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 Post subject: Workflow.
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:17 pm 
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Something I don't get... and it really irks me.. why is it so problematic to use multiple tools on a project.. ??

I just completed a very very rough draft of an extremely short movie I have been working on for amateur competition in January and moving stuff between different tools has been a royal PITA... You attach audio to a movie file, render it to AVI, QuickTime, mp4, etc and then import it into some other software as project and you lose the audio, stuff can't be used from this product to the next because things just seem to be designed to be thoroughly incompatible...

I have Maya 6.5, LightWave 5.6, smoke, shake and flame on SGI, combustion, maya, modo, maya, XSI Poser, Z-brush, etc... and I see different uses for each but the compositing tools, but once you start in one you better finish in it as it will look like crap in the next tool.

You do one thing on Mac, then moved it to Windows or IRIX and then the wheels just fall off, each and every time...

What workflows do people tend to use and how normalise things to some common standard or format so it can be moved across platforms...??
How do you make stuff work together, never seems to work..??

R.

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Github ---> https://github.com/pymblesoftware
Visit http://www.pymblesoftware.com
Search for "Pymble", "InstaElf", "CryWhy" or "Cricket Score Sheet" in the iPad App store or search for "Pymble" or "CryWhy" in the iPhone App store.


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 Post subject: Re: Workflow.
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:39 pm 
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PymbleSoftware wrote:
Something I don't get... and it really irks me.. why is it so problematic to use multiple tools on a project.. ??


You're falling into the "... but I just want to ...." mindset, this highlights the chasm that exists in computer technology between the remote islands of (a) user expectations (b) marketing (c) implementation.

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 Post subject: Re: Workflow.
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:37 pm 
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Location: P.O. Box 121, Pymble, Sydney, NSW 2073, Australia.
porter wrote:
PymbleSoftware wrote:
Something I don't get... and it really irks me.. why is it so problematic to use multiple tools on a project.. ??


You're falling into the "... but I just want to ...." mindset, this highlights the chasm that exists in computer technology between the remote islands of (a) user expectations (b) marketing (c) implementation.



Actually I have been on the other Island doing the implementation for unrealistic requests for like the last 25 years, but I am just wondering how people put up with nothing plays at all with anything else in construction of media workflows.... How does anyone complete projects when nothing plays with anything else.. I know a bad workman blames his tools but I am trying to work out the right set of tools which will play together.. If I have the wrong tools or are using them in the wrong way...

Is it better to just stick to Mac and IRIX and uncompressed quicktime....?

R.

_________________
死の神はりんごだけ食べる

開いた括弧は必ず閉じる -- あるプログラマー

:Tezro: :Tezro: :Onyx2R: :Onyx2RE: :Onyx2: :O3x04R: :O3x0: :O200: :Octane: :Octane2: :O2: :O2: :Indigo2IMP: :PI: :PI: :1600SW: :1600SW: :Indy: :Indy: :Indy: :Indy: :Indy:
:hpserv: J5600, 2 x Mac, 3 x SUN, Alpha DS20E, Alpha 800 5/550, 3 x RS/6000, Amiga 4000 VideoToaster, Amiga4000 -030, 733MHz Sam440 AmigaOS 4.1 update 1.

Sold: :Indy: :Indy: :Indy: :Indigo: Tandem Himalaya S-Series Nonstop S72000 ServerNet.

@PymbleSoftware
Current Apps -> https://itunes.apple.com/au/artist/pymb ... d553990081
Cortex ---> http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cortex-th ... 11?sk=info
Minnie ---> http://www.facebook.com/pages/Minnie-th ... 02?sk=info
Github ---> https://github.com/pymblesoftware
Visit http://www.pymblesoftware.com
Search for "Pymble", "InstaElf", "CryWhy" or "Cricket Score Sheet" in the iPad App store or search for "Pymble" or "CryWhy" in the iPhone App store.


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 Post subject: Re: Workflow.
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:26 am 
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excellent observations regan. i'll chime in for the young ones too as they get so much hype these days they can't focus on what matters

PymbleSoftware wrote:
Something I don't get... and it really irks me.. why is it so problematic to use multiple tools on a project.. ??

I just completed a very very rough draft of an extremely short movie I have been working on for amateur competition in January and moving stuff between different tools has been a royal PITA... You attach audio to a movie file, render it to AVI, QuickTime, mp4, etc and then import it into some other software as project and you lose the audio, stuff can't be used from this product to the next because things just seem to be designed to be thoroughly incompatible...

(it's by design) because there are certain methodologies that have to be followed, otherwise it will never work.

