I intentionally called this “Project News”, instead of usual “Production Report”, as it is more about infrastructure, not the production itself. Possibly, I will stick to this name in the future. ^__^
So, here’s what’s going on in the project:
New server for archives
We’ve got a new server for hosting our archives – project sources, artwork elements, videos and other downloads. Previously this content was scattered across different servers, now everything stored in one place.
New server uses NextCloud open-source file sharing engine and this makes it far easier to work with archived data and to keep it in order. For example, there is NextCloud Flow that automates file operations. For example you can automatically assign tags to files based on different conditions. This functionality helps us lot in our work and new server became an important part of our infrastructure. Much thanks to Eugeniy Katunov for the help with the server setup!
Morevna Episode 4 sources
The Episode 4 sources are almost ready for publishing. I hope to share them this week if nothing unexpected happen.
You probably already noticed that I am in the process of website redesign. It looks like I finally found how to fit all content of our website into a solid concept.
By this moment I have reworked main theme for blog posts (you are looking at this page now) and info pages (How to Help, Contact, etc.), reworked Morevna Demo page and made a separate page to list all our animated shorts.
My next tasks: rework Home Page (I already have page copy ready), create page for Morevna Episode 4, improve header menu layout.
Morevna Studio (new tool)
Last, but not least – I started developing a new tool called “Morevna Studio”. This instrument automates installation of environment for animation projects. It is responsible for installing and launching required software versions for specific project.
Why this is needed? Imagine you downloaded sources of Pepper&Carrot Motion Comic. They were created in Blender 2.78 and if you try to open it using another Blender version, there is a really big chance the files won’t open correctly. That is why you need to install Blender of this particular version and use it to work with the files of this project.
Imagine that in parallel you are working with other projects that use Blender, too. But the version you use is obviously can be different – not the ancient 2.78. That means you have to remember to use one version of Blender for files of Pepper&Carrot project and use other version when you open files from your other projects. It gets complicated!
Morevna Studio is intended to solve this problem. This tool will make sure to open files you click in required version of Blender (the information about required version must be specified in project configuration). If your system doesn’t have required version installed, then Morevna Studio will download and install it for you automatically.
So, Morevna Studio allows you to quickly setup environment (all required software) for working with specific project. This becomes especially actual, as the modern toolchains of animation production are complex systems, which might be tricky to setup – each project can has its own toolchain with application closely interacting with each other. So, my goal is to create a unified solution to simplify setting up toolchain for animation production of any kind.
Other development activities
In the meantime I am also helping to prepare next stable release of Synfig – version 1.4.0. Already released 2 development versions (1.3.12 and 1.3.13), and you can expect 1.3.14 soon. The community activity in Synfig is increased very much and next stable release is promising to be great!