The drawing sessions set the tone for the subsequent method of engagement of the group. We had a fortunate, almost instantaneous, enculturation to a good working ethos. I think that the way a group works is very sensitive to how it is started up. The ideas that initiated the groups purpose seem to carry through the whole process.
When the storyboard was made and agreed upon it was possible to define specific tasks, and work out what skills we had to do them and which skills were missing. This process was informed by Chai and Bernard’s research into established CG animation technique.
The story board dictated that we had 13 scenes, 5 sets, 4 characters and a variety of props.
I analysed each scene to find out what we had to make for it i.e. architecture, characters, colour maps, texture, lighting, cameras, etc. Then I worked out the best order in which to undertake the work.
The visualising and modelling tasks were the first priorities and were shared out amongst those of us that could do them best or who volunteered. From a managerial point of view I tried to find out what skills we had at our disposal. This was difficult because most of the group have never undertaken a similar project in the past so there was little ground on which to estimate their capacities. However we quickly identified the biggest skill deficits.
The way we dealt with skill deficits, was to discover what we knew, (In some cases almost nothing) If we had knowledge within the group we would allocate the task or teach each other. Alternatively we would research the possible solutions. We found good sources in books, articles and online tutorials. We made extensive use of Digital Tutors and back issues of 3D world trade magazine. With the new knowledge attempt the task. This was very effective, but time consuming.
We further researched the standard workflows of several animation companies and I reduced the findings to a simplified workflow suitable for our small but ambitious project. I also set out some standards for the group to conform to. i.e. file types, document sizes, measurement units etc. This was done in order to make a consistent process of interchange of digital files between different computers and software types.