Getting the lads to blog

This is mostly directed to Jonathan with a heads up for Patrick, the other 2 directors on the motion graphics reel. This is all issues we’ve discussed before, eg documenting lessons and process.

The car renderings must be 3968×2288, not 3840×2160. The extra space is so that there isn’t a border when the cars track the camera shake. We gave them a lot of leeway, at least +/- 50 frames.

The new white light and blue light renderings are more reflective, but the color washout doesn’t improve photo-realism, we’re just trading matte and saturated color for glossy and washed out color. Is there another approach?

Even if the new renderings worked you’d still have to re-render at the higher dimensions. This demonstrate the need to document. Legacy projects should include details about their approach and solutions. Documentation saves us from repeating trial and error when revisiting projects and provides a solid foundation for new projects.

I am leaning towards a single resource that has specific entries for each project and application.  We might associate notes with each AE or mocha file during development but at the finish everything gets compiled.

I think the compilation is going to be our individual blogs, with regular backups. The advantages of using blogs as opposed to local files are 1) you always know where it is, 2) other members of the team can refer to it as needed when they are coming up to speed on software or projects, 3) you can link to references that explain and support the content, including collaborators blogs, 4) you create a resource for the wider community as well as the team, and 5) if we know other folks are going to read it we will need to be clear and obvious in our descriptions – more likely that (years later) it’ll be comprehensible to us.

There is a method for running a blog on a local drive so we’re not dependent on the web connection for referencing our content.

I’d be willing to entertain a solution for documentation that doesn’t involve blogs if it meets the above criteria. Otherwise, you’ll have to bite the bullet and get used to the idea of updating your own blog regularly with clearly written posts about lessons learned. Ghak!

I probably should revisit the organization and objectives of MY various sites. I want to have high level blog(s) to foster affinities – audience, investors, collaborators, movie geeks and content allies. Typically, high level posts are broad strokes, epiphanies and metamemes with deep technical detail provided indirectly – as links. This is standard interaction, from general to specific. Deep technical detail attracts a different crowd. Production artists  require a consolidated technical resource that they can reference and revise. The resource is easier to maintain if it’s all in one place, rather than scattered over several blogs.

Currently I’ve got one high level blog for each project –,, I can designate as the low level technical (and philosophical) mothership.

When you’ve written complex software with thousands of lines of code you appreciate how essential comments are. Since I’ve been responsible for polishing the motion graphics reel, I took on most of the pain of not having proper documentation for the legacy scenes.  As we move forward, each director will take responsibility for polishing his/her own projects. Adopting a blog/documentation protocol now may seem like drudgery, but it will save your bacon on the next iteration of the reel.

Might be worthwhile to revisit CK roto and recall your process. Same with smoke, iCar illustration, car renderings… remember the funky exported tiff sequence that shrunk the CK video?

Documenting lessons and implementations will slow the process down in the short term, but accelerate our competency and make us very efficient. It’s a waste of time if we just create willy nilly and then have to decipher a project 3 months later or even 2 weeks later, relearn all the lessons and make all the same mistakes.

Below are various permutations of the cars and masks that are begging for explanations. Here’s my inadequate (high level) documentation on the highway scene.

I also need to share all the AE files in their final cleaned up form.

Since we all are involved in developing technical and creative expertise, we all have to document for effective collaboration. So it’s not like I want you to suffer alone… >:)

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