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Showing posts from April, 2010

5th Kind

Sergo sent me a very supportive email (thanks!) and informed about 5th Kind asset and production manager.
Although the web itself is not specially appealing, once you have a look at the list of studios and feature films using it, this doesn´t seem very important.

(from their web) "5th Kind has been managing assets for the highest budgeted, most complicated workflows in the entertainment industry for nearly a decade (...) With its superior search, distribution, security and control interface, 5th Kind’s solution increases productivity while reducing labor and overhead costs as it seamlessly integrates with commonly used industry hardware and software found in legacy systems. It is 5th Kind’s goal to provide a secure platform that allows for centralization, viewing, saving, tracking, communicating and development of any content.

It doesn not seem to have a demo or trial version, and the snapshots are not too informative, so maybe this interview in Examiner might shed some ad…

Shotrunner: organize, collaborate, manage and track media projects

Shotrunner is (from thir web) "an online application for Visual Effects and Animation projects. ShotRunner helps you organize, collaborate, manage and track media projects. Its main purpose is to let distributed project teams stay coordinated and productive. It is really several tools in one: A status board for sequences, shots, elements, assets and tasks.A discussion forumFile sharingTask managerShared/editable web pagesIt borrows many ideas from sites such as Basecamp and Backpack but with features and organization specifically for VFX and animation.
You can have a look at an independent overview of Shotrunner by Mark Christiansen on the ProVideoCoalition website.

Linux Render Farm´s Renderfarmer

This seems like one of those softwares that could really help you out of a rendertime bottleneck, if you don´t have resources for a commercial render farm.

RenderFarmer allows "anyone with basic computer skills to quickly install a powerful render farm (...) Simply install it on one dedicated computer, and it will bring up to 8 (*) render nodes up from bare metal via network boot. It never touches the hard drives in the render nodes, so it's simple to use spare computers and laptops for a big job and then just reboot them when you're done. They'll reboot into their previous state with no trace of the render farm software.(...) Supported render engines include Maya, Blender, BMRT (RenderMan), and many more! The "custom" job type can be used to support any render engine that has a command line rendering option that can run on Linux"

(*) 8 nodes in Lite version, 35 in Studio version. See pricing.


Some time (years!) ago I wrote about GDI|Explorer ("organization, communication and workflow tools for (...) creative individuals, workgroups collaborating on-site or via the internet as well as large studios operating worldwide.")

Now I see that they also have a freeware auxiliary software called GDI|Queue for distributed rendering, offering a graphical interface to Condor (High Throughput Computing, University of Wisconsin).

Currently GDI|Queue integrates with Maya, XSI and 3dsmax.

However, I don´t know if this software is useful at all without actually having the (commercial) GDI|Explorer.

Blog on Animation Pipeline

Miguel Angel just sent me this link, it is a recent blog with a bunch of juicy articles, about "good practices in project management procedures and technology" from an experienced point of view.
Worth having a look.

Thanks MA

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