This project was the first time we were able to touch upon the real work that we will be facing once we go onto the work floor after graduation.
I initially declined the idea of working in a group, seeing how the first year group assignment went, I did not want to give it another go. However, working in groups is something that is very common in the industry and sometimes you have to face things that aren’t as professional and you will have to figure out how to handle these things. Due to that, I decided to attempt to do this assignment as a group.
Though, this evaluation will be only about myself and my function within the group from my point of view with some of the feedback that I’ve received from other group members and comments from the lecturers.
Functioning in the group:
I think that because we exchanged numbers and added each other on social media to remain in contact, we were more free to go about our daily business than if we had not done this. It made it much easier to immediately exchange ideas or updates on the project or small bumps in the road whenever they arrived.
As much as this was an upside, it was also a down side. At times it was difficult to truly understand what the other was trying to say and we have had days up to a week where there was no communication at all.
The deadlines that were given to one another in the group and the assignments of tasks to individuals in the group made it a lot easier for us all to know what was expected of us in the group and in this project. We tried to assign tasks evenly and accordingly so that we would do the things that we actually knew to do best.
The downside of this was that we really functioned as a group. If one person did not do their work and met the deadline, the one who’s next to meet their deadline would have to work twice as hard. In our case, we had to scrap a whole lot of work and go into 2D because of this.
Client and communication:
When we first met the client during his pitch, we had the opportunity to ask him what it is exactly that he was looking for in an animation. He had a clear vision of what type of message he wanted us to translate for him into visuals and which points were most important to him and the company.
I think we kept our eye on the ball in the beginning of it all, but later when the group started to crumble apart, we lost the vision of the client.
He was very open and approachable, offering to email us updated logos and colour schemes for the animation and again he was very clear with the path he wanted us to take in regards of the message.
I, personally would have wanted to be able to give him an update at least once a week. Gaining the feedback that was needed to keep our eye on the price but also to show the client that we are here and listening. Communication is key and in my opinion we lost a lot of our communication towards the client after the second presentation.
I feel that we started off really well. The first week of the project I managed to deliver the rough concept of the characters and the models. Added to this, a story which was later on merged with another story to come to the final draft.
Unlike other times, I was in a good mindset, delivering the work far before the deadline had to be met and I was very positive on reaching a finished product a week before the course’s deadline was to hit.
I kept in the back of my mind all the things that I usually struggle with, and with the schedule that was made and the deadlines plus the story being what it is and having to stick to it, it all made it much easier for me to work. The positive feedback from my group members regarding the quick delivery of the models and my course leader’s comment regarding this as well, kept me motivated and let me know that I was on the right track with this.
Whenever an issue arrived, we as a group handled it. Even when the group was no longer working as one but more as individuals, we contacted each other by phone to go over what had happened and what was the best thing to do at that point in time.
I did contact my course leader and explained the situation, also keeping him up to date on what has been going on and together we came to the conclusion that the work that was created by myself and all the tasks that were given to me, were enough to submit by the end of the project’s time.
All in all, it was another learning curve. Even with the models not being used, I do not regret choosing to work in a group instead of alone. I was able to put my ideas regarding my workflow to the test and it was successful. I’m satisfied with the work in Zbrush and Maya, the models turned out how I wanted them to be, and they were able to be animated as well.
I am, however, not pleased that we weren’t able to deliver the project to the client as was pitched, presented and promised. Even if I have done all the work that was assigned to me.