Wednesday, January 18, 2012



There's something really special about snow on the ocean. I wonder if it's my Newfoundland heritage that makes me like it so much. Coldness mixed with wild rough ocean spray - waves crashing on icy rocks - a monochrome world of black, white, grey, and dull blue. 

Both my computers are rendering tonight. That means they're working hard to process animation data into finished-looking frames. Some of these renders are taking 4-6 minutes per frame. This animation is at thirty frames per second, which means it's taking my fairly new and powerful desktop computer 2-3 hours to process one second of animation. Think about that.

And that's not the whole frame - that's just one layer of a frame. I have 4-5 different layers that I'll digitally lay on top of each other ("composite") to create the final frame. Some layers are faster - even so, it probably works out to about 4-6 hours of rendering for a second of animation for this project.

So much of computer animation is time management. It's so easy to waste time if I'm not careful. I have to do all kinds of shorter tests before I start a long render like that, to make sure the final product is going to look right. Otherwise I've wasted days of computer processing time for nothing. This is the case at studios with render farms, but the necessity of maximized processor time is even more apparent when all you've got is a laptop and a desktop. 

These poor ol' computers sure do work hard for me. I'm glad they're not live animals, or powered by cats or tuna or something, or I would be abusing them for sure.


Tuna-powered computers would be really big.


I'm hungry.

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