Historically speaking ... (READ THIS THREAD)


OK, so I went digging through the forum and ended up re-reading the first post where the idea behind a CGSociety short film was first introduced by paperclip. I’d like to … at this time … remind everyone of some of the points made in that first thread.

Now, I found these quotes (and some others) to be of interest because they showed enthusiasm, sound judgment and experienced guidance regarding the evolution of this short film project. It’s easy to look at the earliest threads of this forum and find an amazing level of excitement amongst the CGSociety members.

There is a spirit of community there that is refreshing and inspirational. People were genuinely enthused about the project and many quickly volunteered their skills and time to seeing a community project completed. It was this community spirit that made me quickly volunteer my ideas and time as well.

Now, just for the record, I have been Forum Leader for CGTalk’s collab section nearly as long as it has existed and I am also no stranger to the pitfalls of dealing with internet team management. My first project, AlienZ, stared and ended in the same manner that 95% of all collab projects do. I’m now watching the interest in this project die off and I’m wondering if this is going to be another collab statistic.

Call me an idealist (or a self-destructive) … but I jumped into this project with both feet running, knowing that statistically speaking the completion of this (or any other collab project) has less than a 5% chance of seeing any success.

Really dismal and depressing stuff there … :sad:

However, I am an idealist (as already stated), remain optimistic about this project and have faith in the CGSociety community to achieve it’s goals. I genuinely believe that this project is capable of being completed due to it’s inherent simplicity and the CGS member’s willingness to succeed.

Am I wrong? Is the project doomed because it falls into a category of detrimental statistics? Or are there some people (like me) left here who believe it can be done?

Someone recently PM’d me this message (sorry, I’m not mentioning names)

You probably feel like killing anyone connected with ‘simple life’ at the moment, but I think the time has come when we have to make a decision about what to do with the project. We can either give it a big, big push or call it a day?
No … I’m not feeling the need to “kill” anyone. Nor am I ready to “call it a day.” I am a little dissappointed in the recent activity, but I understand that people get busy with work, life and recreations. So, I’m not going to push anyone in any direction.

This is a community project that was created with the intent to show others what we are capable of. As much as CGTalk has developed as a community over the years, I find that this is just another product of the creative talents that exist here and something that (when completed) we can show to friends, family and possibly the world with great pride.

I’m still dedicated to this project through completion, even if I end up being the only person here working (and learning :smiley: ) the animation and final comp processes. My response to the previous PM was “If I have to finish it myself, I will.”

I’m hoping that it doesn’t come to that because this is much more interesting as a community project than something that I want to say was “completed by me.”

“a simple truth about life” is a great story that has many little life lessons involved within 3 minutes of the most simplified 3D elements that I could imagine. It’s simplicity of character, set and execution make it a perfect project for a collab.

However, I didn’t write it for this purpose. I wrote this for my children, my family and my friends. The many ideas presented in this short film are things I’ve learned as a young adult and as being a father. Yes, the film has more than one lesson. I can interpret 4 or 5 different life lessons within the same film and I’m hoping that by viewing it, it will provide even more for the audience to reveal that I might not have considered.

But that’s not going to happen anytime soon without some help. All I’m asking is for the enthusiasm and dedication towards this project remain as it started in the early threads. As you can probably tell from this post, I’m still very much into working in any way I can on this project.

Thank you. :applause:


I’m with you on this one Kirt. I thought to myself ‘If I have to finish it myself, I will’… but again that defeats the purpose of a collaborative project.

I think that if we just get a little inspiration and a nudge up the hill to see what is on the other side, we’ll start to roll on and finish it up. It’s always at the end of a project when you think to yourself ‘I am glad I persisted with this and didn’t give up when I easily could have’. It will be worth it in the end, there’s always more pluses that come out of such a project than you initially think.


I agree with you Kirt. Collaboratively speaking though, it’s a big deal getting several people together to work on a single project, especially one with a long timeline. People tend to get bored when they’re not doing anything for a while or if something unexpected comes up, they find this the easiest thing to put off.

Even companies have problems sometimes keeping up the motivation for projects. I think the best thing to do would be to try and make it a bit more fun for everyone involved, try and encourage more individual creativity.

It seems so long ago now that I came up with the idea! I didn’t think it would come so far, but now that it has, I really want to see it finished.

