Making a cg animated feature film by yourself: Part 1

I've done it twice before... I've got the experience... the tricks... the battle scars of wasted time from inefficient workflows... I bring all this into my third solo animated feature film "I am Nightmare"

Perspective shift: It's not a feature length film... its nine twelve minute short films...

The script is 101 pages... for workflow purposes I've broken it down into nine pieces...

I will NOT storyboard the entire film ahead of time as I have on my past two films as I ended up re-storyboarding each months work anyway... So on this one I'll treat each sequence as a separate film...

So at the beginning of each month I'll storyboard that sequence only... then animate it... then move on to the next sequence which I will then storyboard and animate the following month etc...

This way I'll be cranking out about ten minutes of finished animation per month which will probably be about 120 shots animated per month which would be a quota of about 4.5 shots/day

Based on past experience I can output pretty high quality stuff if all I have to do is 4-5 shots a day... I'll shoot for 6-7 a day to stay ahead of the work...

KEEPING SHOT QUOTAS IS ESSENTIAL! If you want to get your film done in a pre-determined amount of time!

As I final each shot I'll do a hardware render of it which I will drop into my offline edit of the film... I'll be editing the film as I go along using the hardware renders... I WILL NOT be doing any final renders until the whole film has been animated and locked... in the past I've wasted a lot of time and money rendering shots that didn't make it into the film or had to be redone/changed... its smarter and cheaper to make those mistakes/changes using hardware renders which render in realtime...

So I'm planning on completing all the films animation from Jan 2013 to Oct 1st 2013

Shortly after that I'll lock the final cut of the film

Then I'll start the final shot 3d renders which will be 1000-1500 shots- should take about 2-3 months to render them all

While the shots are rendering I'll do the sound design/foley work and final all audio

Once all the 3d renders are done I'll composite all the shots and render the final movie files for each shot

Once all the composites are rendered I'll use them to create the online edit

I'll do a final gamma correction on the finished film then render the master.

This schedule is based on a successful Kickstarter campaign for the film- if you haven't donated to it please consider doing so here. Thanks to those of you who have contributed!

If the kickstarter campaign is not successful I won't be able to run my render machines 24/7 so the rendering time will go from 2-3 months to 6-8 months postponing the release of the film by 4-6 months. I also won't be able to hire professional voice actors either which I really want to do!

I'm making the film regardless but it would be nice to get it out sooner rather than later so I can get started on the next film ^_^ AND I'm really excited about that one! It's been brewing for about 7 years now!


  1. it wouldn't be a bad idea to remind ppl that you have a kickstarter in a youtube vidio before too long.

    p.s. im excited for the next movie

  2. I agree with Jelly I think you would defiantly get the money if you get more of the public in on it. Also is there a way of extending it in anyway?

  3. I dont like the idea of delaying the movie for shit you can control .... come on man .. you said december 2013 release / in conjunction with a new screamerclaus flick.

    you already almost have 3k, if this kickstarter fails I think you should relaunch with the sole purpose of funding your render bills. 3K$

    I know you really want professional voice actors and stuffs , but that just might not happen.

    can't wait either way !


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