One of my tasks here is to make sure the Big Buck Bunny gets rendered, even though Im not crazy about networks, ssh connections and figuring out why the Nth frame didn’t render, some of you have shown interest in the renderfarm so heres a rundown of how it works ;)
Images are rendered on Sun’s Grid at http://network.com, they have a service where you can buy time on their systems for $1 per CPU-Hour, Many tasks can be uploaded to run parallel on their systems, I think they have 600 CPU’s but we’ve only ever managed to hog around 240, with an average of 150 CPU’s at a time.
I’ve put together a little video that describes the various stages of animation I go through. These aren’t hard-and-set rules, but more like guidelines that help me animate more efficiently. Depending on the shot I’ll be more or less rigid about keeping the stages separate.
I also left out an important stage in the video, which is sketching out ideas for the shot. I left it out because the drawings — if you can call them that — are really embarrassing. But for me it’s a really important stage because it’s easier for me to explore ideas through rough sketches than through painstakingly posing a model in 3D. (If anyone is curious, I often use Pencil for some of that drawing/exploration stage. Pencil is nice because it’s a 2D animation software, so I can actually do rough 2D animation to test out ideas.)
as we mentioned earlier, it’s getting quite busy over here. and now that the Apricot Team is moving in finally, it’s gonna get even more busy! Last friday we had Bart from BlenderNation over to do interviews with us… i shot a fun little timelapse video during the entire day. it’s interesting to see how often people get up from their chairs, how much coffee we drink and how crazy our heads bob around…
there are about 6 weeks of production time left. our fearless team of animators – sacha, william, nathan and our external keyframe shifters – are working hard to get the last couple of scenes of our movie animated. enrico and i am both working on “finals” – a little underated sounding description ton likes to give to the task of texturingmodelinglightingcompositinganddoeverythingelsetogetthemovierendered.
Besides animating there are more things to do, like composting, lighting, the environment. Ton and Sacha made a schedule from the breakdown to have an overview of all the actions. What you see here is only 1 page. There are 7 pages like this which in the end all need to be checked off. No finals yet, but come back soon for more detailed information!
In this blog post also a short reproduction of the animating. William is animating 1 shot of 2.375 seconds. He has been busy with that for at least one day. One day within the Peachteam exists at least out of 10 working hours or even more. The script is divided in several scenes. Each scene is a certain amount of seconds. In the overview you can see how many animation seconds a shot has (not even counting prop animation!)
how are you doing? I’m sorry you haven’t heard that much from me lately, but I’m sure you understand it’s been extremely busy here. The new week schedules Ton is putting under our noses are just insane. Even with the help of some external animators it’s gonna be incredible hard to finish the movie. Those 80 hour work weeks I had in the beginning? A joke compared to my new weeks. But please, don’t worry about me, I’m doing fine. To be honest, the first days of the week I was pretty sick. I felt horrible, enormous headache. But you know me, stubborn as always, I just went to work. Strangely enough, despite me not getting any sleep I recovered pretty good. And while I was recovering I even got so much energy, I skipped an entire night of sleep (of course I stayed in the studio).
Making this movie as good as possible is my main drive. Ton wants us to finish the movie, no matter what quality (producer’s talk). But you know that’s not good enough for me. Whatever needs to be done, I’ll do it. We can do it. Seeing all the great results gives me alot of energy, especially combined with the latest music from our composer Jan. And sometimes we get weak results, they give me even more energy: that some day soon I’ll get back to them and do it even better.
You know Andy, right? The guy who was working on the fur when you came over. You made a joke about his hair, remember? The last few weeks he’s been working on the first shots of the movie, and wow, it’s gonna look awesome! I’m so glad to have him on the team, the guy’s got skills. He’s a perfectionist, never satisfied (sounds familiar, doesn’t it? ^_^).
Check this out, it’s from one of those first shots.
We really love that bird, he looks so silly. And he’s not even a main character!