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Iron Sky – Day 125

It’s Sunday here again in Tampere, Finland where myself, Luke and Tuomas are at the Energia VFX production offices continuing on with shots for Iron Sky. This next week or two is all about render, render and more rendering. We need to deliver a whole stack of shots by the end of two weeks from this past Friday in order to stay on schedule. Thankfully all of the work and time that we have done and spent fixing everything that we now have our hands on that originally came to us in a bit of a … state of usability is paying off big time, for both easy set up and use in a shot as well as the results for render quality, a bit jump in reduced render speed (meaning things render faster and look better) and how it all comes together in comp. Our Zeppelins of Death now look “heavy” and large (these things are freakin’ big man! really big!) and they render much faster than before. Several shots are going into render today and our farm is waiting to chew through things, but alas – one of the things slowing us down as artists is the render controller used by production. That render controller is RenderPal, and I have to say for the record once again after having used it on two shows now (CARGO being the other one a couple of years back) – that it’s largely a piece of junk. While some other people may like it, here its been  very problematic to the point of me wanting to delete it from all the machines and replace it with off the shelf LWSN rendering or with Smedge or SquidNet. Ralph Alvarez of SquidNet Software has been very receptive to input on adapting SquidNet to become more LightWave production work flow friendly and I am keeping Squidnet handy if push comes to shove on these shots and RenderPal falls flat on its face. Special attention is being paid right now to render times after we had a set of shots go through that took several hours for each frame and it was very long. It looks amazing but the speeds have to be addressed on all shots coming through from here on in. We are supposed to get another 10 nodes from Jimms Computers here in Finland next week and that will help for sure. Question is though, where do we plug them in and into what? We are a bit limited when it comes to power and networking at the moment so I’m sure that will be a bit of a challenge. Maybe the Maya guys can help us out by donating some of their power outlets or something? On other subjects, I have managed to pick up another cold. Joy. It doesn’t seem to be as bad as the one I had in the summer time, at least I hope it won’t become like that. IF it does we are in big trouble. 🙁

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6 Comments to Iron Sky – Day 125

  1. jeric says:

    Sooooo, …… no testimonial deal for you from the RenderPal people? >;^)

    Just to be the voice of the hoi polloi out here (where summer has also ended): what is the nature of the problems Energia is having with RenderPal? What should LW users be looking for in a render controller?

    re: animation: how did you guys enhance the illusion of weight for the death-blimps?

    aside: I also admired how the animators for “FarScape” got a feeling of HUGEness in the 2-hour finale for the ‘wormhole weapons’ — the effects looked REALLY massive and impressive. Best ‘weight’ I ever saw animated until, seriously, the Pegasus slugged it out with the two base ships. Of course, orders of magnitude difference.

    ::tugs forelock::

    • kat says:

      No, certainly not from me. I think RenderPal is a piece of garbage. It’s now decided to start reporting jobs as being done, but the frames are actually missing from the job. Yeah…

  2. RenderPal says:

    It’s a pity that I find this so late. Did you ever report those problems to us?

  3. kat says:

    It’s just not suited for use in a production environment where time is absolutely critical. It takes too many hoops to jump through to submit a job, check a job in progress and it chokes hard when there are dozens if not hundreds of jobs in the cue. Yes, we complained a lot about it to Samuli and he was to relay those problems to you, but if he didn’t thats not my department. We just got stuck with dealing with it. It’s a bitch to configure, and it looses its configurations easily. It also doesn’t do easy access to LWSN packet dumps without more hoops to jump through and the frames checking function is seriously ass-backwards.

  4. RenderPal says:

    Well we have many big studios using it for productions, so it can’t be that.

    One thing that might be lacking is the integration of Lightwave as we are no Lightwave users at all and do not have a lot of Lightwave customers that might help with that.

  5. Kat says:

    Well your comments are bogus really because it nose dived even on the nuke and mental ray renders as well. The problem is your service and server structured system. Also it really doesn’t take much for you to download the trial edition of LightWave and work in LW integration. LWSN doesn’t require special licensing and even the trial edition will let you network render unlimited to 999 nodes.
    Renderpal failed on the show. It’s almost as bad as BFNR.

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