Yuri’s Night 2012

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” — Douglas Adams

yuris-night-2012

Tonight is “Yuri’s Night“, which was my original target date for
releasing the rewards on our Phase I Pre-Production Kickstart.
I already announced a one month slip, so it’s not exactly news that
we’re not making the original deadline, but I am still slightly annoyed
as I watch it “woosh by”. We’re still on for finishing in May, though,
so that much is good. It’s also good experience for planning our
production schedule.

Daniel is past three-quarters on the model sheets and should have no
problemĀ  delivering in May. The hold-up now is me: I’m still messing
with that lander design drawing. And there’s still
work on the colony floor plans. Also, I haven’t really touched the
storyboard animatic — I have an earlier version, but I’m going to be
revising it significantly, especially as Rosalyn is making some changes
to the script.

I will be creating a download site for backers and putting material
up on it as it gets finished (this will become public later on — but
early access to it was a perk for the Kickstart backers). Hopefully this
will some material for anyone feeling impatient with us missing the
deadline and give a little more confidence that we are in fact doing something.

I’ve tested out Kdenlive as a video editor. Although we’ll probably
put together individual sequences using Blender’s Visual Sequence
Editor, it now seems probable that the overall episodes will be
assembled in Kdenlive, and we’ll also use that for adding sound. I will
probably also be creating the story boards using it. Kdenlive has a more
polished interface and is a little more logical for longer works (with
scene and act structure) — the only downside is that it isn’t quite as
stable as Blender yet (I’ve never seen Blender crash, but Kdenlive still
does occasionally). On the other hand, Blender isn’t as flexible about
video formats, and I’ve seen the VSE collapse to a pathetic crawl
processing 1080p video clips, so there are performance issues, too.

I’ve had the dry version of the soundtrack (i.e. the music) for
sometime now, although I may have to make some substitutions if I can’t
get By-SA licensing on some of the “non-commercial” tracks that are
currently in my temp track. On this temporary track, the voices are
probably just going to be myself, Rosalyn, and maybe our children (it’s
part of the concept that the pilot doesn’t rely too heavily on dialog
anyway).

I recently did some prototype work, refining “Lib-Ray” — our concept for
a fixed distribution medium for high-definition video. It’s basically going to be
MKV/VP8 video on an SDHC card. It’s basically an HTML website on a disk
with a large video file. In the future, we hope to provide HTML-based menu
controls for audio tracks, subtitles, and all the other stuff you expect from DVD
or Blu-Ray releases. As a result, I’m going to be offering the option of
getting the pre-production data and animatic on a small Lib-Ray SDHC
card instead of on the credit card USB for those who signed up for that
on our Kickstart.

The production art-book and writer’s guide will also have one small
improvement: a few pages will be in color. I found a supplier that will
let you print a book with mixed black-and-white and color pages. This
allows for a few pages (like the model sheets) to be color, without
having to pay color-rates for the many black-and-white pages (such as
the script and writer’s guide). That should be much nicer than having to
do it all in black-and-white.

It’s also tax-filing time, of course, which is always loads of fun,
but gets especially challenging whenever you make major changes in your
business model, as we obviously did in 2011. I’m strongly looking
forward to having that over and done with. But first I have to do them.
Today, I hope.