Finish your animated projects faster – use a Pipeline

Got Pipeline

At Artella we aim to be THE virtual studio platform for independent animated projects. In order to help creators finish more projects we want to take a moment to talk about why using a pipeline is absolutely critical to finishing your projects faster.

 

“I’ll use a pipeline when we get further along…”

We’ve heard creators tell us time-and-again that they want to have their project “at a certain point” before they bring it into a pipeline. Typically that can be anywhere from having their story reel, through to having their assets finished or even up through previs. But waiting that long to move to a pipeline is a GIANT momentum killer for your project.

Building an asset such as a character, set or prop is just a handful of files. But soon you’ll have multiple assets and this can quickly amass to hundreds and, eventually, thousands of files. Sure, Google Drive and Dropbox are a great place to store files, but as soon as these files need to be related to each other, i.e. bringing them all together via shots or via a game engine, is where chaos ensues and many projects simply fail to finish because it gets overwhelming fast and they lose their motivation over time to take, at that point what has become, a massive step back.

Start using a pipeline from the project’s inception, because the truth is that the relationship of the files actually starts from the first asset you create and waiting to move files later means that you’re going to have to redo a lot of work to get each asset working properly again; i.e. getting the textures/shaders to show up properly one-by-one.

Getting you and your team on a proper production pipeline will ensure that everyone understands the pipeline, it’s importance in the process of your production and your dedication to getting through the finish line and beyond. It’s always hard to turn the ship and tell people, “we’re now going to do things this new way…” because people get stuck in old habits and this is the root of the momentum killer. This is why we encourage all projects to start by using a pipeline and enforcing the workflows just like you would do in a professional studio. Which brings us to our next point…

 

All studios use a pipeline

It’s no mystery that when you work at a studio everyone learns the pipeline and workflow and that’s how they get their projects through the finish line smoothly. Production is, after all, organized chaos and a pipeline helps ensure that frustration is kept to a minimum.

Why then would indie creators think they don’t need a pipeline, or that they can simply use Google Drive or Dropbox with their team to store their stuff? Isn’t a pipeline just a bunch of files stored somewhere? Yes, and no.

A pipeline is the design of files and their relationship to each other so that each piece can flow from one stage to the next. Following a structure that is not just a dropping ground for folders and files, but a well designed workflow that ensures files move from one stage of production to the next smoothly is what a good pipeline does.

When everyone is on the same pipeline and expected to follow the same workflow from day 1, productions go faster, there’s a sense of clarity and your crew can help each other more easily.

We hope you avoid the false sense of freedom that using a service like Google Drive or Dropbox gives you when working on complex creative projects and, if you’re working with a distributed team, to take the time to learn a virtual studio pipeline such as Artella to move your production smoothly through the process so that you can complete your project and start thinking about your next!

 

Slow down to go fast

Learning how to properly structure your data for production sounds like a boring, daunting task, but we assure you that we’ve worked hard to make the process fun, visual and with artists in mind. If you are working on an animated project, or are thinking about working on one, we invite you to give Artella a try.

 

If you’d like some assistance, we’d be happy to help. Send an email to info@artella.com and we’ll be happy to set up a 15 minute video conference to walk you through our platform, answer your questions and get you up and running quickly.

 

Whether you’re an independent creator or a small to mid-sized studio looking to go more remote, we’re here to help you out.

 

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About Bobby Beck

Creative crusader, CEO, animato, director & producer.

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