Anna Rebman – Postmortem

We are six days from the end.

Things that went wrong:

  1. We spent too much time on story and got behind right in the beginning, and the story we ended up with wasn’t worth the time we wasted compared to our first pass. We probably could have done our first story and ended up with a better executed animation.
  2. Work ethic and quality standards varied tremendously across our team, which did not result in a good working environment or optimism for our project. Not everyone cared enough or prioritized this project over other classes.
  3. Too many directors, not enough workers. Everybody had an opinion about what should be done. Faculty kept suggesting significant changes, even when there was nothing really wrong with what we already had, just to get their participation points in during presentations. We “didn’t have to listen to them”, but we did have to really because our adviser listened to them. Even within our team, everybody wanted to have a say in everything but nobody wanted to actually do the work. We had to have an excessive amount of progress presentations because faculty have apparently learned not to trust us with our own projects, but we couldn’t trust each other with our individual tasks either.
  4. When we realized we might not pass, priorities changed a lot, and not in a good way. It really only made the anxious people more anxious and not much else.

Things that went right:

  1. Everybody kind of immediately agreed on our aesthetic theme and animation focus for the project.
  2. When we’re not talking about senior project, we all seem to get along a lot better.
  3. Even though we’re a very small team, and none of us really specialize in anything, we were still able to create an animation from scratch without any purchased assets.

Take aways:

  1. Don’t work with people who don’t take deadlines seriously. Don’t work with people who modify finalized things in secret.
  2. Defend your project tooth and nail. Don’t compromise the heart of the project in a panic to get it done.
  3. The quality of the rig makes a huge difference in the quality of the animation. If the focus isn’t the rigging ability, just buy one that works well.
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