Week 3

January 23, 2017

In week 3, we tied everything up nicely and identified next steps.

Things we accomplished.

  • An extensible directory structure, with much consistency and little repetition.
  • A user interface on-top of directory structure; an artist need never access Windows Explorer manually, but can instead rely on simplified tools for exporting and loading assets.
  • An application launcher and auto-creation of directory structure; Arvid can manage hierarchy without interfering with artist workflow.
  • A workflow for remote artist, with a one-time < 30 minutes of installation.- We’ve figured out where to go with synchronisation of files and how to set it up. I expect workflow to change and for things to be figured out still, but a foundation is there.
  • A foundation for validation; models, rigs, animation and lookdev is currently validated, with room for more, such as renders, environments, hair, texture etc.
  • website with guides for both newcoming artists interested in learning about everyday pipeline and workflow and for developers extending upon the pipeline.
  • Per project/shot/asset settings - FPS, render/playblast resolution, with potential for start/end frame and more via .batfiles.
  • Version controlled pipeline development using git, any change to the pipeline can now be rolled back to. Say if an update breaks something.
  • Public profile for Mindbender on GitHub
  • Issue tracking, artists and developer can submit “issues” (either problems or feature requests) with a description and reproducible a problem where it is then stored and optionally assigned for someone to fix or implement it.
  • Automatic testing of new functionality. Whenever the pipeline source code changes, a series of tests (similar to Pyblish validations) run on it to ensure nothing that previously worked broke.
  • A development environment, via mb-dev.batmb.bat represents a “stable” pipeline, whereas the development environment is where Arvid can implement things quickly (skipping GitHub and automated tests) and where artists can take part in beta-testing of new features, at the cost of bugs.
  • A battery of basic Maya tools for modeling, rigging and animation - Clone, Auto-Connect, Set Defaults and Combine.

Things to come

  • Rendering, we’ll want to validate submissions of renders to Deadline.
  • Texturing, images coming from Photoshop and Mudbox need validation too and automatic export too.
  • Environments/Set Dressing, the assembly of many smaller assets into one larger asset.
  • Layout, pre-defining character and camera start position, to simplify life for the animator.


There’s quite a few new things for you to manage all at once. I’d be happy to handhold you through the initial phase, as in provide fixes, implement new features and provide workflow suggestions. I’ll get in touch with you Calle about details.

Good luck, and speak soon!