Rendering Accident – Studio 3 – Semester 2

As stated in the previous posts, the animation process took much longer than expect and we find ourselves the day before the presentation and delivery still having to render many scenes and having to leave a little bit of space to the editing process. This is clearly a sign of poor time management by us, we really underestimated both the time the animation phase required and didn’t think of all the little problem that could slow us down in such a long and complicated process as the rendering. How to avoid this? it is never too wise to leave more time than necessary for the rendering and post production since they are what gives juice to the movie in the end.

This is not however the core of my post, but rather a really bad and worrying accident that happened today and that almost jeopardised the completion of our bachelor project:

Due to the long rendering times animators and movie makers often find themselves having to render different section of frames on many pcs, since rendering all on the same pc would take days and would be too risky in case the pc crashes or flaws the rendering.

Keeping this in mind and with the fact that most of the two labs where the Interactive Media students work were full of pcs busy rendering due to the many deliveries closing in for every student of 1st year 2nd year and 3rd year, I decided to render in the labs where the Vocational School students have tutorial. Why did I do this? The rules of the campus, known to every tutor and lecturer state that every student can use any pc of any lab as long as that doesn’t disrupt other student’s lectures. Knowing this and after checking on Time Edit I discovered that no tutorial, workshop or lecture was planned for this day in the 3D vocational school lab or at least that was what was written in the Time Schedule.  This meant I was more than allowed to render my project on those pcs, after all that just meant turning on the pcs, rendering and leaving them on until they’re done and in no way I would have ruined or disrupted other students work, besides being the students as proficient in 3d as we in Interactive Media are they would have known that all they had to do was to log out and no harm would have been done to my renders. Confident with what I knew I decided to proceed and yesterday evening I put my scenes to render.

I decided to spend the night at school, the renderings were too important and on a too strict schedule for me to leave them unchecked so I would check them every hour.  It is when I went to check them at about 9:06 this morning that the damage had already been done, I was especially worried about this time of the day, since it is the time where usually both students and teachers come in the labs and start their daily working.  when I got back to the Vocational lab I found all the pcs off and all my notes that signed down which frames every pc was rendering were gone. In the lab only two students and the tutor David Froholt were present. Really confused by what I saw I started asking to them what had happened, what I received was a really unprofessional answer by David, who simply said he had turned off the pcs and threw the notes his answers weren’t unprofessional only for what he said, but also for the way he said them he seemed almost happy and satisfied about what he had done. I was extremely frustrated and confused by these actions I didn’t see a reason why he would have wanted to deliberately sabotage my work a day before delivery, I confronted him and after a while I got the real reason why he had done it, what he said was that when he had entered the lab he got furious by seeing all the pcs on and being used by a University College 3rd year student and turned them off in anger. This is utterly unacceptable, it is already quite unprofessional when a student ruins another student work, but a teacher, that is even worse and can’t be simply ignored.

Although there was no workshop signed on Time Edit for that day.

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I would have been completely fine if the lab was full of students needing all the pcs of the lab to work and follow the lecture and I would have gladly paused my rendering for that, but the point is that only two students were there and even later there was still only those two students present in the lab, therefore it was completely unnecessary to turn off ALL the pcs.

My first course of action, since no Interactive Media staff had arrived yet was to contact Beatrice from 2nd year since she is one of the representatives in the Council and she was present at school, she first confronted him and told him to at least warn the students if he didn’t want them to use the lab. Later though, she told me that that solution was not viable as well since after talking to Mikhaila and Matthew she had been confirmed that every student can use all the pcs on campus when there is no lecture going on, so it is against the rules to close the lab to a single class. (The rule doesn’t apply to Digital Forensics due to legal reasons, but thats not part of this matter matter). David evidently ignored this rule; after talking to Matthew I was told that I could have gone back to that lab after 4 to render my work since the rules perfectly allow it, when I got in the lab though I found a rather unprofessional and unpleasant message:

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In english “None of these machines shall be used for rendering of projects by students who are not enrolled in 3DDA course. These machines should be available for only 3DDA students at all times! – David, teacher”

This is unacceptable, the council representatives have contacted Ernst and I hope there will be severe consequences.

Even in this really harsh moment I was really helped by peers and by the staff, the council representatives talked to Mikhaila who was read to give us an extension due to the fact that we had no fault in this delay. Later I spoke to Alexander whose help was extremely valuable he advised me to contact Felipe since he is the Studio 3 leader and maybe ask to be the last to present since that would have given us more time but still allowed us to show a somewhat finished product during the presentation. Felipe was extremely understanding and helpful on the matter and granted us the possibility to present last. I’m still not sure I will finish, but I’m gonna work as hard as I can in order for the presentation to go as smoothly as possible and in order to deliver a professional and complete product.

How could have this been avoided? Was there something I could have done to prevent it? Thinking about it, there really wasn’t something I personally could have done to prevent it, I did my best to check often on the renderings and I couldn’t use the pcs in my lab since most of them were already used by other students, besides I had checked Time Edit and no lecture was scheduled in that lab. The only way this could have been avoided is for the teacher to realise that we are in a professional environment and there is no space for this behaviour and under no circumstances this should be allowed or even conceived ad a possibility.

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