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Author Topic: Managing Large Projects.  (Read 4720 times)

glorfon

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Managing Large Projects.
« on: February 22, 2009, 07:31:40 pm »

I'm embarking on a very large project.  The final video will only be about 4 minutes but it involves many many objects interacting on a continuous land scape.  In the file there will be 32 models most of which are fairly complex, an average of 4 morphs per model, 20-30 textures, and 5 figures.  The scene will involve 150 models most of which are moving and nine lights.  Does anyone know some tips on how to make the file and scene easier to manage with out reducing the complexity of the scene?
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floyd86

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Re: Managing Large Projects.
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2009, 08:01:57 pm »

That does sound like a big project. Have you finished any of this or is it a WIP? Because i would think this through once again. It's sounds like a realy big project for just one person. Creating,texturing and rigging all those characters alone could cost you a whole year. Let alone the render time it will take (4 min= 240 secs=  5760 frames, with an average of 2-3 min per frame render time (ofcourse depending on the resolution,AA etc) will make it atleast 200-250 hours of rendering).

If your willing to take on such a project you do indeed need to organise things good. When working with anim8or i always find it helpfull to keep everything in one file, so you don't have to import/export stuff. However when working with 32 models this could become a bit confusing, let alone the time it takes to load every time. Making different files of each model and importing those into one would be best i think.

$imon

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Re: Managing Large Projects.
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2009, 08:13:45 pm »

A good idea might be to hide things in the workspace (either scene or object mode) that you don't need explicitly, that way your computer should be able to handle any project. For the final render you can than unhide everything and make the render.
I know the time to load in the file in anim8or might be a bit longer, but by the sound of it you should be able to fit everything into one project. The thing that takes the longest to load is texture files, I dont know how big of textures you are going to use, but keeping them small and maybe reusing them might cut on the loading time.

Of course naming all objects according to their function so its easy to recognize is quite necessary.

Good luck!
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glorfon

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Re: Managing Large Projects.
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2009, 08:47:26 pm »

Thanks for the advice. 
floyd 86- We must have different standards of complexity.  Modeling texturing and rigging everything will not take me a year, not hardly.  I've modeled and textured 14 of the objects in the last week, though admittedly I've had work time at school.  How would Importing models from a different file make things easier? I don't have experience doing that so I don't understand what that would do.

$imon-My texture files range from 200x200 to 400x400 so they shouldn't be too problematic.  Hiding things probably would help,  many of the scenery elements don't really need to be visible while I'm anim8ing.  And yes I'm using very easy to understand names for everything.
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floyd86

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Re: Managing Large Projects.
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2009, 10:01:08 pm »

Thanks for the advice. 
floyd 86- We must have different standards of complexity.  Modeling texturing and rigging everything will not take me a year, not hardly.  I've modeled and textured 14 of the objects in the last week, though admittedly I've had work time at school.  How would Importing models from a different file make things easier? I don't have experience doing that so I don't understand what that would do.

$imon-My texture files range from 200x200 to 400x400 so they shouldn't be too problematic.  Hiding things probably would help,  many of the scenery elements don't really need to be visible while I'm anim8ing.  And yes I'm using very easy to understand names for everything.

14 characters in one week? nice! I would take me a week to make one ;). Ofcourse i don't know how complex they are but still a nice job.

Importing models from different files would be helpfull if there really complex. I sometimes make models containing several parts and then I combine them. Having a large amount of characters containting several parts each could be confusing. But again, it all depends on how complex you are making things.

Good luck and make sure you post some progress along the way!

glorfon

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Re: Managing Large Projects.
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2009, 10:08:42 pm »

Not 14 characters just 14 models.  Their mostly plants.  If I import models from another file won't I still just end up with one file full of all of my models?
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floyd86

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Re: Managing Large Projects.
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2009, 10:25:49 pm »

Not 14 characters just 14 models.  Their mostly plants.  If I import models from another file won't I still just end up with one file full of all of my models?

Still nice. Yes you will come up with one file with all models, i'm only saying i might be more ordened. But that's might be just my way of modeling.

johnar

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Re: Managing Large Projects.
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2009, 11:49:58 pm »

Just a thought here.
 I wonder what post editing software you are using, and does it have a 'chromokeying' function.
 If so, that can be very handy when working with large projects.
 Not so much to help keep things in order, but to give your PC less work.

 At the moment i'm working on something that is pretty large. My biggest problem is wheteher my computer can handle rendering some scenes, with multiple characters.
 One way i've found to lessen the load is by rendering the scene in more than 1 take, with a greenscreen background. (for chromokeying).

eg: 2 people walking through park, with other characters doing things all around them.
 1) render the 2 characters walking.
 2) render the other characters doing their thing.
 3)render background, and anything else that needs adding
 4) overlap the scenes in a video editing program, so that all is visible at the same time. (chromokeying).

 Its not right for all big scenes, but i find that when i can use this method, it makes some scenes possible, which otherwise my computer would really struggle with.
 Just a thought.  ;)
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mak

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Re: Managing Large Projects.
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2009, 01:12:32 am »

just out of curiosity what kind of hardware/software are you using?
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glorfon

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Re: Managing Large Projects.
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2009, 02:59:55 am »

I like the chroma keying idea.  I'm using final cut pro so I can totally do that.  I was already planing on using it to mimic a focus shift.

Mak-Hardware Sony Vaio laptop with external mouse.  3 gigs of ram.
Software-Vista, Anim8or, Gimp for textures then I'm transferring it videos to a mac at my school to edit the final video with final cut pro.
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hihosilver

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Re: Managing Large Projects.
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2009, 04:27:04 am »

Another technique to cut down on file size and load time is if you do different scenes as different files.  It helps the files become less cluttered with objects (unless you use all the objects in all the scenes).  You can always create a new file and load a previously created scene then choose which objects you want to import and which you don't (it should give you this option), you can then move from there and create a new scene.
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