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production r&d

 

I remember attending a talk in 2011 by a Pixar mathematician whose role in Brave's production was to 'grow plants' for the film, but with algorithms. The talk explained how the artists in their house come from a wide spectrum of 'technical to artistic' backgrounds, and why the diversity in sense and talent is needed to make good films. In 2018, my Rooftop partners and I had the pleasure to visit Rhizomatiks in Tokyo. An engineer of theirs told us about the interesting dynamic between their researchers and designers in executing artistic projects with the newest tech. 

These are two of the more memorable occasions that led me to think, 'having space for r&d (research and development) would be cool'. My idea is that,

if tech can lessen the chores (which usually come in a great amount in any animation production) that artists need to deal with, then the artists could focus better on the artistic expression;

 

tech changes the way we make art and gives us new perspectives;

 

the communication between the two principles - tech and art, is naturally challenging. In a broader sense, if they can both orient towards serving people, that would be their common ground for communication. 

on-going projects 

1. collaborating with a locally developed ink painting software, Expresii, on an animated feature. As a painting app, it brilliantly combines the real-life 'ink on paper' experience with the digital work space - I personally find it a great medium to channel my artistic expression. Applying Expresii on a large-scale production, however, requires a considerable amount of problem-solving and development. Our pipeline constantly evolves to maximize the engagement of Expresii in the production, sometimes with less typical approaches.

2. to juggle between the ideal ink effect and mass production, we've come across the problem of having to manually process too many image sequences between multiple software. They are, at the same time, continually being updated by different departments. We are hence working with specialists to streamline the process - via automation and customized UI.

3. a more personal idea of mine is to automate the translation between storyboards and rough animatic, enabling a quicker preview and a more flexible creative process at the planning stage. 

Since these are all on-going and long-term projects that involve a certain level of confidentiality, I probably won't be publishing too many details in the near future. Though I do have this habit of speaking my mind aloud, so thanks for reading. (feb 2019)