Spring Term PPJ #9 – Anna Rebman

DragonBones_TeamLogos_forPrez_UpdateAnna


Last PPJ ever! We are 100% rendered and composited. We are going to do a group color correction session and meet with Jackson, our wonderful audio and music guy, tonight and then we’re submitting it and then we’re done!

We still have to practice our presentation and bake cookies, but it’s such a relief to be finishing up. I was worried at the beginning of the term that we’d be working ourselves hard every single day until the senior show and graduation that we would never have time to see any of our other friends until it was too late and we were in the car, packed up and leaving and realizing that we never got to do x, y, and z or say goodbye to anyone. Now that we’re done I’ve been making so many plans with people. I’ve got a week left to spend with these people I haven’t seen in months because I’ve been so busy.

DogRigLoopV2

The Bad: I have never been to the Mutter Museum. I’ve been here for four years and I’ve never had the chance. I want to hangout more with my roommates before we find ourselves on opposite sides of the country. I have so many regrets about things I haven’t done yet or enough of, and now I’ve got a week to take all my finals and do everything that I still want to do before I leave forever. It’s not enough time.

The Good: DONE!

 

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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.

Spring Term PPJ #8 – Anna Rebman

Animation lock yesterday, which meant a lot of long nights for everyone. Thankfully, we can all breathe a bit more now as we send things to the farm and focus on the presentation. Really excited to see what the sound team is working on. Hopefully we’ll be able to meet with them soon.

In addition to animation, I’ve been working on presentation stuff and other promotional things. The poster has been updated, and the trailer has gone through several revisions. Our t-shirts and cookie cutter arrived as well.

The Bad: The last few days have been really pretty unhealthy. Several members of our team are getting sick again, and in the days leading up to the animation lock people have been working 14 hour days and coming back in with only three hours of sleep. Several shots had to be redistributed in order to get them done in time. The good half of this is that instead of tension and aggression, we all just got really silly by the early morning. It’s very relieving to be able to cross shots off the list for good.

The Good: Locking anything down is kind of nerve wracking, and animation lock is a big deal since we’ve saying that that is our focus for this project, but we really needed that deadline and to be rendering. Anything that really needs work can just be rendered last, since we can’t put every shot on the farm at the same time. So there is some leniency for the time being.

Spring Term PPJ #7 – Anna Rebman

This week was mostly prep for the presentation tomorrow, which is our first practice run of our final showcase presentation with the faculty present to give us their thoughts.
I’ve spent a lot of this week rendering and composting. I’ve also spent a lot of time on the final shot and this super cool fluid sim.
The Bad: This presentation tomorrow has not had enough time dedicated to it this week, because we also have an animation lock coming up real soon, and that has been at a higher priority.
The Good: Things are really starting to come together. I was able to render all but two of my shots for tomorrows presentation. I’m almost done with animating the starry night scene, the simulation got setup without too much trouble (but we’ll still have to see how it renders). Everyone’s making good progress on their shots. The cookie cutter should come any day now. The shirts are coming next week. We may not be 100% ready for tomorrow, but we’ll be 100% ready at the showcase.

Anna Merchandises

So we are looking forward to the senior show and thinking about things we want to have. First on our list was team t-shirts which has been kind of a thing at previous senior shows lately. We really liked the purple color over the white, but the color was apparently discontinued very recently and we had to look at other color options.

We are going with a dark grey.

We also decided to bake! We ordered a custom shape cookie cutter, and we’re going to make doggo shaped sugar cookies to have at the show.

Spring Term PPJ #6 – Anna Rebman

I feel like I’m getting really close to done with my animation. There’s still plenty of refinement to do, but refinement could also go on forever and ever, so I feel like at the very least I am in the final stretch. I’m going to be helping with other people’s shots eventually though most likely. I wish being in a good place with my own work was all that mattered, but the result will be the same even if only one person doesn’t finish and right now there is a lot of possessiveness and pride about letting other people help with shots, which is infuriating and really unprofessional and a major source of stress and insomnia for me right now.

 

The Bad: I’m really worried about the pace other people have been going with getting their animation done. I haven’t been seeing the leaps and strides that I’d like to see with the time we have left. As Cali starts trying to be tougher about deadlines, there’s been a lot of resistance and outright refusal to her requests.

The Good: My own shots are getting done. I’m not worried about rendering them, as I have been rendering regularly as shots get refined.

Spring Term PPJ #5 – Anna Rebman

Animating, rendering, compositing, rerendering, reanimating, rendering again, repeat.

The Good: It’s a lot easier to cross things off our to-do list now that what we have to do is just animating, rendering, and compositing. My shots are in a good place to start rendering the final renders.

The Bad: We are definitely going to have to redistribute animation workload, because some people are just not getting their shots done. It really sucks because I have been getting my work done, and in another project I’d be satisfied to just do it and trust that the other person will get a lower grade, but this is our senior project. We should not be having this problem with senior project. Regardless of how much work people put in individually, it will still go on their portfolios. And if one person drops the ball on their shots, then we all fail. And I do mean Fail. I cannot afford to fail. I cannot afford another term, and I will not let someone else’s work ethic decide whether or not I graduate college.

Spring Term PPJ #4 – Anna Rebman

So the render farm has been an issue this week, which sucks because we have another presentation tomorrow. We’ve been trying to fix all our render issues and animate this week. The man’s eyes turned out to have an issue that we hadn’t caught before and I was able to fix that, though there was some confusing weirdness after I fixed it where the parent constraint only worked in the renders if it was keyed. which makes the point moot for us but still kind of tripped us up for a bit.

I’m working on setting up comps for us all in Nuke, but people have not been delivering when I ask for renders, so it’s been a slow process.

The Bad: We aren’t going to have all our shots rendered tomorrow. Even if the render farm had been working all week, we can’t animate and render at the same time and we weren’t going to take the week off while we render.

The Good: I feel like I am personally in a good spot, but I’m worried about our team as a whole getting up to the quality we need. I really don’t want to not graduate because of someone else’s shot not being good enough, but aside from literally doing it for them (which is what might have to end up happening) I don’t think there is anything that we can do and it’s very frustrating and anxiety inducing. If my grade and my future didn’t rely on anyone else right now I would not be worried.

Anna Gives Man New Sight

We had had this issue before that took us forever to see, where the iris of the man was not following the controller and was always pointed forward. But he’s fixed now! It was a small rigging oversight.