The toolbar was a mix of studio-specific pipeline tools and generic "every AE artist would definitely benefit from these" tools.

Some of these features included:

  • A shot-builder, that would find and ingest plates, build comps & project folders from said plates, and queue the comps for output
  • A batch shot builder, that would set up an AEP and build out all similar shots in a sequence, making it easier to create stringouts and shared assets & precomps throughout the batch
  • Handle versioning for both the AE project and specific comp, following studio naming conventions
  • Localize project assets onto the user's workstation, like a specific commercial script out there
  • Set up and queue prerenders
  • Send jobs to the studio's Deadline-based render farm
  • Locate the current AEP file on disk
  • Move all prior AEPs before the current version into an _archive folder, leaving the working directory nice and tidy

Zack Lovatt focuses on toolkitting, building custom studio pipelines, expression rigging projects, and creating data-driven animation workflows.