How does it work?
Provide the Bots reference material for your specific shot(s)/sequence(s)/ad spot etc. We may discuss some clarifying questions regarding the scope as this helps make our job easier and provides the best results to you – both in quality and price. A BOT Producer will provide the bid including a tentative schedule and upon agreement, work begins. Once completed, BOT uploads the content to you for review and approval. Throughout the process, the producer is the single point of contact for any questions/issues.
How do I get a bid?
Shoot an email, call or Skype one of BOT’s producers. Send them basic scope information and relevant content (proxy Quicktimes are usually fine), and you’ll get a bid back with shot-by-shot pricing. If it’s for just a few shots for a quick turnaround, we’ll work hard to get a bid back to you the same day. If it’s for a large scope of work, we’ll work out a timeline to get you a detailed bid. In most cases, you’ll get back a bid in one or two days.
We have an established pipeline. Can you work seamlessly within it?
The Bot pipeline is robust and based on industry standards/softwares. Bot VFX can and has in the past acted as an extension to the clients facilities across the globe by providing deliverables which seamlessly work within the clients established pipeline. We follow our client’s naming conventions, folder structure, inputs, outputs, dailies, for all our deliveries. In some rare scenarios where Bot VFX does not use the same applications as the client; the team discusses alternatives and works around to help overcome such issues.
I am only used to working with freelancers. How different is it working with BOT?
If you compare BOT’s service to freelancers who are brought into a facility to work on a project, it’s very different. With BOT, your facility does not have to make seating, workstation, software license, and HR arrangements. Also, BOT charges only for the service rendered, not time spent; so you’re never paying for ramp-up, ramp-down, or wait times as the work ebbs and flows. If you compare BOT’s service to freelancers working outside the facility on a contract basis, then it’s fairly similar; except there are scaling options with BOT that don’t exist readily with the freelancer model. BOT can handle a 20 man-day roto task in 2 days with nothing further; assembling 10 freelance roto artists to engage for only 2 days is a rarity.
What type of inputs can you accept?
We can accept just about anything, however for roto we prefer receiving image sequence as .jpg, tga, .sgi, .tif files. For paint we prefer .dpx or .exr files. For matchmove we prefer receiving undistorted plates as jpg (tga, tif etc would also work). Additionally we also request any on-set info that is collected such as camera/lens, focal length, lens grid, and any set survey data that can be provided to confirm the track. Additionally any reference models that would assist our artists in placing the geo/confirming the track.
What if I don’t like what I get back from you?
Our intention is to get it right within our 1st version. On occasions when our deliverable is not quite there – we can address the specific fixes/notes within our budget – differently said, our bid includes any notes/fixes, certainly additional scope is considered an overage. On very rare occasions we will request a Cinesync/RV session to talk directly to the client supe/artist so that those rare and finicky tasks can be more efficiently resolved and approved.
Can the bot handle object tracking as well as camera tracking?
Yes. BOT can handle both and we can also do rotomation, or matchimation as it’s sometimes called.
What information do you require for a matchmove?
You’d provide BOT with pretty much the same information you’d provide to an in-house matchmove artist: any camera and lens information available to you (including lens grids), relevant set reference and scale information where available, and describe your objective for the solve so we know what to keep the focus on (e.g. “we’re extending set on screen right towards the far back”).
What type of compositing work can BOT help on?
BOT is most helpful with compositing on A over B comping shot types involving multiple live action element integration or where an image has to be burned onto a surface (e.g. billboard in an image or TV monitor or mobile device screen), or where it involves heavy paint work.
Do I ship you a drive?
We prefer to transfer data via ftp, the Bots can provide one or we can use your server. We can also use Aspera, Signiant and other forms of I/O exchange. We prefer not to receive hard drives. Please contact our producers if you really want to ship one.
How secure is my content when I give it to bot?
BOT takes great pains to ensure client content remains confidential. All client content is handled through a production process that is deliberate and comprehensive about security measures. The security measures touch all aspects from employee contracts to network segregation to firewalls to workstation hardware restrictions to CCTV coverage to production floor internet access to forced password renewals.