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How a DAM Streamlines Your Virtual Production Asset Management

Need to streamline your production asset management during filming? Read this article to learn how you can in pre, post, and during production!
Virtual Production
September 24, 2022
How a DAM Streamlines Your Virtual Production Asset Management

In 2020, global film production spending reached an all-time high of over $220 billion, with major studios like Disney spending $28.6 billion. With production spending of media increasing almost every year, production teams and vendors alike are searching for a modern solution to make managing production assets easier.

The film industry has created a breath-taking world of content creation that uses digital assets. Thus, the need to efficiently organize these virtual production assets has increased in tandem.

That’s why many major film and game studios, vendors, and production teams have turned to Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems. This type of platform opens the door for media to be created at a faster, more efficient pace, which in turn helps more projects be completed than would have been possible.

But how can a DAM streamline your production asset management exactly? We’ve outlined the benefits in each phase of film creation below, starting with pre-production.

Pre-production

Gone are the days where digital assets are only created in post. To streamline your production asset management, you must start at the very beginning of the process.

A DAM system streamlines your pre-production by helping production teams generate a “map” of assets for set projects.

A DAM streamlines your pre-production process by enabling your team to automatically categorize your digital asset needs. It also acts as your single source of truth for the entire production process.

For example, a production team has to track the creation, approval, review, management, etc. of:

  • Motion capture data
  • Environmental data
  • Custom asset creation
  • 3D models
  • Lighting
  • In-camera usage
  • LED walls
  • And more!

That’s why, with the help of a DAM system, a production team can create a map of everything that needs to get done and actually start creating those assets in pre-production. The information about those assets is then categorized in the DAM, which saves your team the effort of manual tagging.

Creating a map of how the production is going to be organized and how data actually is managed on that production. The benefit of using a DAM in pre-production is to enable the asset map to be generated early in the process, which serves as a guide.

From the pre-cap session, to pre-production, to production itself, then to post-production and even marketing, all of these digital assets are managed with just a few clicks.

Real-time On-set Visualization: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ 2019 Industrial Light & Magic

While this article is focused on virtual production, DAM systems also could have a place among animation studios or virtual production studios that leverage physical assets. Locations, character names, or even costumes could be incorporated into that digital asset ‘map.’

In short, categorizing and tagging assets helps VP executives or supervisors keep track of everything before production starts. Keeping digital assets approved and managed early in the production process is the key to a successful production (and post-production) workflow.

One new motto has made its way into media creation, “Finish production before it starts.”

Production

The main benefit of a DAM platform during production is easily managing the day-to-day mechanics of digital assets. These benefits become more acute with the growth of virtual production, due to earlier planning, in-camera effects, and the creation of multiple assets for every shot. This is where a DAM provides clarity and allows production teams and artists to track:

  • What digital assets are being worked on
  • What assets are being sent where
  • Who needs to approve what asset
  • What virtual production asset is needed for any environment
  • What physical assets are needed per scene

In short, a DAM is the mechanism which enables the daily mechanics (movement and tracking) of virtual production asset management throughout media production. This streamlines artist-centric workflows throughout the entire process, which lowers overhead and increases artistic activity on set and in post.

Post-production

Due to the shift of most digital asset creation being performed in pre-production, post-production has shifted to managing any final approvals, edits, or artistic changes.

With so many people on-set, like engineers, technicians, producers and supervisors, miscommunications are bound to happen. A DAM platform offers a single source of truth for all parties in post, and is the core communication mechanism for digital assets.

A DAM allows seamless communication between management, vendors, and also third parties that are helping to distribute and manage your intellectual property. A DAM is the secure conduit for getting that information to all the partners in virtual production, marketing, and everywhere else.

Archiving & Reuse of Production Assets

Once a piece of media has finished production, that doesn’t mean that the digital assets that were used are gone forever.

What do you do with the ever-building pile of abandoned digital assets that your productions and production vendors have built? They come from various stages of pre-production to finished content, and so much work has been put into them that it would be a shame (and a waste of money and time!) to let them collect dust.

It’s true that you’re probably unsure if and when those assets will ever be used again as they’re created – but that’s where a DAM comes into play. Because a DAM automatically tags every asset used (without requiring people to actually do the tagging), it creates a central hub of the digital assets from every project.

Why is this important? It helps you easily find, view, and "rehydrate" those digital assets back into the tools and platforms that will be used on subsequent virtual productions.

Transform Your Team’s Virtual Production Asset Management

The media and entertainment industry has created a new world of media that uses digital versions of real objects in simulations. Thus, the technology that needs to manage and organize those digital production assets has evolved with this new world.

A DAM enables every piece of the production lifecycle, and creates a perfect environment for on-set virtual production teams.

  • In pre-production, a DAM helps you organize a map of assets to keep track of.
  • In production, a DAM helps facilitate day-to-day operations.
  • In post, a DAM streamlines communications and offers a single hub of assets.
  • After a project, a DAM acts as a library for every single digital asset created for future projects.

If you want to scale your production’s project capacity and complexity, the time to start using a DAM is now.

Are you interested in exploring what a DAM system can do for your virtual production asset management workflow? Schedule a demo of CORE today and find out!

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