Skip to main content

We asked Jon Rennie, MD of Cloth Cat Animation, to discuss the studio’s recent shift to working from home in response to COVID-19, and how ftrack has helped ease the change.

Jon Rennie, Managing Director, Cloth Cat Animation

What has been the main impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Cloth Cat at this time?

We’re rather lucky in the animation industry. We split many productions between different studios, or some creatives, like freelancers, do everything remotely. The software we use is also, by necessity, designed for mobility.

The problem that arises in a situation such as this concerns assets, and how connected your project is to storage and a render farm. For Cloth Cat, fortunately, we were able to transfer our current 2D animation production Luo Bao Bei to remote working without too much fuss. In some ways, the problem we faced was around communication; that’s where ftrack helped a lot.

Work at the Cloth Cat studio before all staff made the move to work from home.

How did ftrack help in that regard?

We were already using ftrack to review and track notes, but these features became increasingly important when we were no longer able to get everyone in the same room to discuss shots and ideas. Our recent update to using ftrack Review for this project meant that our shots were already in the cloud, and rendering stayed at a minimum. Everything was fluid, and communication didn’t falter.

Will ftrack remain pivotal as a remote solution as you transfer production out of the studio and into people’s homes?

It will become a necessary part of our production process now that we’ve shown it can happen without too much impact. If anything, this is an opportunity to allow for more remote production, but only if it doesn’t increase the admin burden for production. We’re currently too attached to central servers and the need to access large amounts of asset data for it to be seamless.

Security is the other concern, and we musn’t deal with this lightly. Allowing workers to download sensitive files and data to their home machines is not an ideal solution, but we have to make do under the circumstances. However, this is something we’re working on for the future, and I think it will be a great perk if we can offer it again.

Watch Jon discuss the challenges of remote collaboration in our webinar, Animation after a Pandemic.
Watch the webinar

Do you have any advice for other studios currently looking to navigate the tricky situation imposed on us all by coronavirus?

The main thing is to allow staff to work as full time as possible and embrace home working as a solution. I think everyone now realizes how much can be done outside of a studio environment and with a better connection to families. It now takes a technological solution to help make this a viable alternative to large offices, but I’m pretty sure that it can happen with enough R&D. Animation as a medium is very fortunate because we can execute it anywhere. It’s common for studios to be collaborating all over the world. Modern tools like ftrack mean we can now take this even further.

Going remote?

See how ftrack Studio, ftrack Review, and cineSync can help – visit our remote production hub!

Going remote with ftrack
Allen Maris VFX Producer

More from the blog

What’s new in ftrack – Enhanced Project dashboards and streamlined data export

| New features, Product, Release, Studio | No Comments
In this update, we've made some small tweaks that make a big impact. We've introduced more flexibility in project dashboard customization and simplified the data export process—all designed to make…

New Available Tasks workflows to empower your team to self-serve tasks

| New features, Product, Release, Studio, Team | No Comments
We’ve made ftrack’s Available Tasks workflows more easily accessible to all ftrack users! With this update, you can make your workflow more dynamic and make it easier for creatives to…

Introducing the ftrack Connect Framework and new integrations

| Announcements, Developer, Integrations, New features, News, Product, Release, Studio | No Comments
We’re excited to announce the release of our new ftrack Connect Framework, designed for pipeline support in the creative industry. This significant upgrade brings forth a suite of enhancements tailored…

Introducing the new ftrack Developer Hub

| Announcements, API, Developer, Integrations, Productivity, Studio, Tips & tricks | No Comments
We're thrilled to announce the launch of the new ftrack Developer Hub—a comprehensive resource designed for developers, pipeline technical directors (TDs), and anyone keen on maximizing their use of ftrack…

Introducing the Create Project UI: Discover a new user-friendly UI to set up your ftrack projects

| Announcements, New features, Product, Release, Studio | No Comments
We’re excited to unveil something we hope will make your project kick-offs that little bit simpler – the new Create Project UI. We've designed the new interface to make every…

What’s new in ftrack media review: Stylus and tablet support is here!

| New features, Product, Productivity, Release, Remote, Review, Studio | No Comments
The latest updates to ftrack Studio and ftrack Review are all about making your review sessions with clients as smooth and productive as possible. With support for tablet and stylus…

Enhanced performance in ftrack Studio: Fine-tuning for speed, reliability, and security

| API, Developer, New features, Product, Productivity, Studio | No Comments
From significant API query speed improvements to the adoption of Python 3, ftrack Studio has recently received a batch of speed, reliability, and security enhancements to make your project management…

Backlight and the Visual Effects Society forge a partnership for the VES Awards judging process

| Case Study | No Comments
Backlight was thrilled to be invited by the Visual Effects Society (VES) - the VFX industry’s premier global honorary society - to help support the virtual judging process for its…