Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Another busy week at Eric Miller Animation Studios. If you have been following our other social media accounts you might have noticed our new title logo for Bink. It was designed by the very talented Rachel Wan who also did the original concept art for Bink(both images below). I was very excited to get to work with Rachel, and once again very happy with her beautiful work.
We are getting very close to completing the first episode, and we finally got the fur on Bink to work properly. The thing with CG animation is while part of it is artistic there is also a very large part of it which is very technical. At larger studios they often have specialized people to setup the pipeline, and make sure everything works technically, but at smaller studios artists often required to be masters of both. I was very fortunate to have artists who are both extremely artistically talented, but also have a decent understanding of the technical side.
The software we use often does not work the way it is expected, and this forces us to trouble shoot the issues which is what slowed down the process. The bigger studios also build tools to make sure all the different programs work well together, but we are using the software pretty much right off the shelf.
In this 30 second episode of Bink there are only 5 shots, but since we are aiming for such a high render quality it will take awhile to render each one of these shots. To add to this we have glass, fur, and reflections which always increases render times. Depending on how things go it might take us until the end of April to wrap everything up.
We are also in full production on Project-MMM. We hit a bit of a hurdle at the end of last week when the animator working on the project informed me he could not continue. This made my Friday a bit hectic as I scrambled to replace him. I decided it be best to bring on a few animators and split up the shots to move through everything quicker.
The process of bringing on a new artist is not without its own challenges, and added work for me. It involves emails, and phone calls with potential artists trying to find the right people who are also interested and available. Then once you have someone interested I have to prepare a Non-discloser agreement before I can share any details with them. Once I get the signed NDA then I can send them over more details about the project. If it is something they are still interested in helping out on I then prepare a contract for them, and send it over to them.
Once they sign the contract then it starts the process of getting them setup on the show. First I need to get them access to our file system, then adding them to our asset management software(shotgun), then sending them guides on how our file structure is setup, where to find all the files, and were to save them. Also I need to get them up to speed on the animation style, and all the characters’ personalities.
Multiply this by the number of artists I’m bringing on, and considering some of them get through half the process and decide not to take the position you might imagine it can be very time consuming. It often takes a few days for each artist depending on how quickly the artist gets back to me after each step along the way. It is times like this I wish I had a Human Resource Manager to handle this process, so I can focus on other parts of running the business.
Speaking of, I need to get back to work, but I will leave you with some Irish inspiration.
“May the road rise to meet you, May the wind be always at your back, May the sun shine warm upon your face, The rains fall soft upon your fields and, Until we meet again”
~ An Irish Blessing
“As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction!”
~ Irish Blessing
” You’ve got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was.”
~ Irish Proverb
If you have not already, please join me on my journey by subscribing to my blog. Also, if you have any thoughts or advice I would love to hear what you have to say, so please feel free to leave me any comments below. Otherwise, be sure to stay connected with me on Twitter (@MillerAnimation). Only Time Will Tell.