[Beowulf] Digital Image Processing via HPC/Cluster/Beowulf - Basics

Lux, Jim (337C) james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Tue Nov 6 08:35:50 PST 2012

Uh, no..   
1) Commercials actually have fairly high production costs on a "per minute
of screen time" basis.  The budget for a commercial is typically 5-10% of
whatever the air time costs (it's how the ad biz works). A beer or car
commercial (in my personal experience) typically have the highest
production budget.  A 30 second commercial might have a >$10M budget,
especially if they have a big name director and want real spectacular
results. The Volvo Tornado commercial (aired in Europe only) spent quite a
bit more than that, and had NO CG effects (everything was practical, and
"in camera" with no optical effects either). The post production costs on
early commercials featuring the "frozen time" effect (for which I
developed the hardware and software on the first two iterations) were
enormous, because of all the manually controlled processing required to
make it look good.

There is, of course, an enormous range of quality in the commercial world,
from "Joe Bob's used car lot" to "Super Bowl premiere".

Keeping this Beowulf and HPC related, I'd say that high end commercials
are actually a place where HPC is important:  expensive production values
and tight schedules (need to have the commercial ready when the product
releases).  The big digital shops have workflows that accommodate this
(Rhythm and Hues, for example, has facilities in Hyderabad so they can
turn around work overnight)

2) music videos are the bottom of the barrel production cost wise  (for
something where people actually get paid, as opposed to student films with
volunteers, etc.)  Typically non-union shoots, long hours so they don't
have to rent the stage/location/equipment for as many days, very fast cut
edit style so you don't have time to notice all the defects in production.
And the producer comes to you after you wrap asking if they can get a
discount on the invoice because they've overrun the budget.  I think the
days of a "Thriller" video premiering on MTV have long since gone away.
Michael Bay now does big budget features with explosive budgets in the
millions of dollars instead of videos.  I could be wrong.. I don't watch
many music videos these days.

3) feature animation has orders of magnitude higher animation quality than
just about anything else, both in terms of the artwork (I.e. Model
building and movements) and in terms of the raw computation (# of
polygons, # of pixels, etc.).  Schedules aren't as tight (in absolute
terms) as a commercial, but the scale of the work is enormously bigger (a
factor of 200-500, just in screen running time)

On 11/6/12 6:56 AM, "Vincent Diepeveen" <diep at xs4all.nl> wrote:

>On Nov 6, 2012, at 3:49 PM, Prentice Bisbal wrote:
>> On 11/05/2012 08:16 PM, Vincent Diepeveen wrote:
>>> Jim as someone who produced games, this is not how it works for
>>> most movies/animations/commercials where graphics work is needed.
>> I see a big flaw in this logic here. Games != movies/animations/
>> commericals, so I don't see how 'producing' games makes you
>> qualified to talk about movies/animations/commercials.
>> --
>> Prentice
>Because that's the same thing. Especially commercials. Produced also
>in the same manner - the only difference is the
>big hurry that always happens for commercials. Especially the sound
>of it. Or as you nerds might go complain,
>the sound, sound effects and music, as that's 3 total different things.

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