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Workflow management??

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Earle NicholWorkflow management??
by on Apr 10, 2008 at 1:24:29 am

Hey gang, I've run into a problem that I would love some feedback on. Lately I've run across some freelance animators who have gotten into the habit of rendering their projects out, but not checking to make sure there are no mistakes. And of course they are off onto a next project or sick or whatever the case may be. What kind of agreements do you guys make with this type of person? I want them to render out a low res QT first to check, but they say it takes to long & they will charge me for that time.(which I'm okay with)
I just need the stuf done right the first...or second...or not!! Any suggestions on how to corral these guys would be great.


Communication, Communication, Communication!!!

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Rick DolishnyRe: Workflow management??
by on Apr 10, 2008 at 1:35:57 am

You are hiring lazy animators.

Bullshit it takes long to render previews. They can render out wireframes if they're still using their dad's Amiga, or little sorenson quicktimes with a watermark while they're playing World of Warcraft.

I am not a lazy animator, BTW.

Rick Dolishny
Discrete Editors COW Leader

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Rick DolishnyRe: Workflow management??
by on Apr 10, 2008 at 1:45:33 am

Earle, apologies to you for suggesting you are doing something wrong. And of course to the COW for the manure-language.

You have struck a nerve. I'm sorry to see you taken advantage of by these bozos that render work at full rez without getting a sign-off, and expect you to pay to re-render, plus suffer waiting when a small proxy quicktime would have sufficed.

Maybe your line of communication isn't as clear as you think with your contractors.

I'm amazed that any animator or designer would take it upon themselves to render a full-rez animation without a low-rez sign off. Did they try to get to you or get through to the wrong person in the chain?

Rick Dolishny
Discrete Editors COW Leader

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Emre TufekciRe: Workflow management??
by on Apr 10, 2008 at 2:54:37 am

Hi Earle,

Regarding low rez proxies, to render out a 640X320 of a 2K animation in a nested comp takes the same amount of time as pixel count is the same so the billing would not change BUT... to have mistakes is unacceptable. If I render out and there is a problem with animation I fix it ASAP with apologies to the client.

Normally I would recommend writing out a contract with errors and omissions clause but the easiest way is for you to change the people you work with. You should consider seeking animators who are used to working on remote projects and can deliver to client anywhere in the world, fast and accurately.

I can definitely recommend a few people like that, just send me an email from my website.

Good Luck

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"Creative cow is udder madness."

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grinner hesterRe: Workflow management??
by on Apr 10, 2008 at 1:14:00 pm

Aid in the suite should only be an aid, not a bummer.
When I hire a freelance animator it's because I do not have time to do the animation. It is understood when they walk in the room with their work, I will put it in and if it is not perfect, they will be re-rendering.
Revisions are not free... fixes to make it like version 1 should have been are and if it happens more than once a gig, it'd be hard to justify the expense.
People who want repeated gigs will make it easy for you.

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Mark SuszkoRe: Workflow management??
by on Apr 10, 2008 at 4:04:42 pm

In the animator's defense, if they are not sure who is looking at the low-rez preview, they may choose to only ever give out high-rez renders because they got burned one time by a clueless client or sub-client of the client, that can't conceptualize or understand the idea of low-rez pre-vis.

They look at a low-rez version and get all crazy thinking that that is how the final is going to look, and cancel the job or hire another animator that's "better quality". Or they just can't make the mental stretch to "fill-in" what's not there and they insist on seeing full-rez all the time. So the animator sighs heavily, grabs a fresh Red Bull, and cranks one out, knowing he's likely still going to have to make more changes.

I used to see this same problem with customers that didn't grasp that an animatic was not the finished spot. Then there were a couple real-life cases where a client liked the animatic so much, they insisted on airing that instead of finishing the actual spot.

So, maybe make this clear to your animators, that they don't have to cover or make assumptions about who's seeing the low rez versions, that's your responsibility. And maybe they'll conform better to what you're asking for, instead of trying to preserve what they feel is their reputation. Its when people don't communicate directly and openly, and start making assumptions without hard facts, that you get misunderstandings.

Then again, maybe the animators ARE goofy. The craft does seem to attract a certain type:-P

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