The art challenges the technology, and the technology inspires the art. -John Lasseter.

As an artist-driven studio this reverbs throughout our internal culture. We’re continuously changing the barriers of art and produce tailor-made solutions to help design innovative and standout memorable content. At Colorbleed Studios we’re not just consumers of the new technology and quality, yet we are the designers and innovators.

This allows us to not only follow the best in technology and advancement, but also be among it first in line. What started as small scripts for quick workflow efficiency increase quickly started to evolve into a solid and robust pipeline that’s ever changing for the better.

Research

Pyblish (Ottosson, et al. 2015)
Imagine a complex production getting validated along the way and all its assets automatically being shared in a consistent fashion throughout the team. This is Pyblish, it brings Test-driven development into artistic content creation. Since the beginning of Pyblish we were closely involved with its development because we truly believed that a consistent (and tested!) behavior of assets in production would allow artists to work more on the creative side of the project than struggle with technical hurdles later in the process. Prevent bad content from slipping through, anywhere in the pipeline.

Maya time-offsetted gpuCaches (Nieterau, 2014)
To process a large quantity of animated meshes in realtime one can use Maya’s gpuCache toolset. Yet it was unable to do so while maintaining control over the timing of the scene. With the research done here we are able to implement a time offsetting system that allowed us to shift the same caches in a scene with the same speed as regular gpuCaches. This allows us to manage and preview the time in complex and heavy scenes with many instances in a fast and artist-friendly manner.

The development has been shared open source on a fork of Maya’s devkit repository, here.

Pressure. Release. Animate. (Nieterau, 2011)
Roy Nieterau’s master’s thesis titled “Pressure. Release. Animate.” (2011) researches and introduces effective tools within a pipeline to help the efficiency and speed of animators allowing them to create higher quality animation in a shorter period of time. Starting from the concept of Creative Flow combined with an in-depth field research amongst top quality animators it describes guidelines for developing a workflow that aids in a more constant flow and designing good artist-friendly tools.

Read an archive of “Pressure. Release. Animate.”

Open Source Development

The animation industry is evolving at a quick steady rate. We think that the only way to stay at the frontline of these changes is by being closely involved with its community. Our technical department is heavily involved with new technology in our field and releases open source tools based on in-house research. Sharing this information allows us to develop the technologies together with the industry as opposed to trying to fight against the quickly changing field.

Many of the tools are currently shared on our Github (BigRoy) profile.

Workflow

Our main goal is to create Art. That’s why the technology is always changing to improve the quality of the end product, instead of just for the technical innovation. Our workflow is focused at adapting our in-house technology to every new project. From beginning to end we can pick up a new style and get our pipeline streamlined for it. Even though new visual styles are always on high demand combined with high costs we make sure the investment is worth it in the long run. This is because our pipeline will be streamlined for your brand.

Adaptive Animation Pipeline

In short there’s three steps:

  1. design,
  2. create,
  3. keep evolving with a maintainable solution.

For an artist the end product is never really finished and it’s the same with a brand. You need to keep evolving with the latest changes, and our workflow supports that in all aspects.

Software

For the tech-savvy or industry geeks here’s a list of the software we use in production at Colorbleed: