In my last post about Demeter I was discussing shot priorities. Since then, Demeter has improved a lot (some are saying that soon, she will be having conversations with us). As we’ve been using and improving Demeter, I noticed that the shot priority wasn’t being set all of the time and therefore was doing nothing for us. When we’re busy with many shots across more than one project, we don’t have the time to meddle with the priority of each shot.
So the other day as I’m researching graph theory, I have a “eureka!” moment. Because shots have relationships to each other, i.e. shot one could be a part of shot two which is a part of the final piece, I could visualize the project of shots as a graph. But it doesn’t stop there, I can use this “shot network” to calculate many different things about these shots.
Using an algorithm similar to the ones used by Google, Facebook, and other websites that have mass amounts of information in a graph-like network, I can determine what the priority of a shot is. I’m basing this off of a lot of different factors, one of the more important factors being how many shots a certain shot can influence.
This means that at any given time, Demeter can tell us what the most important shot to be working on is. Because we can assign shots to different people, each person can know what they should be working on. This is even more powerful whenever you look at all of the projects at once and can easily tell which shot is the most important and why. This takes into account the projects due date as well.
Here’s an example of a few projects we’re working on visualized by Demeter. Each circle is a different shot. The big blue circles represent projects, and the lines between the circles are relationships. Shots that are green have been completed, and shots that are only small dots are shots that do not belong to me. The shots that belong to me are big and red in relation to their priority, so bigger, redder ones are higher priority.
The Shot Network
One major new concept I’m introducing with Demeter is the idea of priorities. At any given time, we have multiple projects for multiple clients broken down into many shots. Each project has a different deadline and complexity. On top of that, each shot may have a different deadline because it may be needed by another artist to complete their shot. With our current system, there is still a lot of manual work involved in figuring out which shot to work on, or where that shot’s destination may be.
With Demeter I plan to change that. Each project will have a “priority,” and each shot for that project will have a “priority.” The priority is a color-coded scale of 1 through 5, with 5 being ASAP and 1 meaning it’s on the back-burner. MORE…
You may have read Cameron’s post a few weeks back about our organizational software Demeter. He does a good job of touching lightly on the importance of project organization, and you can expect to read more on Demeter later this week. There is still a lot to say about the subject though, so I want to spend this post delving into the subject in a bit more detail.
The need on the post production side is pretty easy to boil down: things get complicated. At the risk of getting too technical – It’s common in my work for a single shot to have three or more separate After Effects Compositions (Adobe’s name for a self-contained sequence in After Effects) with 50 layers each. Since we average about 20 visual effects or animation shots per video, things get out of hand quickly. When you realize we are frequently working on multiple videos for multiple clients simultaneously, keeping it all together can be daunting to say the least. MORE…
I am Cameron Leger, and for my first post on The DVI Blog I wanted to tell you a little about what I’m working on. But first, you need to know who I am. Not really, but if you’re interested, here I am on our website.
There are always a lot of things happening at the dvi group at the same time. Some video productions are being filmed on a set while other projects are back at our studio in the post production stage, and each one has a different deadline. It sounds like the perfect opportunity for a mess to happen, and it is.
That’s why project organization is so critical. That’s why we have a system, similar to a spreadsheet, to keep everything under control. For anybody else, I believe that would be enough to make sense out of everything. But at the dvi group, we strongly believe in making it better. MORE…