When reflecting about the things I have learnt, and things I will do differently in future projects during Studio Two, the list feels never ending.
The largest factor however, and the umbrella over a lot of the elements of my project that I have taken valuable lessons from is my project management strategy, from beginning to end. I feel that from time management, to creating a reasonable scope, having a plan for the intricacies of each step of the pipeline can reduce the likeliness of long troubleshooting sessions and having a lack of time for important parts of the production pipeline in the later portions in the project.
The pre-production phase has now changed in my mind as I understand more of the realities of what this phase should entail. One thing is tests, tests and more tests. After Studio One and now Studio Two this is still a component to my project management which must change to become more efficient and allow more time to complete and polish my end product. Essentially I now feel that pre-production should be used to steam roll over the unknown factors that will arise during production phase. One should take notes for procedure that should be followed later in the pipeline so major decisions do not cause un-predictable scenarios.
On reflection my time management on one level has been decent, I would reflect that the way in which I had made my plans allowed efficient workflow in the earlier stages but did not allow enough safety nets for inevitable issues.
Specifically testing of a hard surface character rig system would have helped move my progress towards animation, as when I had implemented my rig and skinning I had to spend time undoing and re-doing several times, as I was not aware of a few pieces of knowledge such as where in an interface to delete stacked constraints and how the hierarchy system causes objects and controllers to interact with each other.
In terms of the deliverables of my Studio Two Project, the produced content has not reached my original aims for scope. The 3D component of my project has a chunk animated but time has not allowed for any polish and essentially only produced to the equivalent of a draft. The 2D component I have treated as an experience which I have learnt from, and I have received a lot of feedback in terms of the principles of animation. The small amount of 2D that I have managed to produce has also been an opportunity to experiment with animation style and play around with the animation style I had originally intended to use in my project. An example of this is the 3 frame static “shake” look which I wanted to implement. I had at least had an chance to try this out with my 2D component.
Something which has been a highlight in the later phase of my project has been the discovery of lighting techniques, and specifically 3-point lighting. Using editing software to enhance the 1950’s theme of my animation has also worked well.
Overall, there are many things that I recognise could be changed in my strategies and planning to greatly improve future projects. A tactic which I plan to implement is implementing specific plans for testing during the pre-production phase. This would be implemented through project management tools such as using a Gantt chart.
A positive that I will carry with me from this experience during Studio 2 are the upgrades to my skills in asset production, and the animation principles I now i understand to a deeper level, despite not having the opportunity to implement these new levels of understandings and skills within this Studio.