-never convert anything before it's done. only convert once (according to the fest's submission guidelines)
-don't start creating sound before you're done with the visual work

PymbleSoftware wrote:
I have Maya 6.5, LightWave 5.6, smoke, shake and flame on SGI, combustion, maya, modo, maya, XSI Poser, Z-brush, etc... and I see different uses for each but the compositing tools, but once you start in one you better finish in it as it will look like crap in the next tool.

grab your axe and start choppin' :)

fire each one once and spend an hour doing a stripped-to-the-bone simple, but finished piece of work. don't just doodle around, do something of simple form: your coffee cup, deskspace, anything that fits within basic shapes. then export.

be strict on the computah and treat it as an honest-to-goodness tool. buzzer + timer set for 60 minutes for each app. when you're done with all of them, only one will prevail to your heart/brain/eyes/hands. love it for what it is and go back to your sketches/ideas. never spend a second thinking about similar apps till your current work has hit the festival.

the discreet stuff carries its pricing for this exact reason. you can go through all of the production steps in one, homogenous environment. it used to be all irix now its a bastardized mix of loonies/macs. hardware aside, discreet software scales up like nothing else. when combustion came out for the mac it was the only piece of software that would scale up the chain and into the big boys without having to re-do everything.

PymbleSoftware wrote:
You do one thing on Mac, then moved it to Windows or IRIX and then the wheels just fall off, each and every time...

Is it better to just stick to Mac and IRIX and uncompressed quicktime....?


inhomogeneous environments brake the basics of the filmmaking craft. all the easy-dizzy mumbo-jumbo comes out of salesmen and "pros" that run blogs and reviews (w/ affiliate buttons).

now for your setup:

a) stay within sgi+discreet stuff for everything
b) only use other platforms for apps that work on both platforms. combustion for mac will play nice with the rest of the discreet apps no matter where they run on.

not sure if i get you allright, do you have macs around you?

if i'm being not-too-specific, bomb questions away. can't help much with specs but can probably help you simplify the bag o' tools :)

PymbleSoftware wrote:
What workflows do people tend to use..?

i think this word should be banned for a while. it leads more into hype than etymology. a friend (whose photographic & engraving work spans from moma to kyoto) almost lost his mind/sleep/life for 3 years when he got into digital shooting. he couldn't figure how to get his work out the way he did. he got caught into the booby-trap of reading high+low online, ended up with a mess of duplicate backups and 10 apps that do the same thing. by chance, we bumped into each other at the airport and talked about it. i showed him how i use aperture for stills (stills for me are just a part of the process. stills for him are finished pieces of work) and he started tap-dancing. he ended up using a different app but he's back on track dedicating his time to his work.


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 Post subject: Re: Workflow.
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:25 pm 
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Location: P.O. Box 121, Pymble, Sydney, NSW 2073, Australia.
fu wrote:
excellent observations regan. i'll chime in for the young ones too as they get so much hype these days they can't focus on what matters



Thanks for your feedback.

fu wrote:
PymbleSoftware wrote:
Something I don't get... and it really irks me.. why is it so problematic to use multiple tools on a project.. ??

I just completed a very very rough draft of an extremely short movie I have been working on for amateur competition in January and moving stuff between different tools has been a royal PITA... You attach audio to a movie file, render it to AVI, QuickTime, mp4, etc and then import it into some other software as project and you lose the audio, stuff can't be used from this product to the next because things just seem to be designed to be thoroughly incompatible...

(it's by design) because there are certain methodologies that have to be followed, otherwise it will never work.

-never convert anything before it's done. only convert once (according to the fest's submission guidelines)
-don't start creating sound before you're done with the visual work



I think that I doing things the wrong way around... I convert small portions too early. To create 2 minutes of footage, I try to complete the whole thing in 30 second chunks and then expect to be able to just concatenate, video and audio of each chunk with each and every other chunk. I composite everything in one tool say combustion then render including audio, and then try filein the movie file to add a multi-layer node in shake and shake does not seem to know about the audio...

The really frustrating thing is that some quick time files will not not be importable, eg smoke 2008 sp6 (unless uncompressed).. some AVI files will not play without a DIVX player. Some do not recognize some file formats like MPEG. And something really really annoying is there is many different sub types of movie file formats so, while some tools will work with compressed and others uncompressed there seem to be strange undocumented sub formats and sub versions that are not quite compatible. The only thing that I think works is to not do final render into a movie file until the very very last thing. Just do everything as a sequence of still images and add audio and generate The temptation to render small segments to check how it looks and sounds is quite strong though..

