Dream Team reunited as cheap inbetweeners for Peach!

Posted in Blender Institute, Development, Production by William

As the schedule starts to get close, we recently realized that we are not going to be able to finish on time. We now have finished animation for less than a third of the film, and we only have about six weeks to go before all animation has to be locked, so that we can get all the final renders out on time. Weeks are going by with a few shots coming out here and there, which is not going to cut it.

There are a number of reasons for this: We underestimated the time it takes to set up environments. We are dealing with complex shots with loads of trees and millions of leaves, and everything has to look nice and natural. Thus, Enrico has had to work full time on environment modeling, setup and design, while he was supposed to do animation according the the schedule. Also, Sacha spends a lot of time directing, writing notes, speaking with the composer about the score. Andy is doing lighting, compositing, and dealing with huge amounts of grass, flowers, mushrooms and bees and birds in the distance. Nathan is tweaking rigs, adding new ones, and doing blocks.

That leaves me (William) as the only truly full-time animator. There is just no way we can finish the film on time with our current capacity.

And that brings me to our big announcement: We have hired almost the entire (Elephants) Dream Team (plus Claudio from Plumiferos), to help animating! Please give it up for the external Dream (or slave?) Team team consisting of Bassam Kurdali (Slikdigit), Lee Salvemini (LohnS), Bastian Salmela (Basse), and Claudio Andaur (Malefico). They work remotely, in their spare time, helping us getting those shots out of the door.

Please give them a big round of applause. These guys are truly saving our behinds. This is how happy we are with this:

Team Peach

Working remotely is not particularly easy though: The animator needs to be understand perfectly what is going on to ensure proper continuity. This is the reason why the core team members are all in Amsterdam together. To overcome this problem, we have set up a workflow where Sacha and Nathan block shots out with rough animation, before we send it off for finalling. The overall timing is locked down before the external Dream Team polishes off our shots.

Additionally, we’ve found that in order to meet our animation deadline, we need to churn out an extraordinary average of 3 shots every single day of every single week from now on. Since we are three people animating here in the institute, that’s one shot a day per person – delivered either as final animation or a block for our newly added slave workers. Although this is pretty insane, it’s psychologically easy – one shot a day – simple!

We have been on this new working schedule for about a week, and we’ve already gotten the first shots back from our externals. Luckily, they’re great. This means that in terms of animation we should be able to make it if – and this is an if – we are able to keep on working as hard and efficiently as we are now. Ofcourse after animating, there is lighting, compositing and rendering…

PS: Sorry about the lack of posts recently. Luckily we have had outsiders, like our super reporter India, to help with blogging recently.

56 Responses

  1. HolgerB Writes:

    Kermit would say:

    Applause! Applause! Applause!

  2. Clint Writes:

    w00t! *round of applause*

    I’m a Basse fan myself. So very glad to hear that they’re joining you! Goooo team!

  3. Lars Writes:

    That’s great! Big thanks to the new members for helping out! =)

  4. Goofster Writes:

    Cheap? do you think they’ll do my laundry?

  5. RNS Writes:

    This mean a big delay for the the DVD and blender 2.50?

  6. Auria Writes:

    RNS: they keep talking about deadlines, how could deadlines mean delay??

  7. William Writes:

    RNS: No, the deadline is fixed. We cannot move the deadline, so we wont.

    And at the moment Ton is working on 2.5 independently of Peach, so we shouldn’t be able to delay him too much! ;)

  8. dusty Writes:

    A VERY wise move and VERY welcome news to boot!

  9. rexprime Writes:

    these open movie projects are a learning experience for the community as a whole, they show us what it will take to start our own movies.

  10. kernond Writes:

    That’s great news! I hope, though, that quality isn’t sacrificed for the sake of a fixed deadline. Deadlines can be renegotiated. The final work is what’s REALLY fixed.

    Good Luck and Thanks!

  11. Sergeant Oreo Writes:

    [Quote] these open movie projects are a learning experience for the community as a whole, they show us what it will take to start our own movies.[Quote]

    That’s very true. We observers see that it takes a LOT to make a movie!

