Based out of Los Angeles, California, Ingenuity Studios works on a range of projects with clients all around the world. Recent work includes music video work for Imagine Dragons, blazing visual effects for NBC’s Superstore and post work on Jordan Peel’s Get Out and Netflix’s Love.
Whatever the project, however, it’s guided by one Ingenious principle: telling a great story.
We stole some time with VFX Supervisor Grant Miller to learn how Ingenuity Studios delivers compelling stories – and the role Frankie plays in bringing it all together.
How do you use Frankie at Ingenuity Studios, and what recent project have you used it on?
Frankie is our go-to client review tool – we use it on projects ranging from television to films and commercials. We use it to review concept artwork, style frames, shots, and full sequences. The project that stands out most is our use of Frankie on the season finale of NBC’s Superstore. We had a very tight turnaround on the project. Frankie enabled us to keep everyone on the same page, speeding up the feedback loop to minimize revisions from a very early stage.
What would you say is your speciality as a digital artist?
I’ve always leaned towards tackling difficult, FX-heavy shots. I do a lot of work in Side FX’s Houdini, but have a strong generalist skillset as well, which lends itself to tackling problems from end to end.
How important is remote collaboration to your pipeline?
It’s incredibly crucial, and becomes even more so with each passing year. With our supervisors and producers spending more time on set and in meetings, we have to have a system that allows for feedback from anywhere around the world.
What are your favourite software tools?
I have a ton of love for SideFX Houdini, Chaos Group’s V-Ray, and The Foundry’s Modo. They each have great and unique features that help me to get my job done faster. I’m still a huge fan of Photoshop – there’s no faster way to get an idea across than a quick concept. Then there’s Frankie, of course!
How long have you been using Frankie for?
A very long time! We’ve always done a lot of overseas work, so remote review has been an important component at Ingenuity Studios for quite some time. We were even using Cospective’s cineSync before Frankie, so between both tools it’s probably been around a decade now.
Was there a specific feature of Frankie that you immediately responded to?
Frankie does a great job of handling all the various formats and file types we throw at it. The web-only interface is amazing, as many of our clients are less tech savvy, respectfully. Frankie’s “Hey, click that link!” system is a life saver.
What do you think is the best way to give constructive criticism to your fellow artists?
When giving notes, I try to use a real-world reference. Solely verbal communication can create a wide gulf between what I’m communicating and what the team is hearing, especially due to everyone’s different backgrounds and experiences. Being able to look at and point to specific references or examples is the shortest path to success. It’s also important to remember that each asset is something that artists have (potentially) put a great deal of time and effort into, something that they hold close to themselves, so it’s important to treat their efforts with as much deference and respect as possible.
How accessible do you find working via browser with Frankie?
Being able to review visuals via browser is great. We can access it everywhere we work, wherever we go. There are no heavy files to download: you just just open, watch, add notes, and you’re done!