In this article, you can learn how the Digital Asset Manager (DAM) in SimpleCloud Animation works in conjunction with an external commercial DAM. We explain the basic concepts of how the two DAMs work together and are synchronized. We also describe how SimpleCloud Animation works if you are not using an external commercial DAM.

SimpleCloud Animation DAM and commercial DAM working together

Although SimpleCloud Animation has its own built-in digital asset manager, it is not designed to provide the wide range of features that you might find in a commercial DAM. Instead, the SimpleCloud Animation DAM is designed to interact with professional DAM software, such as Shotgrid. 

The idea is that the commercial DAM:

  • Contains all of the data you use for your studio, including tracking data
  • Is synchronized with your SimpleCloud Animation DAM and is the source of the data. It sends data to the SimpleCloud Animation DAM and overrides any data that is in (or is added to) the SimpleCloud Animation DAM.

The SimpleCloud Animation DAM:

  • Contains only the data that is essential for each discipline on your flowchart. This comes from the commercial DAM.
  • Is synchronized with the commercial DAM, but can only send publications to the commercial DAM. It cannot update the data in the commercial DAM.
  • Communicates with the SimpleCloud tools to update them with tasks and status information.

In the following diagram, (1) is a commercial DAM. The SimpleCloud DAM (2) is updated by the commercial DAM (1), and uses this information to update the SimpleCloud tools (3), such as to assign new tasks to artists.

Commercial DAM (1) sending data to SimpleCloud DAM (2).

Note that any changes in the SimpleCloud DAM are not written to the commercial DAM, the communication is mostly one-way. The only time the SimpleCloud Animation DAM sends data to the commercial DAM is when there are publications. The publications are used to update the commercial DAM. This is shown in the following diagram.

In this diagram, (1) shows that the commercial DAM sends updates to the SimpleCloud DAM. The SimpleCloud DAM sends publication data to the commercial DAM (2). The commercial DAM is then updated and supervisors can approve the publications. This changes the status of the publications, and the commercial DAM updates the SimpleCloud Animation DAM with the new information (3).

This is the most commonly used DAM setup. 

SimpleCloud DAM, no commercial DAM

It's also possible to use SimpleCloud Animation without a commercial DAM. Although you will lose some functionality with this approach, as SimpleCloud's DAM is not intended to provide the same level of features as a commercial DAM. 

If you are not using a commercial DAM, you will use the reduced data set in the SimpleCloud Animation DAM only, and set your tasks, add data fields, etc. , from the SimpleCloud Animation DAM (1). The SimpleCloud Animation DAM will update the SimpleCloud tools (2).

SimpleCloud Animation DAM (1)  sending data to SimpleCloud tools (2)

The essential data is any information that has to be in place for the next discipline in the pipeline to be able to work, for example, the details of the specific files to use for a shot or sequence. This will vary depending on your requirements for different projects.

What you need to set up for your DAM in SimpleCloud Animation

Most SimpleCloud users have a commercial DAM and this needs to be synchronized with the SimpleCloud DAM. This is usually provided as a professional service by SimpleCloud. For more details, please raise a support ticket.

When the DAMs are synchronized, you can add new fields, set tasks, and perform other tasks in your commercial DAM. You will need to decide what data is essential for the disciplines, and then add appropriate fields in your SimpleCloud Animation DAM to hold that data. You will also need to configure the disciplines on the discipline flowchart, so that SimpleCloud uses the data.

The commercial DAM will send the data to the SimpleCloud DAM so that they can sync.In SimpleCloud, you can use the DAM page to check that the updates are coming in and that the two DAMs are in sync.