    *Cheers for animators*

  12. humblebee Writes:

    This is great. Thanks to the Peach core, the plumiferos guys and everyone else involved.
    Why don’t you spend 2 weeks more with making the movie, is it that expensive? Seems like that…

  13. harkyman Writes:

    Just remember to include a couple of the non-in-betweened, still-rough scene files on the DVD when you’re done, so the rest of us can try our hand at the exact same thing!

  14. Giovanni Gallo Writes:

    Go guys, you are going to make it! It is going to be a great thing!
    To add the help of the “veterans” can only make things better (yes it could increase the entropy of the production, but it looks that things are way under control…)
    And if the movie si delivered some weeks later…I am not to complain because:
    a) the money I invested on the project is not that big ;-)
    b) I am genetically programmed to delay (I am Italian!)

  15. Jacob Picart Writes:

    Don’t not sacrifice quality for quantity – the final product is how masses will judge all your hard work. Keep it up guys! As for the deadline… in business, anythings negotiable. I wish I was at the team’s artistic & technical level (I would help animate) – some day.

    On another note, how do you determine how much time you need for rendering? Somehow Ton (or the producers) need to calculate time required for rendering to set a premiere date. Right?

  16. BlendRoid Writes:

    Huzzah for slave labor! You guys are my heroes; keep it up! I can’t wait to see the finished product!

  17. Luiz Fernando Writes:

    In my humble opinion, you should not concern so much about deadline. The DVD and the movie are surely worth the waiting, even if it delays one or two months. The actual problem would be to maintain team, I believe.

    But I love to hear how mature the team is. Nice move, Peach team. =D


  18. Auria Writes:

    They had deals with render farms – if they don’t meet the deadlines then the movie will not be rendered ;)

  19. William Writes:

    Quote Luiz Fernando: “But I love to hear how mature the team is. ”

    Nah, we’re pretty immature.

    Auria: Spot on. There are several reasons why we cannot extend the deadline. Gold, money and salt are also factors, sadly…

  20. AniCator Writes:

    Bassam is back!!

  21. Sven von Brand Writes:

    that’s great News, I personally am from Chile, to know that my neighbors are helping with the short, makes me feel happier of having bought it. Hope you guys ended on Time, in the meanwhile we all be watching cheering, and hopefully doing all we can to help.

  22. Höhrer Writes:

    Go Go Go Dream Team Peach :)


    PS: Say that a few times and fast ;)

  23. JoOngle Writes:

    *Whip* *WHIP* *Sliish* *Whip!*

    Now you have the power – use it wisely my furry bas….friends!

  24. sam Writes:

    FOCL @ group shot – You got a rubber duckie!
    The rubber duckie owns!

  25. RedBirdiiiٌ Writes:

    All the good luck to finish it on time..
    Can’t wait to see the film and play the game.. ;)

  26. Big Fan Writes:

    how Ton you thought he could accomplish a better, longer, movie over the same time frame as ED without increasing the team size is possibly a question worth pondering in a quiet reflective moment..but nevermind..good luck guys

  27. Richard Writes:

    As many other had said, don’t rush the animation. Elephants Dream was delayed a month from the expected shipping date, but no one was complaining. I’m sure that all your viewers aren’t worried about speed.

  28. vilda Writes:

    why just the elephant dream team?

  29. JoOngle Writes:


    Probably because they are:
    1) Reliable
    2) Done it before
    3) Worked there before…

    Nothing like knowing your render monkeys ;)

  30. Johan Writes:

    Good luck guys!

  31. Sam Writes:

    How do you have time to pose for a picture?! Get to work! =]
    Go Dream Team!!!!

  32. ccherrett Writes:

    Well it would be cool if the rendering needs help that the community hooks up a couple of million computers to BURP and renders that sucker in a few minutes :)

  33. Dalai Felinto Writes:

    Hey guys, congratulations!!

    While animations been rendered should be enough time to do the Making Of? Or this must be sacrificated to allow the movie deadline?

    Anyway, yesterday I saw the entire “Ice of Age” Making Of and was great!

    I have one sugestion from it:
    They have chosen three scenes and let you see in alternate modes:
    1)Story Board
    2)3D Story Board (animatics)
    3)OpenGL render
    4)Final render
    5)All together in the same screen

    If you press ANGLE button, you can change the mode (the sound tracker keep normally).

    That’s it, sorry my english (I’m from Brazil)

    Best Regards

  34. Sergeant Oreo Writes:

    You know the Peach team is too busy when
    they can’t even fix the red eye in their
    team picture!


