Thursday, February 15, 2007

Tough Call (slight return)

What an emotional roller-coaster of a week. When you last left, our hero (that would me; stop sniggering at the back) and his cohorts were presented with a dilemma. The clients liked what we'd done, but when we saw it as it would appear on film we didn't. What to do? In order to explain I'm going to have to get a little technical. I am a 3D artist. What I do is create images against a black background of whatever the effect is using all the tricks I have at my disposal, in this instance a fully computer generated giant. This is then given to a compositor, who is a 2D artist who takes my images and blends them into the photographed real footage to create a finished shot that you see in the cinema.

The 2D process can tweak our elements quite a bit, adding some blur here, tweaking a colour there, that sort of thing. What we discovered is that substantial changes had been made to our elements that didn't look so good on the clients' screen. So we've fixed that and then got some better feedback from the clients such that they were willing to put it in front of the film's director and producers to get their feedback. They are the ultimate arbiters of what's hot and what's not and they can ask for literally any change that takes their fancy. It's rather daunting. So the revised shots were put in front of the powers that be. They reacted very positively and the only changes they requested (read "demanded") were things we'd wanted to do anyway, which was the best thing we could have asked for. It does mean yet more work, but it will be worth it and will really improve the finished look. As I write this I'm watching renders of some of these improvements appearing on my monitor as I make some of the changes. It's already looking better and by the end of Saturday hopefully we'll have effected everything that needs to be done and we can resubmit the work for final sign-off. I'm sure there'll be more tweaks but we're in a much better position now than we were on Tuesday evening. Phew.

I'm sure at some point I'll actually be able to write about something non-work related but it is all consuming at the moment. Sorry folks.

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