Week 5

April 22, 2017

With only two days to spare this week, I made this development journal - a place for major milestones and weekly reports related to work with the pipeline.

I’ve gone ahead and added previous reports made to not leave anything out and invite you to read it through to really get a sense of why things look the way they are at the moment and in which direction we are headed.

Plan Ahead

Below you’ll find a snapshot of the plan as of this date.

Primary mission: Develop a pipeline covering major aspects of production at Mindbender in such a way that it may be modified and extended by the technical director.

Major Aspects

Workflows: Modeling, Rigging, Animation, Fx, Lookdev, Lighting, Rendering, Comp Software: Windows, Linux and MacOS, using Maya, 3ds Max, Nuke, Houdini and Photoshop.


Month Involvement Details
1-2 Full-time 1 week/month on-site in Sweden.
3-6 Part-time 1 consecutive week/month.
7+ Done Technical director is able to handle things from here.



Project Iteration Description Cost
VM 1.0 Identical workspaces for all 5 days
Launcher 1.0 Manage project, environment and software 5 days
Builder 1.0 Manage setup of shots and renders 5 days
Approval 1.0 Manage what gets built 2 days
Connector 1.0 Manage interactions between loaded assets 5 days
Creator 2.0 Manage creation of new assets 5 days
Publisher 2.0 Manage output 10 days
Loader 2.0 Manage input 5 days
Manager 2.0 Manage updates 5 days
Sync 2.0 Manage locations 5 days
    TOTAL 52 days


Project Description
VM Investigate the possibility to host all software, including pipeline, within a virtual machine and distributing this both internally and externally to all artists. It would enable (1) an identical environment for everyone, (2) simplified setup for remote artists and (3) simplified updates and maintenance of environment. At the cost of (x) performance. Also investigate Paperspace, a “computer in the cloud” and the work involved in (1) getting that up and running and (2) actually using it in production.
Launcher Replace mb.bat with graphical interface, including the creation of new projects and assets. (1) Login screen to capture user and notify on pipeline updates, (2) Project browser with thumbnails of assets, (3) Configure project and assets, e.g. start/end frame and fps, (4) Specific versions of software per-project, (5) Process management of launched applications and their life cycles, set and visualise environment at time of launch.
Builder Automatically construct scenes with latest or approved assets. This includes importing the right animation caches for a particular shot, assigning look development and setting up render layers.
Approval “Tag” assets with approved and enable building of latest approved shots.
Connector Visualise possible interactions and enable custom interactions to be built by the on-site developer. Related: #73
Creator Implement templates.
Publisher Setup QML and further validations.
Loader Implement Asset Database and “make available offline” for browsing assets globally and without local availability of files. Visually, enable selection of version and representation. Visualise more metadata, including icon and/or thumbnail of assets.
Manager Enable editing and connecting of containers. Support notifications of new published versions, including remote.
Sync Integrate with the “make available offline” feature of Loader to synchronise assets on-demand.