VFX and Post in the business of modern filmmaking

I make a point to know the latest in global politics, news, so on but I have ignored a growing issue in an industry I have been apart of, and hope to be an even bigger part of as a studio owner in Philadelphia, Film Production. Visual Effects and Post Production have gone through monumental changes from the eras of George Méliès to Willis O’Brien and Ray Harryhausen to LucasArts to now. The most monumental change has been it’s transformation from wizardry to an industry, a business, with thousands of workers depending on it. I don’t know much about this situation, but I do want to point out those who do.


First from boots on the ground: http://vfxsoldier.wordpress.com


Second from the business side: http://blogs.wsj.com/bankruptcy/2013/02/21/rhythm-hues-looks-to-finish-seventh-son


Last from the Hollywood news perspective: http://www.deadline.com/2013/02/vfx-oscar-protest-workers-pound-the-pavement-to-plead-their-case/


I haven’t done much research at all here. I saw the posts of a friend Peter Gagnon and followed up with a bit of reading. From here I hope to see a real conversation and post more when that happens.


Edit: Also my favorite gadget blog: http://www.theverge.com/2013/2/24/4025970/oscars-protesters-draw-attention-to-vfx-studio-closings

Blender 2.5 Network Rendering: Part 02 Windows

Windows is a solid platform for animation as all of the major 3D platforms support it; however, making it remote render friendly require it to have command line support. Being able to do remote command line for a machine is essential to keep render maintenance to a minimum. First I will go over the SSH (Secure SHell) setup for Windows then get into the a few changes to add better network and Blender support.

Continue reading “Blender 2.5 Network Rendering: Part 02 Windows”

Blender 2.5 Network Rendering: Part 01 Systems

This post is an outline for setting up an offsite render network mainly for Blender Rendering but also for After Effects and possibly Premiere. I had started a series on this before but ran into a number of problems, which have now been sorted out. The network has been in use for a few weeks now and consists of all of the major platforms; Linux (Ubuntu,) Windows (XP/7,) and OS X.

The main objective with this setup is to have a remote render farm where work is offloaded from the main workstation and left to work without constant management; however, variations based on individual needs this setup should be easy to do. I will be covering everything from the OS setup for easy remote management to Blender install and setup to terminal commands. I won’t be covering hardware setup, OS installation or general use for each program; there are any number of guides these so no sense going over them again, I’ll be sticking to what you need to manage renders in Blender.

Continue reading “Blender 2.5 Network Rendering: Part 01 Systems”

Blender Network Rendering: Quick Update

I’ve noticed in the past few weeks the site getting more traffic and most of it to the Blender Network Rendering post, there will be an update on this soon. I wanted to point out that the tutorial series isn’t dead but it did end up going though major revisions when put into practice; the changes are mainly due to LuxRender being a bit too heavy for animation use and my workflow switching to Blender 2.5.

Animatic Builder v1.40

Animatic Builder v1.40 - Auth: Whitney Krape The new version of Animatic Builder is up. This update includes a whole offline system taking advantage of HTML 5’s manifest and localStorage for offline use anywhere. To complement the new offline functionality is a redesigned UI which now scales to mobile platforms as well, specifically the iPhone. The are a number of speed improvements allowing well over 200 frames in a sequence without impacting playback performance. (The SQL updating and the uploading for the demo are disabled.)

Animatic Builder Development Continues

Animatic Builder Development Continues - Auth: Whitney Krape

The Redesigned Animatic Builder timeline. - Auth: Whitney KrapeThe Redesigned Animatic Builder timeline.

During the past few weeks I have been diligently updating Animatic Builder with new features and a completely new interface. Overall the main idea of the App hasn’t changed; building and maintaining a sequence over a range of any internet connected devices. What in the release makes that goal easier? Quite a bit.

From the start the whole App has been rebuilt with an AJAX, or asynchronous, connection so the user can modify the sequence without the delay of reloading page each time a change needs to be saved. Every on page change is made once a user focuses away from a changeable element. As well, each change effects the sequence immediately so a duration takes effect right as it is made.

The playback system has changed drastically as well. The most obvious alteration is the introduction of a self-centering elastic layout which keeps the current frame in the center of a browser window and when the browser is re-sized the whole layout expands around it to any size. Continue reading “Animatic Builder Development Continues”