Back on Track!

Over the past year I had the opportunity to work on Star Wars, 10 Cloverfield Lane and more recently Star Trek Beyond (not titles this time).  Whew! Now that I am focusing on Video Copilot Full-Time (YAY!!) I’ve noticed something different.

It started with Saber. (Our free Energy Beam plug-in)
It was my first thing after getting out from underneath the visual effects tsunami of working on features. It started as a simple plug-in that would kick things off again. But while working on the promo video with my release date set, something seemed off.

The plug-in wasn’t good enough!

It was OK but not up to the Video Copilot standards. After-all, it’s been so long since I had done something new, I wanted it to be REALLY COOL! But it needed more work.

Not really an ideal way to approach a hard deadline.

As I worked on the promo video to show off what the plug-in could do,  I would say to myself: “We need better noise options”, “We need control over masking and glow order?”, “What if you could use Text Layers too!?”, “I need to create a specific look and we need to add distortion!”, “We need a preset manager!”

I love making software, so even though we were running out of time, we needed these features! This was the ultimate stress test because we were adding and testing features under a lot of pressure and I must admit, it can be helpful.

In the end our plug-in was 2 weeks late. Every missed day was excruciating. Knowing how much work needed to get done and hoping it will be worth it.

After-all some of the BEST FEATURES were added in, days before we released it.  And while I’m personally very proud of our Saber plug-in, I knew we needed to do better, but I didn’t fully understand what I was up against.

Afterwards, I figured out what had changed.

When you work on a movie, there are supervisors  and Directors and everything you do is projected on a big screen! The bar is set high! Every pixel is analyzed and scrutinized. You learn quickly, that EVERY DETAIL MATTERS!

Once you develop an eye for certain details, it is very hard to settle or to ignore them. So somehow the better you get at something, the longer it takes. What?!

Now I’ve got to do a better job at accounting for the extra work needed to reach these high standards and even hire some additional compositors to help with projects so I can keep the ideas rolling out and back to reliable release schedules. I have too many crazy ideas!

So yeah… in regards to the upcoming Video Copilot show… it may have got a little too ambitious… But with some better planning in the future, I know we can get back to our A-game!

I’m very excited about the show, we worked really hard on it and we are putting the finishing touches on it this weekend! Until then!

NOTE:
Just for contrast: Element 3D V2 doesn’t have a promo video and Saber has a promo with 35 fx shots. And it’s a free plug-in. I’d say it might actually be a curse!

 

POSTED:
1 year ago
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