Squint/Opera 3D Pipeline

  • Project Type: 3D Pipeline
  • Role: 3D Pipeline Developer
  • Company: Squint/Opera
  • Year: 2007-2015

Squint/Opera started in 2002 as an architectural film company focusing primarily on film with some 2D graphic animation. It wasn’t until 2005 that Squint began producing 3D animations in-house.

When I joined in 2007 the 3D team was still quite small (only 2-3 people) and everyone worked in their own way. I worked with the team to develop an efficient 3D pipeline, optimised for the production of architectural visualisation animations. I started by defining Squint Standards for 3D files, render settings, modelling processes and folder structures. I then began to customise the 3DS Max interface adding many scripts from ScriptSpot and then starting to build my own. Within a year we had a basic but efficient 3D pipeline and were able to produce larger, more complex 3D animations in far less time.

The new standards also allowed 3D staff to switch jobs and exchange files without having to re-learn a new structure each time. Over the following years the pipeline continued to improve incrementally by adding more scripts, tweaking render settings. The 3D Team would meet on a monthly basis to discuss ways to improve the pipeline. This would later be the inspiration to launch Squint Teams to allow many teams across the company to work in a similar way to improve their processes.

The change I developed that had the most impact on pipeline speed was the new render submission process. By splitting animated and non-animated objects into their own render pass we were able to reduce our render settings and massively decrease render times. This was only possible after finding an efficient way to light and then re-combine the two passes to make them look seamless. Once established, automating this process with maxscript became the first feature I built for the new Render Bomb.

In 2014-2015 I worked with the Technical Director to adapt and improve the multi-pass process for use on Messy Goes To Okido

Custom Scripts:

  • Render Bomb (render submission)
  • Mesh Fixer (fixing imported models)
  • Material Cleaner (cleaning non-standard materials)
  • Pointcache People (building animation libraries)
  • Update Squint Standards (auto-updating scripts, plugins and UI)

Related Projects:

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