“Predictive and Proactive Pipelines: Approaches to Monitoring and Optimizing CG Film Production” Moderated by

  • ©Aidan Sarsfield, Sean Palmer, Kaori Ogino, Munira Tayabji, Mark Hills, Renee Tam, Pavani Rao Boddapati, and Claudia Chung Sanii

Conference:


Entry Number: 01

Title:

    Predictive and Proactive Pipelines: Approaches to Monitoring and Optimizing CG Film Production

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Abstract:


    OVERVIEW 

    A primary goal of animation and visual effects studios is to create fully realized characters, worlds and experiences that immerse the audience in our storytelling. Delivering groundbreaking visuals in a tight production time-frame creates challenges that push the limits of hardware and software resources. 

    Critical to the success of this process are the groups that work to monitor, optimize, and strategize ways to deliver creative work at large-scale, often multi-site, facilities. This encompasses multiple areas of focus, including, but not limited to, monitoring current practices to identify inefficiencies and waste (e.g. broken data and bad renders), implementing more optimal processes (e.g. level-of-detail and multi-processing techniques) and creating production-facing tools to better inform artists and managers of the state of their work. Some types of systemic waste, such as storing unnecessary or redundant data, inefficient process, overly-complex deliverables, and lost render cycles due to broken data, create real-world problems, affecting not only the cost of production, but artist well-being and ultimately the sustainability of the filmmaking process.

    This panel will bring together industry experts from multiple visual effects and animation studios to share and debate ideas, anecdotes, and approaches to identifying both problems and opportunities around efficiency improvements in the filmmaking process. They come from varied backgrounds and roles, including rendering and software optimization, data and analytics, and pipeline and project supervision. In addition to tools and techniques, we will also explore the cultural and production challenges around fostering greater responsibility for efficient deliverables.

    While the high-level goals largely align, there are notable differences in each studio’s production model, including their department and pipeline design, single versus multi-site make-up, client and vendor structure, etc., which in-turn informs their approaches to team structures, tools and techniques employed, areas of focus in the pipeline, degrees of technical versus cultural emphasis, and more. This will foster an engaging dialogue on the merits of each approach and how our unique histories and needs have driven our current innovations and challenges. Comparing and contrasting each studio’s process during panelist and open audience discussion may reveal new insights and opportunities, providing value to the wider graphics community as a whole. 

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