Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Frame Runners

I've had a chance to interview a couple guys recently for the open position we have for a 3D Animator. We've been looking for someone to help us mainly in the cut-scene animations. During all the interview sessions, I was shocked with the same question from the animators, they asked me:"What level of quality are you looking for in the animations?" ... hmm... good question... what level am I looking for?? Well... lets put it this way ... I WANT your whole SOUL and BODY transformed into moving characters ... I WANT to see your BLOOD drained totally to create ANIMATIONS that BLOW any living thing into outer SPACE... I WANT YOU to do something so high in quality you will never ever be able to re-create in your whole LIFE... I want all the MAGIC and META Physics in the world to help you CREATE un-believably COOL animations ... I want those DAMN animations to LIVE eternally after you fade ... that's how I want them to be, yes that's the kind of quality we are looking for my dear.

Of course I didn't quite answer them this way, there aren't much talented skills around unfortunately so the words have to be chosen rather carefully, but thinking about the questions, I have come up with some guesses. The animation business around is quite ill unfortunately and the basic mechanism works this way, National TV needs some programs, the Government Agencies in charge with lots of money define projects for smaller companies, since good quality is usually the last focus in these layers and there has to be a measure for project pricing and contracts, the deals are made based on the minutes of produced animations so the smaller studios sign contracts to make x minutes of animations for the price of y per minute. Then its production time, as fast as possible, animators are hired and are paid based on the minutes, or frames, they can produce. The race begins, managers walk all day with their sticks and measure the frames animated at the end of the day by each animator and the grin on their face is proportionate to the size of the output files. The above question completely makes sense in this scenario and the usual answer is probably something to keep the prestige a little but deep down the money chasing manager knows he wants the highest production speed with the lowest quality which will be acceptable by the usually mis-positioned major clients which again will accept the final product based on what they see on their stop watches. Everybody seems to be happy, junk in, junk out, no value generated, ill formed industry, just watch TV to find out.

Now this is not the concept here at Fanafzar dear Frame Runners, we've been on a journey for more than two years now on a boat carried on the waves of love and dedication of every one of the guys, it will remain this way or we'll just let it sink ourselves so please save your questions for the time wasting, useless, cheating jobs with the Frame Runner Seeking managers.

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