General; Harmony

Hi all,

I never worked in a business production and I can’t go through some facilities which would help to maximize my prod (and get through my anim project…) (I think).

Here’s where I need help: Palettes.

how do I figure it if I use an element or else?

Do I create a palette for the all project? all the elements? only one palette or a lot? depending on lights? puppets? environments?
Am I better to import or create a new for all? or for every element or every scene? every time?

and about Libraries; same questions…

Do I have to create on for every pose of puppets?
for every puppets?

Do I import environment and props this way?

and for background? Do I create only one large background for a sequence? where everything moves or am I better to go with full of small pieces?

I work on two project: one is one story of 2 to 15 minutes (I haven’t properly set the time, yet).
and the second is a lot of small pieces of a few seconds each one.

I’m working on stand-alone.

Thanks for you help, those who…

I cannot answer your questions but many of them can be derived from Stylus Rumble’s videos. She frequently ties in her work environment experience with a given topic. You can gain an idea of what she typically encounters in a professional animator context.

For palettes I think the best is to have them saved on a centralized location, for instance, in your computer > Project_name\Palettes, \Master Palettes, etc. That way you can have all palettes you use in the several scenes linked to the palette directory, meaning that you can make adjustments to the colours which will apply automatically to all scenes. And when you need the palette you always know where to find it, instead of trying to remember in which scene you created it. I think this is better at least for main characters. A character or prop that your know will appear only in one scene can have it’s palette on the scene level. You have to keep in mind that if you collaborate with someone and share scenes everybody should have the same directory structure. That is, if you send a scene to a different computer Harmony it will look for the palettes on same directory (C:\ProjectName\Palettes. for instance). Having the palettes inside the scene doesn’t have this issue.

If you work with Harmony Server you can save your palettes on any level of the database structure: Environment > Job > Scene. You would manage the palettes according to the way you manage your database. For instance, if you have your project at the Environment level dividing it into Sequences at the Job level, you can chose to save main palettes in the Environment and palettes that will bee used only on a certain sequence at the Job level. I would avoid the Element level (not the default anyway), since it’s too restrictive.

Don’t forget to back-up the palettes or the palette directory if you create one.

More about managing palettes:
Note that some things apply to server only.

As for the library management, a basic structure would be something like
Project Name Library
– Characters
– BGs
– Props

You can also have subdirectories for FX, Cycles, etc.

Luis Canau

When you make a storyboard (even if rough in terms of the BG layout) you will know the elements you need to create. For instance, you will know that you can have a bg001 for scenes 1, 5, 15, bg002 for scenes 3, 6, 23, 29, and so on. In most cases you shouldn’t want to make a gigantic BG for all your project. That shouldn’t be practical, especially if you have a very big bitmap file made in Photoshop with several overlays that you would have to import to all your scenes making them heavy. If you follow layouts based on your scene resolution you’ll import each BGs perfectly into your scene.

There are situations in which it will make sense to have a bigger background than your scene frame/resolution: when you have a camera move or zoom or when you have several actions in the same space with slightly different framing, like two medium shots with two characters talking, one on the left side of the BG and the other one on the right or if you have a wide shot and several close shots that can use a part of the same BG (if you’re making a bitmap image to import to Harmony make sure that it will have enough resolution for the close shots; same applies for zooms).