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Outsourcing: Studio Process.  Who am I?  Executive Art Director  What do I do?  Oversee and maintain quality of art studio-wide  Manage production.

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Presentation on theme: "Outsourcing: Studio Process.  Who am I?  Executive Art Director  What do I do?  Oversee and maintain quality of art studio-wide  Manage production."— Presentation transcript:

1 Outsourcing: Studio Process

2  Who am I?  Executive Art Director  What do I do?  Oversee and maintain quality of art studio-wide  Manage production  Artist career management  R & D new technology  Relationship Management Pandemic Studios Outsourcing!! Pandemic History

3  Outsourcing art for 7 years.  Star Wars: The Clone wars  Vehicles & characters  Full Spectrum Warrior (1 & 2)  Buildings  Mercenaries 2, Saboteur & Lord of the Rings  Vehicles, buildings and characters  Animation  60-70% Pandemic Studios OP studios

4 Outsourcing Studios  Outsource Companies  AMC Studio (Romania)  37 employees  XPEC (Taiwan, China)  437 employees OP studios

5  Animation Outsourcing  House of Moves (Los Angeles)  8 animators  Technicolor (Los Angeles)  12+ animators Outsourcing Studios Process

6 Outsourcing: Production Failures

7  Lack of complete asset list  Unclear schedule commitment  Concept art delay  Slow concept sheet production  Idle OP  Slow revision requests  Inaccurate task estimations > Increase cost to OP  Asset complications  More complicated = more bugs= internal or revise  OP morale Where does our process fail? And Crappy Art! Production Phases

8 Production: Phases Package Creation Revision Approval

9  What’s in a package?  Content Creation Guide (CCG)  Setup and method  Instruction Sheet  Lists deliverables  Concept Sheet  Dimensions and details Creation: Package CCG

10  Content Creation Guide Creation: Package Instr. Sheet

11  Instruction Sheet Creation: Package Concept

12  Focus on accuracy.  Be as simple and clear as possible.  Sometimes the word “reference” is another word for “option.” Creation: Package  What’s in a concept? You want their art to reflect your decisions --not theirs

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17  Sample Concept Art (good) Sauron Creation: Package

18 Revisions

19 Production: Revision Review methods

20  Art Review Methods  Lead Asset Review  Depends on strong QA effort from OP  Prioritized asset Team review  Lead chooses top 5 assets to review  Rest of team reviews rest of assets Revision: Process Creation Phases

21  Creation Phases  Asset Approval Phases  Model  Texture  Final  Animation Approval Phases  Poses (blocking)  Rough  Final Revision: Process Asset revisions

22  Asset Revisions  Work at least 1 revision per phase into contract  Strive for single-day turnaround on revisions  Revisions should NOT be never-ending  Assume single revision phase (except for animation)  Unless they do revisions incorrectly!  Once approved- don’t disapprove it! Revision: Rules Animation revisions

23  Animation Revisions  3 revisions needed  Larger variables for completion than assets  Do animation in sets  Allows for greater consistency Revision: Rules Good enough

24  Production Team Trip to OP  Review management processes.  Asset creation problems.  “Good enough” policy Revision: Process

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31 Revision proc Vested Interest

32 Production: Communication Feedback

33  Feedback  Provide clear and consistent feedback  All revision requests should sound like they came from one person.  All language should be clear and uncomplicated.  Use consistent subject definitions for each request Communication: Feedback Timezones

34  Pros/Cons  Local Timezone  Decrease cost savings  Increase short-term iteration  Shorten delivery cycles  Non-local  Increase cost savings  Decrease short-term iteration  24hr scheduling Communication: Time zones Communication

35  Asset Tracking Methods  Asset Tracker!  Web Accessible  status notifications  Tracks artist revision requests  Includes photos and/or animations  Charts and tracking metrics Communication: Tracking Screenshots

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39 Troubleshooting

40  AP: (panicked and angry) “I just got an from Proklovich! What’s the He seems horribly mad and sounds like he’s going to stop production for us unless his ruthless demands are met!”  ME: “Calm down, wait until your conference call and then check with him again. It’s probably just an issue. Here, wipe your mouth with this tissue…” Troubleshooting! communication issues

41  Lead Artist: “I’ve asked them dozens of times to make their asset this way. Their incompetent! My monkey could do better!  ME: “You have a monkey?”  ME: “Let’s review your concept work to make sure you are clearly communicating what you need. Also, have you sent them sample assets for that type which clearly show how you want it made?” Troubleshooting! Concept Clarity

42  Lead Animator: (after looking at first revision) “This totally sucks! Clearly they can’t animate. I’ll have to accept this one and fix it myself.”  ME: “If you do that then you’ll always get that quality. You have to revise them to quality because that’s the only way to learn.” Troubleshooting! Good Enough Sum up

43  They are not an outsource partner  They are your team.  You know them  You trained them  They want your game to succeed  Uh…they also want free copies of the game when it ships. To Sum it all up Thank you

44 Thank you for your time!


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