Production Pipeline: Speed Deployment

Attending RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) makes things interesting. Ok, it’s the college I go to for those who didn’t know and are viewing this site right now. We’re going by the quarter system, meaning we get 10 or 11 weeks to do the project itself. That’s some crazy pace. So I’ve been dealing with HAVOC part 1 on a weekly basis, though this turns out to be a bit of a mistake as constructing assets end up taking forever, and I feel like I’m becoming lazy again. To deal with this problem, I began a 3-day task system. In other words, every asset, including sounds, music, visuals, design have to be done in 3 or less days. That’s rough. But considering the amount of work I have still to cover, this will probably get me further down the stream.

HAVOC part 1 follows a strange outline. As I came up with the concept back in 2010 and I have been building the whole project since that time. I’ve got several insanely rough sketches of the characters, assets, and otherwise the story line. But come to think of it, I haven’t put the animatic online at all. There’s a reason why: I keep changing it. The time slots are now completely different, and I’ve become aware of several problems with the pacing of the whole thing. It’s time to rewrite so it makes sense.

Which is why by next week (week 5), I’ll have the animatic down as a final copy. It will not be changed beyond this point since it’s had enough revisions.

Speaking of “speed” I often think we’re in a new sort of world where artists are being demanded to create things fast. Nowadays everything is green-screen and much of the production seems to be done in post. What used to be, “Give us 30 cuts with VFX sequences in 1 year,” now sounds like “give us 300 cuts with VFX within 16 months. Oh and we’re working with IMAX resolution and in 3D.”

This 3D industry is indeed showing no end to this speeding. Our production pace is getting faster, we’re getting faster GPUs, CPUs, more RAM, 64 bit, optimized software, major software upgrades, better resolutions, real time renders… and the list goes on and on. We’ve gone through this revolution in visual-identity, and now I think we’re hitting some kind of commercial crisis of “art” in the industry.

What more, we’ve become an interesting class of people. We hang between technology and art, we’re a school of artists interested in using technology to create the fantasy. So we go scripting to make our lives easier, we sit by the computer to calculate lights, we simulate real-world physics… all this stuff is weird, interesting, and slightly unexpected. That is to say, that the computing power of our times is progressively getting better and better. So much better that it can change the way we do things. What used to be frustrating and time consuming, is now a click of a button away. It’s amazing, but at the same time, frightening how one technology replaces the old in a matter of months now.

As much as we want results fast, we still have to abide by design. That’s the goal here. To be fast, we have to learn the tools and understand the software. But then we must not forget design.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s