How to speed up your workflow

There´s a saying: Don ´t rush a genious! Well, it´s the same for artists. We like our freedom, and we love see our art take form at our pace. But when working with a deadline around the corner, things suddently change. Yeah, things need to be done on time!

The way I approach such projects, is simply to cut corners. That´s something I´ve learned when working with movies and editing. How can things be made more simple? Do you need 10 camera angles or can you be creative with just one? Same goes for lighting. Radiosity is wonderful (bouncing lighting calculations), but will add to your render time. Fake it! That´s the best word I can come of. Fake it, and make it appear as it would be real. Substitute radiosity with a few spot lights or area lights that render 10 times faster. Use 2D elements instead of pure 3D when the viewer can´t notice.

When you´re re-rendering similar elements several times, render them once and replace them with a pre-rendered version that will ignore any lighting. Bake the lighting if possible.

It´s amazing how much you can get away with, by simply faking your way to a faster workflow. If it looks real, then who cares how it was done? Get creative, work with layers and make things as simple as possible.


3 Responses to “How to speed up your workflow”

  1. ROBERT P. DAVENPORT II April 24, 2010 at 7:56 pm #

    Words to the wise….implementing just a couple of these steps cuts time dramatically for my projects…. thank you very much!

  2. esha April 26, 2010 at 11:19 am #

    You’re right… in rendered projects you can fake things, only in modeling and texturing you can’t 😉

    But I find that the days when I’m on a tight deadline are my most creative days. Then I have lots of ideas for new projects, so I take notes and realize them when I have more time.

    And I think if you want to do something professionally you can’t wait until you’re in the right mood for something. Sketches, concepts, yes, they need the right creative mood to turn out well. But when the highly creative work is done, everything else is just a matter of sitting down and getting it done. I’m always surprised how well it goes even when I wasn’t in the right creative mood when I started 😉

  3. Waldemar Belwon April 26, 2010 at 7:38 pm #

    You nailed it Esha – DOING the art sets one in the mood… I´ve read a superb book on this subject – the “War of Art”. It mentions this interesting scenario – that you can´t wait for getting in the mood. The mood will come to you once you start doing that SOMETHING… Ain´t that cool! 🙂

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