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Old August 3rd 15, 15:31   #2
Triple F
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 235
Re: Crusade questions

By the time you got to Crusade the FX were being produced by Netter Digital. There was some beautiful stuff made for Crusade but there was a lot of truly terribly put together shots as well – full of silly mistakes and inconsistencies. Basically the balance (and talent) that had existed in the first three season of B5 had been lost. Televsion producers rather than FX guys were running that side of things in the last two seasons and Crusade, and wanted the maximum bang for buck, putting the (now) less experienced FX guys under a lot of pressure. The company also didn’t benefit from the basic quality control present at Foundation Imaging either.

Extracts from the interview with one of the animators.

I'll paraphrase what John Copeland said once, when there were some complaints about the increasing shot load. "It's a challenge we face to be proud of every single shot we do for television, and still deliver on- time. We have to try and be perfectionists, yes, but at the end of the day, we still have a show to deliver." (insert grumbles from animators). Pat and Shant were in control of the CG work, as much as possible in production. That being said, there was tension between them and the upper management at times. It's the classic "suits vs. the artists" syndrome. It's art, but it's commerce…….

We should have had a continuity person such as Tim Earls checking shots for ship scaling issues; some animators were occasionally sloppy with the scaling and - like Copeland said - way too much license was given and (much to our chagrin), when we had a newer B5 animator come in, they would make basic mistakes. I did myself early on.

These would usually be discovered and yelled out at the studio: "Someone saved over the Starfury!" Sometimes animators saved things locally if they 'tweaked' something, because we were all linked to the same pool of assets. (Lightwave did not save objects within the scene file). But (the mostly 'green') animators would save over existing 'final' versions of the ships. Adjust a scale then 'save' over the proper one, overwrite with custom textures or simply just scale ships at will for their own scene file, without being careful.
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