{Pre-}Production status update, 20121206

I’m fine with talking obliquely about spoilers with regards to TV.2 – it’s a transitional chapter, full of a lot of fairly important details but relatively light on surprises. The real fun happens in TV.3 and TV.4 and I intend to remain tight-lipped about the back half of the book.

Last night I created layouts and script revisions for the core of TV.2. A little bit ago I scanned in those parts of the workbook and after I finish this I’ll get a few pages scripted and guttered. I intend to start production renders for pages ten through fifteen on Friday or Saturday. If the calculations based on initial test renders are accurate those six pages will take the rest of the month to render. Most of the pages are five or six panels, one is currently fourteen – less if I can figure out a way to cut it down while conveying the same information. A production-grade test render of an area roughly 1/3 of a page in size took six hours earlier this week – while not all panels are going to take that long to render, my (very) rough estimate is two big panels a day, tops. During which I’ll need non-PC things to do. Right now that’s a good-sized list, very little of it ATC-related.

Pages six through seventeen now have layouts or revised layouts and script or revised script. Pages seven through fifteen have environments and I plan to start rendering with page ten within the next couple of days. The first Daedalus scene is just about ready to render – after yesterday’s crash course in Character Studio I flirted with the idea of upgrading the reference dummies before starting production but after some thought I ultimately decided against it – with a little bit of effort I can slam these pages into production now, and that’s kind of the point. I’d sooner save biped revisions for later; possibly the second Daedalus scene or in TV.3. Hell, I’m moving forward with the first Daedalus scene precisely because the requirements are relatively minimal. Upgrading the biped now would be counter-productive – while my test rig showed obvious benefits to upgrading, the idea behind rolling ahead on renders now is minimal setup work, grinding through a CPU-hogging scene while I’m focused on other things. Which I need to be focused on, which biped upgrades would take focus from.

So. The first major chunk of the chapter will be produced with existing methods, despite their inefficiencies – CG production time needs to be focused on asset creation for the time being. Objects that’ll be CG in finished pages regardless – vehicles and environments.

13 pages featuring the Daedalus (inside and out), three pages using other existing environments. Eight pages from scratch or with minimal existing assets, six of those at the front of the chapter. “Go!” layouts and script for 12 pages, “Start!” script and layouts for five pages, “Start!” script and no layouts yet for the seven pages at the end.

Still on track for pages in January; apparently still on track for the pages to flow regularly once the first five are in order. TV.2 is shaping up to be an exercise in long-term planning. It’s been on the shelf for almost five years – how couldn’t it be?