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

Vincent Diepeveen diep at xs4all.nl
Tue Nov 6 12:07:45 PST 2012

On Nov 6, 2012, at 5:35 PM, Lux, Jim (337C) wrote:

> 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,

You're in dreamland. The biggest companies on this planet really use  
a small
budget for *producing* the commercial.

Please distinguish between broadcast costs and production costs - i'm  
just busy
with production not broadcasting.

> especially if they have a big name director and want real spectacular
> results.

Price of actors/celebrities/popstars is not production costs - that's  
a fee they catch - note
such negotiations always are tough in every company for existing  

Someone who professionally negotiates every day for this basically i  
can give
as an example - the toughest negotiations always include the music.  
That's open negotiation

For the sound you can hire a voice actor you know. Might make up to  
1000 euro an hour.
Yet then that's what you pay.

Same thing for games - you hire the same actor of course.
Sound effects also are easy negotiation.

Yet Music for some weird reason you have to pay royalties for - and  
in advance.

Basically the musicmafia - which is a polite wording - i know some  
producers at some major TV-channels
who have far worse wordings (and that's really an understatement) -  
they catch big cash for music whereas
it's a relative small effort.

Think of a few tunes in between commercials and the actual broadcasts  
- that can already cost the channel up to
30-40 million euro a year.

The difference there with games is that you sign up someone fulltime  
for composing who doesn't have a contract with
the world wide music mafia.

Otherwise on each sold game - even if you sell in the 3-5M region  
you'd be paying easily 4-5 dollar a game, just
for the *music* - not seldom created within a week (sound effects  
take longer for the big games).

Most TV channels didn't get that clever yet to hire someone fulltime  
yet as their income also is very high.

The first time i started negotiate with the musicmafia, some  
producers thought i was plain silly and stupid to even talk there :)
One TV producer took 60 seconds of summarizing up words that i  
usually do not use, to indicate what the thought of
the music mafia.

They were right, i already got threatened with courtcases even before  
having a sellable product :)
What's really dead wrong in that music world is the 'pay in advance  
royalties' clause. That's the most stupid thing i've
ever seen anywhere.

The music mafia world wide is deeply into politics - they have them  
in their pocket as we say with a saying.

Also this explains why most music you hear on the radio all is the  
same silly synthesizer sound. They hardly let play in
other musicians as then those might catch royalties as well (via a  
different organisation by the way). This is one of the
sad realities caused by the music mafia.

There is not a single other industry AFAIK where you have to pay  
royalties in advance and based upon a production unit
(if you produce at once 50k DVD's you pay a lot more than if you  
produce 1M DVD's) - with as a result of course that most
music stores, as long as they still exist, they all sell the same  
CD's and DVD's, because you simply cannot produce
for an unknown musician some small number of DVD's as then you have  
to pay all those royalties in advance which is
too much of a risk.

The music industry there really royally screws unknown artists and  
musicians who would so happily catch that 1000 dollar
to play in a tune for you. Instead the unknown artists simply you  
don't produce for and the synthesizer gets used to play in
that tune.

So where the money payments for this definitely is a big difference  
with the gaming world - the total effort to produce music
is actually really little. It's just a contractual mess nothing else.

Now of course the graphics to build for TV productions and TV movies  
is a lot simpler of course than for games.

If you would just go into your kids room you will see directly why.  
They game on a bunch of screens in very high resolutions
and on television not all channels are even HD TV yet and things move  
quick there so even on HD TV, where you already
see a lot more details, that still isn't even close to the big  
details you see in games.

Additionally - recently too many movies they buy in that graphics too  
cheap. Even at an old television low resolution it already
doesn't look very realistic what you see. This for movies which had a  
pretty big budget overall (and spent very little of that to the
graphics). People more and more start to get used to this artificial  
reality generated by artists - maybe that's why the
"reality shows" are so popular nowadays?

Note that the first few reality shows such as big brother - that's  
all Dutch productions - sold for really big cash to USA.

> 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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