Although we may replace some of the
voices later on, I have now completed assembling the voices for the
pilot episode, and I have now started working on the full sound mix with
effects and sound. I have also spent a considerable amount of time
refactoring the Blender source files for the project — there is a lot
of scaling, matching, and linking work that needs to be done. I also
recently found a problem with my system that may explain some of my
frustrations with Kdenlive.
Refactoring Blender Source Files
We had a valuable learning experience working the “Teaser Trailer”
this last Summer, but in fact, we found a lot of things that need closer
attention. In particular, the linking of files was not entirely
consistent, and there are a number of scale errors between the different
files (not just inconsistent scale, but also just elements that haven’t
been matched to the plan). There’s also a lot of unnamed objects.
In addition, the Subversion repository is cluttered with unnecessarily
duplicated Blender files, owing to my misguided attempt to preserve
attribution information in filenames. In the future, we’ll be relying
more heavily on Subversion itself for information about who has
contributed, and the really definitive information will be kept in text
blocks in each Blender file.
This all obliges me to do a lot of tedious clerical work to straighten out the files.
This has been very educational, as I’ve learned a lot more about the practical aspects of
collaboration in Blender, the interaction of the files with a portable
Subversion repository, and the means of editing and fixing links and
data blocks (mainly textures).
I also took the time to document this in an article for Free Software Magazine
on re-factoring a multimedia project (I’ll post a link later when it gets published).
Now that I’ve figured out what my goal is with the refactoring, I
should be done in a few days. I plan to reassemble the shot files for
the Teaser when I’m done, and then we’ll (finally!) be able to animate.
Also, I decided to start doing daily modeling exercises in Blender to get myself more
up-to-speed with this stuff. I did my first daily project and uploaded it to BlendSwap
yesterday. So we’ll see how that goes. Not every exercise will produce a
sharable model, but a lot of them will. At least some of these will be
prop and set development for Lunatics. So that should be fun.
Sound and Animatic Editing Progress
I got the last remaining pieces of dialog for the pilot episode, and
these have been cut together into a voice track in Audacity. So we now
have complete “Original Language” and “English-Only” voices. I
have combined this with my earlier full-sound edit for the opening of
the pilot (from the beginning voice-over to the arrival in Baikonur).
There are a still several voices I’m doing myself in this track. I
may want to cut-in replacements later, but I’ve decided to cut this off
until I’ve finished the full sound edit for the episode.
These have to be made in combination with the animatics, especially
for the pilot where a lot of the story is told visually. We need to
match effects to the images and events.
So, I’ve also started editing the “story reel” animatic in Blender’s
VSE — after a very frustrating attempt to do it in Kdenlive.
However, I also recently discovered that I have not had OpenGL
running on my production computer! This really surprised me, because in
the past, that would have been completely unusable. There is a
substantial improvement after fixing it, though, as you would expect.
This definitely improves the performance of Blender and it may have a
substantial impact on Kdenlive (which I believe does use GL rendering).
So that was embarrassing, but a least it’s working now!