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July 19, 2005

hurry and wait

by sven at 11:59 pm

The movie-making work has a new rhythm: hurry and wait.

For the past two days I've been working on the opening exterior shots, creating the blizzard. Typically I'll work for maybe an hour at setting up a shot, and then I'll go away for 90 minutes while it renders.

Based on how long it takes to render single frames while I'm doing tests, I make an estimate about exactly how long it'll take to render out the whole sequence. Example: The shot I'm rendering out just now is a hair under 7 seconds, and moves at 15 frames per second. Thus, with 86 frames, each taking about 23 seconds to render, I've got 33 minutes to kill. It was 11:26pm when I started the sequence rendering, so I'll come back at midnight.

(Yes, I'm blogging from the other computer, "Confessor".)

Keeping a pocket calculator next to the workhorse has proved really handy. I've been multi-tasking like mad today, running back and forth between the studio and the house -- sometimes even putting an alarm clock in my pocket to tell me when to switch tasks. Can't complain too much, though. With my parents arriving for a visit on Thursday, "hurry and wait" is really helping me get the house in order.

...And this is only the beginning. I've spend enormous amounts of time thus far in the movie-making process creating the lavaman effect in AfterEffects, or constructing the Elder Things in Modeler. When I get down to the end of the movie, where I have to actually animate the creatures in Lightwave -- then I'll be dealing with this rhythm constantly.

One trick is to try to always set something rendering before going to bed, or before leaving the house, or when you take a break for lunch. Still, I can see that I'm going to have to learn how to do batch processing soon. That should allow me to spend more daytime setting up shots -- let the workhorse do boring stuff while I'm asleep.

posted by sven | July 19, 2005 11:59 PM | categories: let sleeping gods lie, movies