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Iron Sky – Day 112

Ah yes, Mondays. Not that it makes ANY difference with respect to me or most of the other guys on the LW team, its just another day in a collection of days that tick away way to quickly. Still its nice to see some progress here over the weekend. Finally it seems that a couple of the Maya guys are “getting it”. One of them was here all day sunday and part of saturday and that’s encouraging. Luke was lucky to get some time off to get back to the UK for two days – but considering he hates flying I’m not sure I he had a great time “most of the time” except when on the ground. He’s back now and working on our good guys hero ship that needs some extra love done to it for a shot specific modeling change (damage) that carries through the rest of the film. Tuomas is putting final touches on some of our other Nazi UFOs and I’m just about done beating these Zeppelins into submission. I’m still not very happy with them but I am a lot happier than I was when I started on them on Friday evening. It amazes me that so many people think that something can only look good using painted textures exclusively. This time around its simply not the case. I needed to mix in procedural textures, nodal trickery, some free plug-ins like ee_Grit_Node (great stuff, just with the 64bit version worked a bit better) and had to rip it apart chunk by chunk and assign new surfaces to just about everything across the board in order to make it work right, but now it does and it renders faster than it did before. Good stuff! What’s left at this time is to test the changes against our other ships so we don’t have to go nutz later with funky light set ups required for each individual ship and last but not least integrate the changes across the rest of the Zeppelins; of which there are several and they all need to look slightly different. From there we are pretty much ready to go but… oh wait! Editorial is holding up the process because we still don’t have a locked VFX edit, yet they want near final VFX shots so they can “see things in context”. Wait a second there you mac people. We need the locked edit in order to do that because you don’t have the budget for us to just “take things to final” that may not appear in the show. We don’t have the render power for it and we don’t have the man power for it. Im sorry if the wire frame or openGL preview renders you are getting are not “descriptive” enough to determine what is going on, but since you are on FinalCut Pro that would explain a lot (zippy do dah creative thinking or imagination seems to go hand in hand with FCP editors). Before someone goes off on me about “bashing” – give me a break ok? We have a show to make and until some people realize that they are holding us up they won’t get what they want at the other end and there will be no one left to point fingers at except them and  I’m trying to spare them that horror by giving their heads a shake. “I would expect any of you to do the same for me!” Ok that’s all for now. There is another movie quote above. Guess it and I might send you a product from L3D for nothing. Competition closes at Midight PST today. Cheers!   Kat

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4 Comments to Iron Sky – Day 112

  1. jeric says:

    1) Are the differences in zeppelins mesh or surface?

    2) Are the editors requesting ‘near final’ stuff? Do they grok the concept of “PRE-viz”??? y’know, the fact that it’s PRE? Don’t they have the g.d. imagination to flesh out an OpenGL render? FFS.

    3) from your work on BSG and others, do most major ships have a lighting rig that is separate from the scene lighting, not including ‘running lights’ and such?

    4) It may be traditional, but when upper management forces the VFX team to work brutal hours, it’s indicative of poor resource management and budgeting. Making a movie is not a sacred jihad, it’s a job.

  2. J. says:

    Whether it’s a $10 million or $100 million movie, the editor needs to be able to lock VFX shots based on pre-stuff. Plain simple!

    I’m highly suprised to hear this about Iron Sky, I can’t imagine Timo demanding this from Samuli. Maybe the editor has no clue of what’s going on at a VFX house? Isn’t there anyone saying: ”Sorry, we can’t finalize shots without VFX lock, deal with it in spite of what you’re demanding”?

  3. kat says:

    Yeah but regardless of budget, in the real world the edit is DONE earlier than this stage of the game so that we can do a temporary or soft lock edit of the show and VFX and then revisit again and again and again until its locked which is typically 3 months to 5 months before the due date of the post, so that they can then unlock it one last time insert finals for length and then it gets locked for sound and that’s it.

    My understanding of it is that the editors are not very… vfx oriented. And Jeric, I don’t do jihad. I go to war. I’m going to war against maya and people who think deadlines will get pushed further ahead so they can work on their freaking deck or piss off immediately at 5 when there are other people in the chain being held up.
    legal hours, unions, whatever, its all garbage at this point. We have what we have to make the film and there is no other choice but to make the film.

  4. jeric says:

    Kat, where do you get the feeling that the pressure is coming from on the pre-viz? Are the persons involved just not able to visualize the final from the pre?

    (I was always amazed that many directors I worked with didn’t ‘see’ a little movie in their heads– they kinda just took what they got from both the cinematographer and the graphics people. Quite disillusioning.)

    I realize it’s ‘got’ to be done (for certain values of ‘got’: it ain’t a heart transplant), BUT: imo they seriously underbudgeted VFX, in _both_ time and personnel. 40hrs week is civilized, 60 hours a week is doable, 80 hours a week and people are just getting abused. Think of the debacle it would be if they were still trying to do it exclusively in Maya– it’d be a plane crashing into a trainwreck on the deck of the Titanic.

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