ah mea culpa! it was a reflex action, nothing to do with your thoughts :)
i was just trying to describe how easy it is to think workflow but get workstuck when all most people suggest is to buy new gear/apps (hence my friend's example, he really knows his craft but got lost in the transition).
now let's get your ideas submitted to the festival
I do script writing with an academy of film sciences sanctioned LaTeX style, freehand draw wireframes/story-boards in a notepad, then model/rig/animate/render, and then composite and post, but find the most hick-ups..
that sounds ok right here right now but as you found out, going through all of the steps by taking each 30sec sequence separately, won't work.
a dodgy transition in the script will come back to haunt you in the post. so brake all the steps up, put a timer on each of them, and move(=finish) all chunks from one to the next one. imaginary example/time units:
script: 4 weeks
storyboard/drafts: 2 weeks
model/rig/animate: 8 weeks
post: 4 weeks
if it sounds way too hard right know, try a half-baked version (say with basic models and time slots chopped in halves or thirds) but do complete all of your script because nothing will help you to better understand the whole process and the tricky points between them. you can't join the dots before you finish :)
so lets screw app names for a while and get back to the basics:
- in every art form you always start with the output. do you have a rough idea of the frame size? this will simplify or spaghettify most of the process and your head (aspect ratios, SD, HD, GroovyDee. they all dictate the environment/acquisition system).
- yes yes, you keep everything uncompressed (or device-native in other cases) forever and ever. your forms/frames/files have to hop from one app to the other uncompressed. all DivX, DooBeeDoo codecs built for finished, compressed clips go out of the window
in a separate machine, out of the main pipeline (you'll need this in the final step to test compression options, where-did-all-my-colour-go? moments etc). ditto for apps that cannot handle uncompressed. you always stick with one format and tango with it till festival/projection time.
- sound hits a pause till you finish all things visual. is there any dialogue in your head/drafts or is it just sound?
I convert small portions too early.
i hear you, everyone does. don't sweat it much though. as long as you're uncompressed/device-native most things can be fixed. strive for as longer sequences as you can handle before quick+dirty rendering to see how it comes up. a 2 minute sequence will give you much better feedback than four 30'' ones. you get to see the rhythm and other voodoo that's impossible to describe just with words here.
I know shake fairly well but I have been learning smoke for a while but I still have quite a few "how are you supposed to that in smoke?" moments...
now we're getting into the specifics of the production environment again. if it's maya and shake what you're most comfortable with, then it's maya and shake till the end. stretch all further testing/evaluation of similar apps after this script has been projected on the wall as a movie.
smoke + gang will take time. can't help with its operation nor hardware requirements for the reasons i describe below. i hope one of the vfx guys that hang around here will chime in and help you w/ the purely technical staff of the software.
i work w/ shots coming out of cameras and i don't (have to) do lots of comps/vfx. when i do, i sit down with a comp. guy/girl, get it done and go back to the editing room.
you're starting a la one-man powerhouse (which is how we all started though it was much "simpler" but also more "destructive" back then) but everything for your project will be CG-style. and this is the difference and interesting point. the raw forms i create by shooting, you create with your tablet. gives you all the autonomy in the world but also gets tricky because it takes out the collaborative nature of filmmaking.
the CGI/comp/vfx thing grew up into an industry within the filmmaking industry. i can direct a vfx team all right since i know how my frames should be, but there's no way i can cut the work of any guy in the team as fast/efficient as they can. all the big vfx names work on big projects with teams of hundreds and it's not uncommon when 30% of the team learns say shake on the spot (that 30% is not clueless, just has to adapt to a different app). and here comes the whole app/environment thing: it has to play with the big tools. it takes time to learn. working hours range from crazy to insane to suicidal.
(just by watching your signature) you've got all the infrastructure that matters. stuff to do some funky damage with 8-) . just don't forget that all this in its native environment used to feed lots of families, it was never meant to be run by one single 'gator.
most important thing is to get the script out and let other people see your ideas projected on the wall. you can integrate macs, you can do the first one low-rez. rez alone doesn't matter. the Jurassic Park movie you all saw, started in macromedia director on a "crappy", "consumer" laptop :)