Sunday, July 08, 2007


Hi Let me Talk about this Project.
Sundara Pandian - Tools
Project : Steel League Clan Clash
Genre : DVD Game
Publisher : Activision
My Role : Pipeline TD
SDKs : MEL, Maya API, MFC

This project is a DVD game Done by Pixaalaya Studios for Blue Monkey Studios published by Activision. Unfortunately Activision has to take back the product from the shelf for some reason unknown to me. But still it was the First and only Published game in which i have worked. Though it is a DVD game i was the pipeline TD for the Whole game. I will discuss about tools written by me in this Post.

All the tools mentioned below are written only by me since i was the only programmer in that company. But i have to mention about two important people who made these tools possible.

One is Mr Mahadevan who was the technical artist for that company. he had international experience. one released game i know in which he had worked was Driver 3. he was my requirement man. whenever something is needed for pipeline he comes up with requirement and gets the job done. Overall whatever tools i have written for Pixaalaya he was the artistic brain behind that and i was the coding guy.

The other one was Mr Sukumar. He was the CEO of the company. though he was CEO & apart from Mahadevan no other artist believed that a computer science engineer don't have a role in a animation studio, He strongly believed in my capability and has been one of the strong supporter of engineering practice inside the company.

Here I Will Discuss About Important Scripts I have written for pipeline

Enforcer
This Script is a collection of other scripts i have written for the pipeline. What this script does is that it opens a group of files one by one thru Maya command prompt and prepares it for rendering.

preparing for rendering means.

it checks for each & every file name whether it matches with the protocol we have defined for filename(like a valid filename contains RENDERINGCAMNAME_STARTFRAME_ENDFRAME) and then it links the light for different layers( WE HAD 3 POINT LIGHTING SYSTEM)
Also It Checks for whether All the textures are available and reports for Missing Texture.

BatchGen
This is a command prompt tool which automatically generates the Batch file for rendering.

GlRender
This thru command prompt open each and every file in the directory tree & will put hardware render of first & last frame of that file. This was very convenient for us because this helped us in reducing over all rendering error. this tool is automated & it renders only one frame so when a group of files were ready for render we will simply run this tool in the night & when we come back n see in the morning we would have got visual feedback of any missing texture or correct cam etc.

BGRen

same as above but for BG Layer

Composite File Generator

This is another very Important tool we managed to come up. this tool will generate a combustion workspace file on reading the directory structure of rendered images. This particular tool was great time saver for us.

Clip Library & Pose Library

Also We came up clip & pose library which was one of our few tools written for animation side. also i managed to write a animation transfer utility using MovIn & MovOut with limited success.

also we managed to complete 130 minutes of animation content in 8 months. yes in eight months from pre production to the end of post production we completed this project. and many of my tools helped achieving the target in time

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