This week we aimed to have at least rough animation for all shots with the priority for everyone was having at least 4 seconds of animation that was good enough to render by Sunday. We had this issue where the geometry disconnected or lagged behind the rig when we batch rendered but it was fine when we did still renders and playblasts.
Apparently, this is fixed by adding the Evaluation Frequency attribute to the geometry and the group hierarchy because Renderman hates parent groups. (Thanks, Lobsters!)
I’m glad we found a fix for this so quickly because when it happened we were completely baffled. I don’t know what we would have done. Some of the forums I was reading suggested re-rigging from scratch or using a geometry cache (which we tried but it made it worse). I’m glad we didn’t wait any longer to do batch renders. This is not the kind of thing you want to run into days before the deadline.
I rendered this shot yesterday when nobody else was using the farm, and it took about 2 hours to render the whole 5 second shot so I’m pretty happy about that. There is still some animation work to be done, but we want to render our best shots for the presentation next week.
Despite all the time we spent fixing textures when we did the poster, there are still a bunch that don’t have Renderman 21 textures, but by now we should all know which ones we are using and not using so we can just fix the ones we need. Still, it’s annoying that we didn’t catch them all when we thought we did.
I’m glad we are all focusing on animation now. It’s much less stressful than seeing the same subpar animation every week because people were working on other things (that are still important but animation is the core of our project and it is distressing to see us falling behind on it). It’s such a relief to have the blend shapes finally be done, and now all that’s left is fixing the textures and finishing the environments. There may also need to be some weight painting adjustments on the man but those can wait until next term.
Here are some render tests that I did for my scene on Saturday to test out the lighting.
The Bad: We’re all kind of wishing that we had another person on our team to just deal with everything that’s not animation, but we don’t so we just have to get better at managing our time as a team and finishing the animation faster so that we can get to polishing everything. I’m also really starting to feel a deep spiritual exhaustion with this whole term. It makes it really hard to be as productive as I need to be, and I have a growing list of personal chores that I haven’t had time for either.
The Good: Everyone’s putting in a lot more hours now, which is great. I really hope the finals we have for other classes don’t ruin the trend too much. We literally have a week to finish everything for the presentation. Cali, Aidan, and I have research papers due the Thursday after the presentation. Here’s to hoping we can cram it in somewhere. I don’t know what Aviva and Will’s situations are with finals but I hope we all finish our goals.