  35. humble Writes:

    Oh, the red eyes ARE there, they’re not just some product of the camera but come from sitting all day in front of a screen. I know what I’m talking about. ^^

  36. Quilibrium Writes:

    Go girls! eh.. boys or squirrels

  37. LoMac Writes:

    Clap! Clap!

  38. EnV Writes:

    Cool, Sergeant Oreo, thanks a lot for the fixing.
    Could you fix also the white spot on my teeth?

  39. Jahmaica Writes:

    Did the peach team used any new feature…like.. IK SPLINES ? When will that be available for Blender ?


  40. Tony Writes:

    Eye of the Tiger, Rocky!!!

  41. Sergeant Oreo Writes:

    EnV: Done! http://img266.imageshack.us/my.php?image=groupshotfix2oe9.jpg
    I was tempted to do something to Andy or the rubber ducky but decided not to.

  42. Alex Writes:

    Deadlines, shmedlines. What is the issue with the date ? If it is the cost of covering expenses, why not get Ton to ask us all for more money ? I’m sure none of us who have put money in so far want to sacrifice quality. Tell us what the problem is and let us see if we can help you. Good luck with it all !

  43. ros Writes:

    Don’t worry about deadline. Just the movie quality! I know it will be great! I’m also greetin’ the others that joined and wish u all happy blending. Guy’s im not proffesional but i think if u motivate blenderartists forum some might have help. I can also help with some small objects modelling if u want.

  44. Sam Writes:

    In response to ros:
    True! I’m sure the community would love to pitch in if you need help!

  45. EnV Writes:

    Sergeant Oreo: thanks again. :)

  46. grafixsuz Writes:

    Guys didn’t you hear William, they need more salt! Quote William: “There are several reasons why we cannot extend the deadline. Gold, money and salt are also factors, sadly…”

    Good luck guys! You will be fine. You may have a stroke, but you’ll be fine!

  47. grafixsuz Writes:

    But may I just add that since this will be submitted to siggraph for this years show, they need to be done by march as the schedule indicates. So while we can send them salt, I think there are too many reasons for them to say exactly why they can’t extend the deadline!

    Just support these guys as best we can. Lets donate extra money so they can have one hell of a party when they are done!

    You bloody beauties! oh yeah…

    Campbell do you drink Bundy? And India, forgot to post in the other thread but great work on reporting! Cathy too!

  48. kernond Writes:

    Maybe they could submit a trailer for the short movie to siggraph, instead of trying to rush and complete the ENTIRE movie for submission. Create a kickass trailer and keep on with the rest of the movie in a much more effective and healthy work environment that would likely result in a much better movie. If more money is needed to extend the project then I’m sure the community will respond. If a renderfarm won’t work with extending a deadline then, aren’t there other renderfarms available? I know that I’m simplifying the issues but, it’s not an impossible situation to resolve. I guess the real question is if the possible solutions are worth the difference in the quality of the final results.

  49. dwayne Writes:

    I’m sure you guys will be able to pull this off! If you don’t already have something in place, I think Cozimo (www.cozimo.com) would be a great asset for your remote collaboration to ensure communication of notes and comments. (I’m not affiliated, I just use it and love it).

  50. Josh Writes:

    Big thanks to the new(old)comers! I trust that Peach will blow us all away!

  51. Brandon Writes:

    Do you guys need any more animation help? I could do some of the background animations so you can focus on the main characters/acting if needed. Just a thought. Drop me an email if you would like more help.

  52. epat Writes:

    These guys have done it before! Don’t worry too much about quality – it might even be better?!… Although I can see the benifits of keeping the team as small and as contained as possible!

    Anyway guys, work hard, and make this thing ABSOLUTELY ROCK!!
    ~epat. :)

  53. bmud Writes:

    @Ton: I’m curious how this affects the financial side of the Peach project. The fixed deadline seemed to be there so that you wouldn’t go over budget… am I right?

  54. Eric Mesa Writes:

    This is why it’s good to have deadlines or the project gets postponed forever. I know that from experience.

  55. Tarlipe Writes:

    Maléfico? You must be kidding.
    He can’t animate even with Keith Lango behind his back poking him with a stick.

    Oh… CHEAP inbetweeners. I get it.