Lib-Ray Editions of the Animatic

As mentioned in my last update, Lunatics is on a hiatus while I work on
Lib-Ray goals. In the process, though, I’m finishing up the last Kickstarter
rewards for Lunatics as well, which are the three copies of the animatic in
prototype Lib-Ray format. They’re basically done, but there’s a couple of
minor problems I’m sorting out with the menus and the packaging. After
some analysis, I’ve also got some (hopefully much more realistic) predictions about
Lib-Ray and Lunatics schedules for 2013.


Lunatics Status and Future Planning

We’ve completed all of the pre-production work that was funded from
our first Kickstarter, back in December 2011. Since we finished in late
December and delivered rewards in January, that makes us about nine
months later than we originally predicted. On the other hand, what we
delivered was a lot more complete than originally planned (we had
expected to have only a temporary soundtrack with Rosalyn and Terry
doing all of the voices, but instead we’ve been able to deliver the
full-cast audio). We raised $2410 for Lunatics in that Kickstarter, and
in 2012 we actually spent $5700 on Lunatics expenses, all told — so our
personal contribution to this was about $3300, which covered equipment
expenses, some advertising and promotional expenses, and the seven $200
commissions for 3D-modeling work.

There were considerable problems going into the production
fund-raiser in the Summer — essentially we just weren’t ready, and
there was no way to make that up, though we tried valiantly. Looking
back on it, I would say the big mistake was advertising the campaign
launch date in advance, and thus being forced to launch before we were
ready. A delay of just a week or two might have made a big improvement
then, although it’s unclear if it would’ve been enough, because we still
have a lot to prove about our capabilities, and we didn’t have enough
available. So I think it was perceived as too high risk.

That’s why I have not yet announced a launch date for the campaign we
plan to run this Spring. Instead, I’m basing my plans on completing a
checklist of requirements. And of course, I won’t even be working on
those until I finish the requirements for Lib-Ray. So, basically, this is
what’s driving the schedule: Lib-Ray

Milestone Requirements (and Status):

  • Working software player (50-70%?)
  • Informal Description of Lib-Ray Standard (“Introduction to Lib-Ray”, with enough detail to make one — 95% done)
  • Master “Sita Sings the Blues” (70%?)
  • Master “Blender Open Movies Collection” (10%?)
  • Describe mastering process in detail (80% done — this is just
    updating and extending the series I wrote for Free Software Magazine in

Overall, I’d say I need at least  two weeks for this still,
possibly as much as four weeks (and if it takes more, it just does).

Then there’s the following needed before I think we can launch a new campaign for Lunatics
(in more-or-less the order they need to be done):

  • Demonstration of Digital Puppetry Technique (0% done — this is probably the most critical risk and needs to be resolved)
  • Teaser Trailer (40% done? We have the models, but they need some rework and re-integration, then animation)
  • Blocking Model of Colony (20% done — I have a plan for this set and
    a couple of module models started. Not hard, but time-consuming)
  • Finished CG model space shots of LTS, Earth, and Moon (60% done — you’ve seen these in the animatic, but they need detailing)
  • Audio voice recording and mixing for second episode “Earth” (50%
    done – still have to mix. Of course, we already have this for the pilot,
    as well as the animatic).
  • Detailed cost-breakdown and projections of production schedule and
    expenses (more bean-counting and more accurate/conservative schedules! I
    have some ideas in my head, but I need to write them down and do the
  • Re-connect with the team, and recruit new members as needed (some will have gone onto other projects).
  • Produce a campaign video using all of this material and higher production values (no more last-minute campaign videos!)

That, I figure is at least a couple of months of work, which I’ll
have to do on my own. Also, there is real-life happening at the same
time. Realistically, this might take until May or June at the present
rate. As I tackle these things, I may start posting to see if I can get
some help from the community — particularly on some of the finer points
of using Blender.

So that’s where we stand.

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Terry Hancock is the director and producer of "Lunatics!" and the founder for "Lunatics Project" and the associated "Film Freedom" Project. Misskey (Professional/Director Account) Mastodon (Personal Account)