Friday, 8 July 2011

The Green Pipeline, continued...

So my last entry was concerning what can be done to make the animation pipeline more ecologically friendly, and then I kind of went through the processes that are common to all (2d,3d stop motion stuff with linear scripts; well you know what I mean) animation. Ok so there are some types which would not stick to this, flick book, sand animation to name a couple, but most of it (the sucsessful stuff) is pretty regimented, and calls for planning.
Then I looked at the processes for stopframe scenery and flagged the use of materials that can not be re-used. as a solution to this I suggested back-lit/projected sets with some kind of adjustable frame. Thats all cool, so what about the 3d stuff like fully made in a package like Maya? There have been several advances in cloud storage recently; and with the advent of usb3 and fibre optics plus the compression tools available there is a real case for that. Also; instead of just keeping the data in one place all the time the data 'chases the moon' ie it goes where it is coolest (not like a trendy bar, eejit!!) to save energy on the cooling.
There are also people out there who offer number crunching services;ie render farms, they actually his I know would have several people I know freeking (Pete) but it is out there and I am sure the machines they have are a lot more energy efficient than the machines most of us have access to. And unlike us when the render is finished no just sitting there for the rest of the night; its on with the next job.
Other less obvious ways of helping the environment could be to limit the ammount of sub-divisions to the things that are closest to the camera, and graduate them away from the camera. This will save render time as we know and also energy when rendering. Also the simple things like turning monitors off when rendering and studio lights. enough from me, im sure you can think of loads more processes that can be altered to benefit the environment.
Its little things we can do like this that can make our industry greener and our planet a more pleasant place to live.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Taking the green foundation back into the animation process

As a responsible animator I have to now take my experiences down at Eden and look at how I can make the animation pipeline greener. Using 'Digital Animation' for this namely the animation skills I have gathered over the last 36 months and also applying it to a business model that I am putting in placeis the trick. So what can be done? lets look at a process from start to finish.
ok the Script writer could be working digitally, so thats ok; as long as he/she is using a power efficient machine and remembers to switch the light off.. :)
Then sending the script about, again if it is kept in digital format then there is not a lot of problem in transporting it about and getting it approved for the next stage, visualisation.
To make some kind of 'mood board' or character design a lot of 2-d artists will insist on a pencil and paper. Ok; but make sure it is from a sustainable source and try to use every page!
One good friend of mine (Kat) done some visualisation work on the last project I done and she was all digital; the way she paints light in this manner is second to none; and this also saves paper.
Storage facilities- think about cloud storage for all docs at this stage with maybe personal back-ups on pen drive and another communal prject back-up on a large harddrive in the studio. This may be duplicated once a week;
but just think of all the energy used for processing...
Now i am going to go a little out of my comfort zone and look at set creation.This is traditionally done with whatever you can get your hands on, as scale is at about 10% so a cotton real looks like a bucket and so forth. This is one of the areas that I believe I could help with. Using nylon like material and wire I believe back projecting onto this could make some fairly convincing backdrops; it may have some issues when it comes to removing armatures (maybe even positive ones-discuss) but this would make the scenery re-usable. obviously if you were making a series a 'hard set' would be preferable, but even when making this think of where it is going to end up and where its sourced.
So we got as far as the very tactile world of stop motion, and came up with a product there. The next thig would be to get some way of producing a working model.
I will leave it at that for now.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Eden Green Foundation.

Looking into running a sustainable business in the 21st century can only lead you to look at one thing. Your carbon production.In respect of this I have enrolled on a course at the Eden Project to structure the way my business operates; and start with a carbon reduced pipeline. I already try and source things locally and at the moment i am doing without a printer, so it is only the paper that comes through the letterbox that I have to take care of.
The first day consisted of introductions, coffee, an introduction to the bigger picture of sustainability; the setting of some ground rules and a great talk from a guy called Paul and the course leader Tom. A lot was crammed into the day.
There was, however time for some networking and hopefully some of these contacts will turn into business relationships and friendships. The people on the course are generally people who are aware of the climate change problem and are going the extra mile to sort it out. I respect you for that, and see you tomorrow.

What do you want to see and hear more about?