Come on guys, where’s that old spirit??


daddymack reads 3 rock solid posts and suddenly feels really guilty…

My attraction to this great little piece from the start was it’s universal story, it transcends all age, race and language barriers… It’s brilliant!..My reason for not jumping on the bandwagon at the very beginning was because I know I’m always time poor… I’ve got kids to feed etc etc blah blah… That being said, I did (foolishly;) Laughs at self) commit to the mass crowd shots toward the end of the piece and if I know me, and how guilt can affect my motivation, you may be seeing some progress shortly from moi…

Dare I ask for an assessment though… of what deliverables (particularly animation) are still yet to be realised? Or better still, what have you got ‘finalled’ regarding animation… I think that a ‘progress meter’ of some sort, where we can see how far the project has come/ got to go to completion would add to the motivation/ enthusiasm of those making said progress… I don’t know if that works for everyone, but, as a realist, it really works for me… I’m still well committed, but it seems that may make me (ironically) part of the minority… I so want to see this through with you guys and I think that understanding the current progress of the collab toward it’s goal would really help me…

Sorry for my absence of mind for this piece of late… I believe I am back:D


Our current situation is as follows:

Once we make it past the animation phase I believe the rest of this project will quickly fall together. However as of right now, the animation phase is making no progress at all (or if it is, I’m not aware of it).

This wasn’t supposed to be a lengthy and drawn out project. I was hoping we’d be done with (at least) the animation, before the end of summer. Then the bulk of the work would have been done and we could have just a few people putting the finishing touches on the film.

Technically, we started May 20th. So this has only gone for 3 months so far. That’s a pretty short lifespan for a collab. Please tell me someone is working on it besides those who’ve answered already to this thread.


Shawn - I haven’t heard of any other rigging issues either, but then I haven’t heard much of anything from our animators. If there are problems I wish people would speak up so we can fix them and move on.

I suspect that the big issue is that the animators that we had, have just become too busy with their personal/professional lives to continue at this moment and we seriously need new people to come in and help out.

I’m not sure if this forum is seeing enough traffic to generate new interest and I may have to PM animators personally to see if I can’t find some more help. I have a few people in mind, but some of them are not CGS members yet. :sad:

Maybe I could round up some prizes for a drawing? Animators could earn one entry per second of finished/approved animation for the film. There’s about 3 minutes or 180 seconds of animation, so 180 raffle tickets up for grabs. Something like that??? :shrug:

I dunno … I’m just trying to develop some new ideas to get this rolling along like it was through the Pre-vis stage. It’s a little frustrating to see this project sitting here for days (weeks) without any postings or updates.


Maybe we may need to look at taking a step back in order to move foreward. What I mean is, scrap our assigned animators that aren’t involved anymore (post up a new thread to check) and make a call for more. It might help to revive the project.

Edit: I’m not sure about the prizes idea Kirt. What about all the other people that have worked on other parts? There should be enough of an incentive in the final product.


True, I was just trying to think of something that would generate some motivation.


Maybe we should ask Leonard to promote this in the CGSociety front page or something? Make it sound like a bit of a big deal.

I agree with sphere about revamping the animation program. I’ll have a look at what’s been done and who’s not doing anything anymore and lay out what needs to be done and what’s been done so far.
Once we get past the animation stage, I suspect things will become much quicker and more fun once again. This is just a little plateau, but nothing we can’t conquer.


I agree with Theresa, try and get this promoted as much as possible - this is currently under the members only forum which might complicate the main page idea. There are two ways to look at that problem:
[li]It might drive more people to join CGSociety
[/li][li]It might have to be moved to a non-CGSociety location for more traffic

One way to promote might be soliciting people on The Thread with a post explaining what we need and what you would like to see as the end result (i.e. festivals, DVD, etc…). You might have already do this so I’m sorry if this is a redundant idea. I think in general prizes are a bad idea… For me it might be a reason to hold out on a project next time hoping for desperate offers. On a more pracitical matter we want these people to me motivated by the project and the idea so that their work shows it.

Let me know what I can do, guys… I’m not an animator by any stretch (as you could tell by my portion of the previs I’m sure :slight_smile: ). I’ll help out in any other way that I can, I really like this project and think that the whole premise is really neat.


I’m a little late to this thread but a lot of us who where totally gung-ho about the project where derailed by the choice of animation packages. I don’t know or own Maya so I couldn’t contribute. So I did what I could by joining the texturing group. Even then I won’t be able to make the UV textures or anything like that, just the 2D textures in Photoshop.

