pipeline test


Just a pipeline test from my film. This scene isn’t even in the film anymore, but it’s great to see my character start to move! So excited for what this spring has in store.

paleclaw  asked:

Do you have any advice or tips for solo animators (students, hobbyists, freelancers, etc.)? Especially when it comes to workflow and how to get things done in a timely manner when you don't have a whole team to help you animate?

Hey there! Sorry I haven’t been able to get this sooner - I’ve been very occupied in my work lately.

I totally understand where you’re coming from though. Its hard to get a lot of work done in a timely manner by yourself when you’re pretty much your own boss. I suffer from this still, and from my experience - I do have thoughts to share. I’m going to talk about both freelance work, and doing personal work.
So here are my top advices on being professionally independent!

1. Set yourself a deadline, use special events as reference
Set a day on when you want/need to finish a certain project. A lot of my friends use events, conventions, and exhibitions as deadline placeholders for their own work. My former mentor and teacher uses things like CTNx to showcase a 2D project he’s been working on so that he can garner thoughts, reviews, and get people interested to help fund future projects. Trust me, when its set on a special day, there’s more reason to finish the work you set yourself to.

2. Organize yourself  workbook with a calender, a check list and notes
Now that I think about it, I would not have been able to complete my previous shorts without setting myself a calender. You can make yourself a physical book (or an online excel) with a calender, and a checklist of things needed to finish during that day/week/month. Start crossing out the days that go by, and see if you are able to manage your goals. If you don’t make the quota, then its probably time to start thinking of ways to limit the work put into the next shots. That leads to my next point.

3. Understand your limitations, prioritize important parts
In a lot of my animated work, there are shots that have high production value, and some that looked like it was clearly rushed. If your client gives you a sequence to animate, start thinking about shots that scream high quality, and then place the shots that don’t seem too important later on the list. For example, you might want to give yourself more time for a shot you feel will be highly difficult, and then less time for shots that can easily be done by you. If you’re still unsure about how to organize this, talk to your client and ask what parts of the animation do they want to have the best quality, so you can start thinking about prioritizing certain shots.

4. Do a pipeline test. Record notes and assess future problems and difficulties.

Depending on what your client asks for, you still need to do a pipeline test to see all the necessary steps you’ll be tackling in the future. Some clients will ask you to do from roughts to the final colors, or some will ask for rough animation only. The reason why pipeline tests exist is to see what future problems you’ll encounter. You should also record how long each step takes; how long it takes you to do certain footage of animation, so when you do plan your quota for the following days - you have a better idea in how to set it up.

5. Constantly check in with your client

If you’re lucky, you might get a client who is very hands on and is constantly checking up on you. This is good because its a good motivator to actually get work done! You’ll have more things work in progresses to show, and they can give feedback. It gives them a clear idea of the overall progress, so they have a better understanding on how long the work usually takes. You guys could also form some suggestions for future obstacles in the work.

6. Gather peers you trust and set up a frequent meet-up to show and share work

This mostly helps if you are doing your own personal work, but when its a project that is entirely under your control: its easy just to chill out and relax (I am highly guilty of this.) Some people can work on their own projects - and not show it to the world; whereas I constantly need to show work to my peers to keep me motivated. I’m the type of person who needs to get feedback and encouragement on continuing a project, so I’ve been showing people I really trust some things I’ve been doing on the side. This also helps keep you working on the project time to time.

7. If all still fails, hire yourself a production manager/personal producer/agent

The top advice I get when thinking about running a production is to hire a production assistant/personal producer/agent. A production assistant should be able to understand the overall process of the animation workflow, and should help you set up a schedule for it. They’ll also be able to organize meetings between your client and/or a team if you do decide to hire that extra work force - because hey; artists dealing with things like organizing conferences, time tables and budget handling is just too much. This can be highly time efficient for you, since you can just focus on the production side of things, while someone else handles the more “business” side of things.

Open Sourcing Screwdriver, Yahoo’s Continuous Delivery Build System for Dynamic Infrastructure

By James Collins, Sr. Director, Developer Platforms and Services, and St. John Johnson, Principal Engineer

Continuous Delivery enables software development teams to move faster and adapt to users’ needs quicker by reducing the inherent friction associated with releasing software changes. Yahoo’s engineering has modernized as it has embraced Continuous Delivery as a strategy for improving product quality and engineering agility. All our active products deliver from commit to production with full automation and this has greatly improved Yahoo’s ability to deliver products.  

Part of what enabled Yahoo to make Continuous Delivery at scale a reality was our improved build and release tooling. Now, we are open sourcing an adaptation of our code as Screwdriver.cd, a new streamlined build system designed to enable Continuous Delivery to production at scale for dynamic infrastructure.

