It's important to introduce ftrack Studio’s Tasks Spreadsheet and Versions Page to give you a visual representation of what you will be working towards planning in this section. They are the foundation of Studio’s project scheduling, tracking, task assignment, and asset version management - where the production or project team will spend much of their time.
When looking at a sample populated project below, you’ll notice the Tasks Spreadsheet uses a hierarchical structure representing the breakdown of your project’s trackable Objects, Tasks, and Milestones.
Image: The Tasks Spreadsheet
The Versions Page displays all of your project's Asset Versions, which reflect the media and files associated with your Objects and Tasks.
Image: The Versions Page
The following articles will explain how to break down the elements of your project to create this structure and effectively track your project(s) progress and any assets you may need to review or deliver.
Once you better understand ftrack Studio’s layout and terminology and comprehend how to apply that to your project structure, we’ll show you how to customize your workspace in the Configure your Studio Workspace articles.
Every project in ftrack Studio is made up of four main elements:
Next, we will walk you through each of these elements and how they can be used in your workflow.
What are Objects?
Objects represent what you are creating or working towards in a project, whether that be a physical or digital product, a service, or even a goal. It can be as flexible as your project requires since Objects are fully customizable in the ftrack Studio workspace.
Examples of Objects:
- In Product Visualization, you could be building 3D Assets.
- In Visual Effects or Animation, you likely create a series of Shots that populate a film or TV series and have Asset Builds to track as well.
- A Marketing Agency may create Websites, Brands, and Social Media packages.
- A Publisher may have both physical and digital books and also track marketing campaigns for each book release.
- A company could create an internal Goal that they are working towards, such as "Increase sales by 10% in Quarter 1".
Objects can also be used to represent a component in your workflow that you need to track specific data on for reference purposes.
Example: In a film workflow, you create Shots (Objects), and the work is tracked in its Tasks. However, you may also need a Camera (also an Object) that stores relevant camera data related to Shots. This Camera Object does not need Tasks but still allows you to enter trackable data in the Spreadsheet that can be linked to your Shots.
Your project will likely have multiple Objects that will make up the final product or output.
Image: An Asset Build Object named “Side Table 01” as viewed in the Tasks Spreadsheet
|Please note: It's important to point out that Tasks and Milestones are also considered Objects within ftrack's Workflow Settings, but they have unique functionality as compared to other Objects you are creating, such as a Shot, Asset Build, or digital product. In our Getting Started series, when we speak to Objects, it represents that which is defined above, and we will speak to Tasks and Milestones as their own elements, defined below.
What are Tasks?
Tasks represent the breakdown of work required to complete your project successfully. Tasks will most often be attached to each Object you are creating in your project to see how many steps are required to complete the final output. When building a digital asset, you may have separate tasks for each step in the asset creation process like modeling, texturing, and rendering, that you can then assign to the individuals who will be responsible for completing those stages of the work.
Image: Modeling and Texture Tasks linked to the “Side Table 01” Asset Build Object
What are Milestones?
Milestones represent singular important dates on your project that your entire team needs to be kept aware of. They can mark the beginning or end of specific phases in your project or the final delivery deadline of your project as a whole.
Image: Milestones highlighted in the Tasks Spreadsheet as represented as diamonds in the Gantt
What are Asset Versions?
Asset Versions contain the reviewable media and/or files that are output by your team that represent the final product(s) or deliverable(s) of your project. These are not considered building blocks of your project’s initial structure, but you will need to define your approval process for these components before you get started, as tracking their progress may inform your task progress.
Image: Highlighted is an example of an Asset Version as viewed in the Sidebar details of a Compositing Task
Objects, Tasks, and Asset Versions have specific information you may want to track against them, including data like the description, the due date, the approval status, and the assignee. Once you’ve defined what elements will make up your project, you can determine which data points will make up the columns in your Task Spreadsheet. We call each of these data points an Attribute of that element. ftrack Studio offers common default Attributes for Objects, Tasks, and Asset Versions, and later on, we will discuss creating custom attributes if your workflow requires it.
We’ve discussed the elements that ftrack Studio uses to build project structure: Objects, Tasks, Milestones, and Asset Versions.
Start to think about the nature of these elements and how your project(s) can be broken down with them in mind.
As we move through the next steps, we'll be able to help you further define those elements as it relates to your workflow.