Catching a few lobsters...
/ Ian Hartman Post-Mortem
May 30, 2017

In the entire scope of our project process…. there were a lot of ups and some downs… but I survived so far.

  • I learned Houdini… and pretty much only used Houdini for the entirety of this project.
    • Built a multitude of effects, like fire, dust, engines.
    • Didn’t really know much about Houdini before the Fall term… I had dabbled but it was still super intimidating.
  • I got a chance to develop a pipeline for the project… and it had mixed results.
    • It nearly held up but there were serious bottlenecks that weren’t considered in the early stages that ended up in inefficiencies at the end. Luckily we were at a good point and it was easy to absorb the extra work.
    • Scripted a bunch of things that helped the rest of my team keep track of their scenes… Sometimes it got used. That feels like its on me for not supporting the development further into Fall when I was more focused on effects RnD.
  • Working on a team with 5 other people gave me a good perspective on how I work on a team.
  • I’m glad we pushed to get rendered so early, having that early benchmark of how long it would take us to render helped us plan going forward. Even though the render times went up pretty substantially over the course of the project.

Things that went wrong? Somehow, not too much.

  • There were times where I feel like there could have been faster previs, trying more options.
  • We settled into a similar shot list pretty early in the project, which could have been a boon but some days I feel like its a problem as we may have limited ourselves too soon.
  • There were times were the pipeline collapsed on itself… I had to fix it.

Approaching future projects…

I would structure the pipeline to have projects for each shot, it would make managing the pipeline a lot easier as there are more localized chunks for each shot instead of elements being scattered. I thought our setup was alright when we started… at scale it sucks.

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