, then you will be good to continue with the breakdown.
Now your Breakdown page should look like this.
We can now assign people on the shots tasks. If the animation and so are done elsewhere, you can create an account for this studio and assign it to tasks. They will be able to see your progress.
If you want to see a detail of a shot, click on its name.
A new page will open with the list of the tasks, the assignation, and the list of assets that will appear on this shot (Shot casting).
Add the Frameranges
At this stage of the production, the animatic should be done. Meaning you have the length (framerange In and framerange Out) for each shot. You can add this information on the spreadsheet. This way you will be sure that all the frames will be calculated and none will be missing, or over computed.
You may also be able to add camera as assets!
You need to edit the shots to fill the framerange information. Click on the edit button on the right side of the shot line.
On the new window you can enter the In and Out of the shot (1), you can do it by hand or with the + and - buttons (2). Save with the Confirm button.
Now the frameranges appear on the general spreadsheet of the shot page.
Add a Custom columns
To add more information on the general spreadsheet pages, you will have to create a Custom column.
Click on the + near the Description column.
You may have extra information to add on your pages as for example : the level of difficulties, the name of the studios, when a production is splitted, etc.
In the custom column you can store all kind of information : a list of value or a free value.
The free value will be different on each entities.
The list of value will give you the same choice for eache entities. And has to be filled now.
Type the elements of the list below Available values, and confirm them by clickin on Add value.
Validate the creation of the custom column with the Confirm button.
Back on the global spreadsheets page, uou can fill these information with the edit button .
You will now see a new line on the edit pop-up. You can select the information from the list, or enter the free values, depending of your previous choice.
Don't forget to press the Confirm button when you are done.
If you need to edit or delete the custom column, go back to the general spreadsheet page. Nearby the name of your custom column, click on the arrow .
Select in the menu if you want to edit the name of the custom column and its information, or you want to remove it.
Validation per batch
To do a validation (or changing the status of a task) you can click on the status of the task (1).
It will make appear a pannel on the right, and here you can post a comment (1) and change the status (2), and validate the post and the new status with Post status button (3).
Or you can do it per batch.
We will use the same technique as for the assignation.
Click on the empty space on the right of the status/assignation on a task (1).
The action menu on the top of the screen will appear.
You can change its purpose by clicking on the name on the left part of the screen, a new menu will appear and there you can choose Change status.
You can now do your shots or assets selection, by pressing the crtl or shift key (1) and then choose the new status for your selected tasks (2). Validated the new status with the Confirm button (3).
At some point on the production you may want to prioritized some tasks, and pinpoint these urgent tasks to your team.
For this, we will use the same technique as before. Click on the empty space near a status task (1).
The action menu will appear on the top of the screen.
Click on the name on the left on the action menu, and choose Change priority.
There are 4 levels of prioriy : Normal, that is the basic level of all the tasks, High, Very High, or Emergency. Save the changes with the Confirm button.
As we have done for the assignation or the status, select the shots (1), select the level of priority (2), and apply with Confirm (3).
You can now see next to the status of the task some exclamation marks. The more there are, the more urgent the task is.
- (1) is Normal,
- (2) is High,
- (3) is Very High
- (4) is for Emergency.
Perform a review
When a CG arstist asks for a review
you can go to the task page to see the result. The CG artist may have send you
a picture, a movie or an
.obj file. All can be reviewed from the browser.
Other files like
.mb but they need to be
downloaded to be reviewed.
You can watch the version from the right pannel, or enlarge it fullscreen .
You can draw directly on the version with the pencil icon .
If you need to move your line, click again on the pencil icon, the cursor will change to a multi directional cross , and then you will be able to select your line and move it around.
If you need to delete a line, select it with the directional cross, and then press the delete icon
From there you can change the status to if you want that the CG artist performs some changes.
You can also tag someone of the team on the comments. Type the
@and it will open a sub menu with the list of the team.
Or you can change it to , to notifiy the CG artist that his work is validated.
You can also use the preview as a thumbnail on the asset or shot spreadsheet. It will help to recognize the assets/shots on the main pages. On the list page, click on the status you want, then on the rigt pannel, click on Preview button (1).
Once you have clicked on the button, you will see the thumbnail appears, and the button turn gray.
Simplify the global page
You may need to reduce a task type column in a global page. For example, you may be only interrested in layout and animation but not so much about the shipment for the client.
Next to each task type name, you can click on the arrow to unfold a submenu.
You can choose to Minimize or Delete the task type.
Once the column is minimized, only colored dots will show the status.
You can also hide all the non essential column, like Description, Custom column, and the minimize columns.
Just click on the Hide additional information button on the top right of the page.
To make reappear the information, click on the same button, it won't have the grey highlight.
As production you can use the main menu to check the timesheets.
Open the main menu with the button.
On the menu choose the Timesheets page.
You can choose which month or year you want to display.
You can also choose the level of detail : day, week, month.
Per week, kitsu highlight the overdue time per CG Artist.
If you click on a number, a side panel will open with the details of the time spent per task on this week.
You can also setup the number of working hours per day.
Go back to the main menu, and select Settings.