“The problem with communication ... is the illusion that it has been accomplished.”

George Bernard Shaw.

This post is not being written to complain and to just point my criticism at me and my other teammates, but to try to reflect on what can be done different in rest of the project and later on in my future work in groups. This post can be misunderstood, but I will give it a try.

We are fresh in this game, not in the group working environment, but in a so big project that goes over a so long period of time. I hope that all of us in the group was aware of what that was expected from us, but I think that we have failed somewhere along the way.  Maybe we weren’t aware of how much work it would be.

When I think about what that is needed to communicate well within a group, I come up with 3 important words.

·         Discipline

·         Responsibility

·         Criticism

First of all, everybody in the group needs discipline to do what you are set to be done. But you should do it properly so it is easy for the next process in the production pipeline. A good example is that a model should be done in the best way for a texture artist to texture it good. An easy and a clean model. And a rig should be done so the animator can use it. This is just some of the many examples that can be mentioned.

But, to do things that way, you need to feel responsibility. Just not responsibility for yourself, but for the others in the group too. If you make it easier for everyone else in the group, it’s worth to make yourself sweat a bit more. Not everyone got that attitude. I know that that is an attitude that is appreciated by the 3d industry, so work hard to have that attitude. But people tend to take the easy way to save some time, but what you often don’t think about is that it will cost your group loads of time later on.

You should start with this question when you for an example start on a new model, rig, or light setup: How can this process be done in the best way to speed up and help the next process?

To make it easier for the other group members, you need to listen to them, and hear what they say. Be open for a good portion of criticism and critique. Take it with you into your work, and make changes after the comments you got. You will be a hero. People will recognize you, and this can be useful in the 3d industry.

But, it’s very important that you also tell people how you want things to be if you are doing the next process in the pipeline. The best is to sit down with your group, listen and speak up. Don’t be afraid of making a fool of yourself. Better said than unsaid.

With this stated, I feel that I can try explain where I feel that we have failed.

A style…

The biggest mistake is maybe a loss of a clear description of how thing should look. We got the heads up early one, but didn’t take it serious. Not that we didn’t bother, but we forgot it along the way and postponed it.

Our wrongs and mistakes start to shine through now that we have started texturing scene 2. I think we didn’t discuss the scene 2 enough, just because scene 1 one was done fast and good, and with a good result, a style we wanted. We thought it would be the same for the next scene. It wasn’t.

Do it properly and ask questions...

It’s hard for a modeler to make things right, when he isn’t sure on how things should be textured and lighted later on. But, things should be done in a proper way. As mentioned, people tend to try to get out it with what’s easiest for that process, not thinking on the others. Ask if you are unsure of something and use common sense.

I did the mistake of not asking enough before I started with the texture. Many questions should have been asked and the scene should be checked when it comes to camera angles and so. I take self-criticism for that, but others should do too. Group agreed that it was ready for texture, but it clearly wasn’t. Now things have been re-modeled, re-placed and I have asked a lot of question on how the textured should look. I have thrown out ideas, got feedback and I will take it from there.

Discuss… and don’t run away.

We need to discuss things within the group when we work, and of course persons will clash together sometimes. But you should never run away from a discussion just because you feel that your things are the right. They might be, but let people at least explain what they think are wrong.

I know that I can be a bit aggressive when it comes to discussions. I usually don’t back down, but when I see that the other person is right, I crawl to cross. What’s best for the group is often the best thing for me too. The thing that makes me most upset is when people don’t do their job just because they don’t bother to go through the trouble of doing some research, asking other group members or they just think it is too much work. I let them hear what I mean, but try to do it a good way. And people should let me know when I do something that isn’t high enough standard.

Get help and give help back.

People don’t always know how to do things. Don’t be afraid to get help. I feel that we should be better on getting help from those around us, starting with our group members, and classmates. But to do that, you also need to be willing to give help, take the time to explain and be positive while you do it.

These are things that I can point at now. Things that will be better. I feel that we discussed it a bit today and know people will try to communicate better. I know I will.

 Make no mistake and think this is a post where I attack certain people; this is a post where I have discussed and reflected on how I see it. People might see it different from the outside, and my group members might have other opinions. We are all guilty when things aren’t going our way. We are a team. If we learn to communicate better, we will achieve a result we can be proud of.

Next posts will be about the animatic, and then you will get some posts about the making of Herman the teddy bear. Much to looking forward too.

4/16/2010 10:21:58 pm

Very nice post, indeed. And youre quite right.


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