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NAB 2008: GridIron Shows Flow

New professional workflow management solution from GridIron Gang By Ko Maruyama
GridIron, a relatively small company showed up with a massive booth for a massively comprehensive management solution.   GridIron, previously known for its memory and processor management application: NucleoPro now offers to help us with our file management as well.

CEO of GridIron Software, Steve Forde, had tapped professionals from all different walks of film and broadcast production and post production to join the closed beta.  Soon the company will be accepting applications from people who want to get involved in the public beta step.

GridIron Flow is a huge undertaking, which promises to manage all of your assets' locations and help you to streamline your production workflow (flow) so that you work more efficiently.   Forde stressed that it's important that the product delivers an excellent experience out of the gate, so the company is making every effort to ensure that not only will GridIron Flow be an invisible process, but it will also take only what lean processor and memory allocations it requires to work.

Although the product is showing at NAB (National Association of Broadcasters), I wouldn't be surprised to see it make an appearance at any convention that talks about using assets in multiple projects.  Siggraph comes to mind.

GridIron's Mark Coleran explains

Flow tracks all of the assets, their locations and their relationships to different projects on your computer - - without changing the way you already work.   While this is most obviously a great way for editors, compositors and animators to make sense of their otherwise cluttered resource partitions, it can work for just about any software workflow environment you can think of.

Even with a brief overview I immediately recognized how Flow will allow me to take control of my computer in a way I never imagined, said John Dickinson, senior broadcast designer and founder of Imagine, an intelligent assistant working behind the scenes, not only giving you access to your files in a whole new way, but showing you the relationship between files and watching your back in case you try to delete something you shouldnt. Amazing!

        Workflow Maps"show the files used in a project and how they are connected to one another as they move from application to application including all related assets, fonts, color swatches, plug-ins and even internal file structure like comps and layers. They are updated in real-time as you work.

        Visual Search"searches for internal file details such as layer names, plug-ins, fonts, or colors, and Flow will instantly highlight how and where those elements are used in your workflow.

        Project Time Tracking"automatically records how much time was spent creating one file, a series of files or an entire project.

        Project Packages"provide a point in time snapshot of any project and capture everything that went into its creation, including media files, fonts, color swatches, applications and plug-ins. Project Packages include a Workflow Map showing how everything fits together so that everything needed to hand it off and reconstruct it later will be there.

        Visual Versions"automatically tracks versions of files, including thumbnails and metadata, as a project evolves allowing users to easily revert to a previous version of a file anywhere in their workflow.

        Tags and Annotations"add customized tags and annotations to assets or projects to support your own business processes. View existing file metadata with support for metadata standards like DICOM, EXIF, IPTC and XMP.

        Flow SDK"offered to tool vendors to easily create custom extensions to support their file formats and add new functionality to the Flow environment.

GridIron picked up Videography's Best of Show award this year, sharing the spotlight with several other deserving candidates.   The award comes as no surprise - the software runs on Mac and Windows' major OS builds, it's easy to learn, and the visual layout is - well - cool to look at.

Flow is expected to release this summer for Mac OS X Tiger and Leopard as well as for both Windows Vista and XP for US$349 per seat.  Volume pricing will also be available.  You can sign up to be a candidate for the public beta at

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Ko Maruyama is a freelance animator in Los Angeles.  In addition to working on film and broadcast animations, Ko teaches at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design - focusing on motion design.  When working, writing or testing software allows, you can find him lending a hand in the After Effects board and lurking among the Cinema4D, Visual Effects and Photoshop posts within the DMNForums.
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