Company Mackevision
Location Multiple sites worldwide
Employees 500+

Mackevision is a market leader in 3D visualization, animation and visual effects for film, print and interactive media, with a high volume of its work focused on creating photorealistic configurators for customers like Mercedes and BMW.

With offices scattered across three continents, Mackevision is home to more than 500 employees, each bringing their own specific take on and talents to the company’s design efforts. The benefit of having such wide-ranging talents across the globe has been made easier to take advantage of how Mackevision has adopted ftrack as its production management platform.

One tool for all

Thorsten Kaufmann, production pipeline architect at Mackevision, says the change was part of the company’s natural evolution: “We started to evaluate database systems because our in-house solution was a little outdated, so the choices were modernizing our own baby versus installing third-party systems, which would help us to reduce the number of different database tools to a minimum, ideally one tool for all.”

Switching to ftrack was, as Kaufmann says, the most logical decision – thus making it an easy one: “It made a lot of sense to standardize the ftrack integration in the VFX department as well – we need to create consistent controlling and reporting across different business lines.”

But it’s not just that, as Kaufmann explains: “We also don’t want to maintain different toolsets/application integrations,” as well as the fact that shifting artists between business lines shouldn’t require extra admin training and, in Kaufmann’s words: “Multiple Systems equals more problems, more costs, and no benefit.”

Making the switch to ftrack

Working on projects like the Mercedes S and SL Class, the Porsche 918 Spyder as well as with partners like Epson and even Manchester United Football Club – oh, and a little-known TV series called Game of Thrones – Mackevision has always been home to an in-house solution that works. But the level of modernization needed to bring it up to the desired standard would have taken too much time and required too much support – while ftrack was already at the level Mackevision saw as vital.

While this roll-out doesn’t mean Mackevision will be upping its workload, Kaufmann says he’s confident any change in output would be easily handled by ftrack: “For now, there is a stable number of projects throughout the year to keep all artists busy.

That decision saved the company about a year of development, updates and training according to Kaufmann. He does acknowledge there was another option, but it wasn’t the right one for Mackevision: “Shotgun is of course a good tool – it just felt as if they, with their huge VFX company customers, could not totally support the special needs of a company with so diverse projects and clients like us.”

Then, of course, there was another key reason why Mackevision opted for ftrack – one that it has a huge advantage over the competition with, as Kaufmann says: “Also, the costs for ftrack were simply lower than using Shotgun.”

The switch to ftrack is underway, but Mackevision hasn’t yet implemented it in every one of its seven studios. Kaufmann says that he hopes the roll-out to all soon, but the company is already seeing use of the platform, with its Munich and Stuttgart offices already setting up projects using ftrack

While this roll-out doesn’t mean Mackevision will be upping its workload, Kaufmann says he’s confident any change in output would be easily handled by ftrack: “For now, there is a stable number of projects throughout the year to keep all artists busy.

“Ramping up is not on the roadmap for now, but if we were to grow in this particular part of the company, we are certain that ftrack will be the perfect program to support shows of any size.”

Collaboration at a global scale

But this large, distributed office structure – with facilities in the UK, the US, Germany, Korea and China – isn’t going to be a problem for the hundreds of employees. As Kaufmann explains: “ftrack has a modern and responsive UI that is flexible enough to support both ‘traditional’ VFX workflows and other types of workflows and team organizations.

“The initial setup of projects is easy to learn, there are great short and simple video tutorials and if you are ever stuck, the support team is always willing to help in a fast and efficient manner. Then there’s the Locations framework and upcoming additions to it, which enable us to transparently manage asset availability across different offices.”

Mackevision also works with a number of other tools, like 3ds Max, and is looking forward to integrating them with ftrack – taking advantage of the simple, straightforward process when the roll-out is complete.

“We already took a very close look at the platform during our evaluation to make sure we could customize the database exactly the way we need it to run… We will work towards integrating all of the tools we mainly use into ftrack. The platform is really open and the API is great to work with.”

Ultimately, Kaufmann is sure ftrack is the right solution for Mackevision. He sees it as being a great tool for the company and one it will be using for a while to come: “The support was really great throughout our whole evaluation phase, ftrack offered us a very generous 70-license test setup, for five months, so we had a great chance to evaluate all key factors. Not only by ourselves, but across the Mackevision-world – we had the confidence to stick to the best solution in the end.”

More Customer Success Stories

CGEV reflects on 10 years and 725 projects with ftrack Studio

Bomper makes it easy for artists to tackle task lists with ftrack Studio

Vietnam’s Animost increases productivity by 150% with ftrack Studio

Lumine Studio takes the Indonesian film industry to new places with ftrack Studio

Malaysia’s Lil Critter increases production productivity by 20% with ftrack Review

Vietnam’s Bad Clay/AIOI Studios increases productivity with ftrack Studio

Taking teams from previs to post on Clifford the Big Red Dog

Adapting to lockdown on Amazon’s The Expanse Season 5