There are hero types who do in-camera-editing and the like but I just want to break everything up really small and fiddle with all the little bits and keep it small and simple as possible until I decide to integrate it. Its the integration that is the biggest problem for me.

fu wrote:
PymbleSoftware wrote:
I have Maya 6.5, LightWave 5.6, smoke, shake and flame on SGI, combustion, maya, modo, maya, XSI Poser, Z-brush, etc... and I see different uses for each but the compositing tools, but once you start in one you better finish in it as it will look like crap in the next tool.

grab your axe and start choppin' :)

fire each one once and spend an hour doing a stripped-to-the-bone simple, but finished piece of work. don't just doodle around, do something of simple form: your coffee cup, deskspace, anything that fits within basic shapes. then export.

be strict on the computah and treat it as an honest-to-goodness tool. buzzer + timer set for 60 minutes for each app. when you're done with all of them, only one will prevail to your heart/brain/eyes/hands. love it for what it is and go back to your sketches/ideas. never spend a second thinking about similar apps till your current work has hit the festival.


This is not uncommon advice but I do 95% of my modeling, rigging, animation in maya for the simple reason that I have had it the longest and spent the longest time working with it and not that I am clever or good at it but I've just done so many inverse kinematic setups, skinning, light setups, etc... in maya that I don't have think or spend time with my nose in a book or watching tutorials... But I have fiddled with Blender, XSI, LW, modo, etc, etc and I have found some minor things that came be easily done in one of the tools that I just can't seem to make work in maya... I find exporting as a Wave Front OBJect file and then importing into maya usually works of can be fixed up/cleaned up quickly. I am not married to maya but I know it sooo well that I spend by far the most time with it... There are probably many tools that are far better than maya.

fu wrote:
the discreet stuff carries its pricing for this exact reason. you can go through all of the production steps in one, homogenous environment. it used to be all irix now its a bastardized mix of loonies/macs. hardware aside, discreet software scales up like nothing else. when combustion came out for the mac it was the only piece of software that would scale up the chain and into the big boys without having to re-do everything.

PymbleSoftware wrote:
You do one thing on Mac, then moved it to Windows or IRIX and then the wheels just fall off, each and every time...

Is it better to just stick to Mac and IRIX and uncompressed quicktime....?


inhomogeneous environments brake the basics of the filmmaking craft. all the easy-dizzy mumbo-jumbo comes out of salesmen and "pros" that run blogs and reviews (w/ affiliate buttons).

now for your setup:

a) stay within sgi+discreet stuff for everything
b) only use other platforms for apps that work on both platforms. combustion for mac will play nice with the rest of the discreet apps no matter where they run on.

not sure if i get you allright, do you have macs around you?


Yes, I do, sadly they are old and under-powered and I only have shake and modo on them.

fu wrote:
if i'm being not-too-specific, bomb questions away. can't help much with specs but can probably help you simplify the bag o' tools :)

PymbleSoftware wrote:
What workflows do people tend to use..?

i think this word should be banned for a while. it leads more into hype than etymology. a friend (whose photographic & engraving work spans from moma to kyoto) almost lost his mind/sleep/life for 3 years when he got into digital shooting. he couldn't figure how to get his work out the way he did. he got caught into the booby-trap of reading high+low online, ended up with a mess of duplicate backups and 10 apps that do the same thing. by chance, we bumped into each other at the airport and talked about it. i showed him how i use aperture for stills (stills for me are just a part of the process. stills for him are finished pieces of work) and he started tap-dancing. he ended up using a different app but he's back on track dedicating his time to his work.


I think what I was trying to ask is how design a media production work process pipeline...?

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 in the transition of the last two steps. I am a completely self taught hobbyist film maker. 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...


R.

_________________
死の神はりんごだけ食べる

開いた括弧は必ず閉じる -- あるプログラマー

:Tezro: :Tezro: :Onyx2R: :Onyx2RE: :Onyx2: :O3x04R: :O3x0: :O200: :Octane: :Octane2: :O2: :O2: :Indigo2IMP: :PI: :PI: :1600SW: :1600SW: :Indy: :Indy: :Indy: :Indy: :Indy:
:hpserv: J5600, 2 x Mac, 3 x SUN, Alpha DS20E, Alpha 800 5/550, 3 x RS/6000, Amiga 4000 VideoToaster, Amiga4000 -030, 733MHz Sam440 AmigaOS 4.1 update 1.

Sold: :Indy: :Indy: :Indy: :Indigo: Tandem Himalaya S-Series Nonstop S72000 ServerNet.

@PymbleSoftware
Current Apps -> https://itunes.apple.com/au/artist/pymb ... d553990081
Cortex ---> http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cortex-th ... 11?sk=info
Minnie ---> http://www.facebook.com/pages/Minnie-th ... 02?sk=info
Github ---> https://github.com/pymblesoftware
Visit http://www.pymblesoftware.com
Search for "Pymble", "InstaElf", "CryWhy" or "Cricket Score Sheet" in the iPad App store or search for "Pymble" or "CryWhy" in the iPhone App store.


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 Post subject: Re: Workflow.
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:29 pm 
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Location: constant traveler [nyc/london/berlin]
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

PymbleSoftware wrote:
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?

PymbleSoftware wrote:
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.

PymbleSoftware wrote:
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 :)


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