If you are planning on scrapping the animation and starting from scratch, maybe a switch of programs too. I remember origianlly a vote for the package by a lot of animators that aren’t here anymore. But whatever is decided, I’ll be checking.


I’d like to help out (and here comes the inevitable but) but I am not really an animator and I know jack about Maya :sad: I will be trying to learning maya on my own though, probably starting in november, but I doubt I will be able to create any nuanced animation required for main shots… I might be more helpfull in 3dsmax, but that’s a medium-sized maybe. I have dabbled in animation but that’s about it :sad: I would really like to see this thing finished but I don’t know how I can contribute except as a render-slave…

Keep the faith (and do what was suggested earlier, do a new call for animators, I think that would be a very good idea)


Learning Maya sure sounds like a worthy professional endeavor now, Urglet :stuck_out_tongue:


Haha yeah, it will be interesting to see what changes (if any) this will bring to the curriculum


A couple of comments …

[ul][li]I don’t care if you don’t consider yourself a great animator. Please don’t let that discourage you from trying if you want to be a part of this project. I will provide valuable input on anyone’s animation clips and help make you into a better animator. I hope other members of this forum will help as well. That’s the idea.
Right now, we need animators. I really don’t care if it’s your first try. Let’s get something done … anything at all. Even if it totally sucks, it’s still progress towards completion. Which is better than me checking this forum daily for an animation update and becoming increasingly dissappointed and frustrated with the lack of support (which everyone was so gung-ho about in the beginning).

Yeah, I’m getting a little on edge about the whole thing … Sorry. :cry:

[li]I seriously hope that our animation package choice will be unaffected by the latest acquisition news and that this film is done well before any significant changes are made to the programs.
I give the whole merger process at least a year before we see any significant changes to Maya (other than maybe an Autodesk logo placed on the box). Stab me in the eyes with a f*ing pencil if this short is still not completed by then.

If I can somehow work it into my budget, I’ll get my own copy of Maya and do the work. But I really don’t want to see this forum sitting here taking up space for no reason at all in another year.[/ul]

Leo was kind enough to provide us with a private forum here to work on this project because there seemed to be a genuine interest in getting a film done and putting the CGSociety member’s logo on it.

It’s really dissappointing to see that gone now, except for a small handfull of dedicated members.


Yah, someone buy me a copy of Maya and I’ll animate for you :slight_smile:

Right now I’ve just got the website to complete. It shouldn’t take long to finish, I just haven’t worked on it because everything seemed to stop. Maybe if we get that up online with a coming soon message, animators required message, progress report or something along those lines it might inspire some people. This could go public, however any interested animators would need to sign up to the cgsociety which they may not want to do. Although, if we just have something like ‘a cgsociety collaborative short film’ somewhere no the page it might encourage new members.


I’ve heard this from several different people now and I’m really at a loss of how to address this without sounding like Mr. Obvious. So, that’s what you’re going to get …

“When you don’t continue working on it … it will come to a stop.” :shrug:

We really need people who are going to continue working in spite of what everyone else is doing. One person stops … then the other thinks it’s OK if they take a break. Next thing you know nobody is doing anything because, from all appearances, everyone else is gone.

Alternately, if one person continues to show progress another person notices the effort and decides to help (with critique or assistance). When you have 2 - 3 folks moving along and threads are being updated … those little red flags next to the forum threads show something is happening here and other members will show an interest.

Come on folks! Let’s get some motivation going! :bounce:


You’re right Kirt, however I meant that I didn’t go ahead and finish the site because I thought we’d only put the site up when everything was done otherwise there’ s no content to actually put on the site.

Instead, I think I will finish it in the next few days and maybe we can put it up with some sort of progress report or sneak preview.


I think we can put up a site that shows what we’re proposing to do and why. I think including one page (maybe two) of the storyboards plus some of the early animation test shots would be safe to disclose at this point in time.

I’d like to show these three shots …

testHappy.mov by Wim Coene (a.k.a. derbyqsalano)
testInter2.mov by Wim Coene (a.k.a. derbyqsalano)
pursuing.mov by diogo dubiella (a.k.a. diogo dubiella)

If you want me to write something up for text, I can do that.
Or you can find plenty of quotable stuff from me (and others) about the project in this forum.

Copy over the names of people who’ve completed stuff on a credit page as well.