Some of the key design features of Screwdriver have helped Yahoo achieve Continuous Delivery at scale. At a high level these are:

  • Making deployment pipelines easy
  • Optimizing for trunk development
  • Making rolling back easy

Easy deployment pipelines: Deployment pipelines that continuously test, integrate, and deploy code to production greatly reduce the risk of errors and reduce the time to get feedback to developers. The challenge for many groups had been that pipelines were cumbersome to setup and maintain. We designed a solution that made pipelines easy to configure and completely self-service for any developer. By managing the pipeline configuration in the code repository Screwdriver allows developers to configure pipelines in a manner familiar to them, and as a bonus, to easily code review pipeline changes too.

Trunk development: Internally, we encourage workflows where the trunk is always shippable. Our teams use a modified GitHub flow for their workflows. Pull Requests (PRs) are the entry point for running tests and ensuring code that entered the repository has been sufficiently tested. Insisting on formal PRs also improves the quality of our code reviews.

To ensure trunks are shippable, we enable functional testing of code in the PRs. Internally, this is a configuration baked into pipelines that dynamically allocates compute resources, deploys the code, and runs tests. These tests include web testing using tools like Selenium. These dynamically-allocated resources are also available for a period after the PR build, allowing engineers to interact with the system and review visual aspects of their changes.

Easy rollbacks: To allow for easy code rollbacks, we allow phases of the pipeline to be re-run at a previously-saved state. We leverage features in our PaaS to handle the deployment, but we store and pass metadata to enable us to re-run from a specific git SHA with the same deployment data. This allows us to roll back to a previous state in production. This design makes rolling back as easy as selecting a version from a dropdown menu and clicking “deploy.” Anyone with write access to the project can make this change. This helped us move teams to a DevOps model where developers were responsible for the production state.

The successful growth of Screwdriver over the past 5 years at Yahoo has today led to Screwdriver being synonymous with Continuous Delivery within the company. Screwdriver handles over 25,000+ builds per day and 12,000+ daily git commits as a single shared entrypoint for Yahoo. It supports multiple languages and handles both virtual machine and container-based builds and deployment.

External image

Screwdriver.cd’s architecture is comprised of four main components: a frontend for serving content to the user, a stateless API that orchestrates between user interactions and build operations, the execution engines (Docker Swarm, Kubernetes, etc.) that checkout source code and execute in containers, and the launcher that executes and monitors commands inside the container.

The diagram below shows this architecture overlaid with a typical developer flow.

External image

To give some context around our execution engines, internal Screwdriver started as an abstraction layer on top of Jenkins and used Docker to provide isolation, common build containers, etc. We used features provided by Jenkins plugins to leverage existing work around coverage and test reports. However, as Screwdriver usage continued to climb, it outgrew a single Jenkins cluster. So in order to grow to our needs, we added capabilities in Screwdriver that allowed us to scale horizontally while also adding capabilities to schedule pipelines across a number of Jenkins clusters. As we scaled Screwdriver, we used less from Jenkins and built more supporting services utilizing our cloud infrastructure. The open-source version is focused on Kubernetes and Docker Swarm as our primary supported execution engines.

In the coming months we will expand our offering to match many of the features we have internally, including:

  • Mechanism to store structured build data for later use (last deployed version, test coverage, etc.)
  • Built-in metric collecting
  • System-wide templates to enable getting started quickly
  • Log analysis to provide insights to developers

Please join us on the path to making Continuous Delivery easy. Visit http://screwdriver.cd to get started.

Here’s a still from a rigging test with Betty (no textures or cloth physics applied yet). Character models and animations pass through several softwares, such as Maximo, Maya, and iClone, before being integrated into the game engine. Right now, -L (our art director) is testing our pipeline to ensure that we can produce the quality look we’re shooting for within the small-studio budget we have to work with.

anonymous asked:

Re: your post on feminized fields being taken less seriously / being paid less. Maybe it's not simply having more females in fields like bio, education, nursing & anthro that make these fields seem less important than other fields. Articles (google "average-iq-of-students-by-college-major-and-gender-ratio") suggest how certain fields do require more intelligence, which explains why those fields are esteemed more & paid better (supply and demand).

I find it pretty suspicious that fields that supposedly require more intelligence and therefore yield higher pay are also those fields that are less represented by women.

I think what you mean is that some fields require more education and perseverance.  Young girls have been discouraged or outright barred from science and math classes, which damages their self esteem and thus their ability to persevere.  (Google “leaky pipeline”.)  Furthermore, standardized tests are ridiculously flawed in that they are culture-bound and favor white, middle-class-and-up males.

I’m also going to try really hard and ignore the implication that as a biological anthropologist I am less intelligent than, say, an engineer, and that I therefore deserve less pay, even though I am pursuing advanced degrees.  Especially if you look at my low-range ACT and GRE scores (but ignore my high GPAs).  I don’t know my IQ though.