Computer Graphics World

January/February 2015

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j a n u a r y . f e b r u a r y 2 0 1 5 c g w 9 V I E W P O I N T One of the worst things that can happen to you as an indie artist is finding success and getting caught unprepared. If you've watched Indie Game: The Movie, you've seen that success brings all sorts of folks out of the woodwork to try to get their piece of the pie. In the thick of creation, it can be hard to prepare for success. Thankfully, version-control systems can actually help with some of the problems success can bring. Here's an example: A com- mon problem occurs when people make intellectual prop- erty claims against your work. They will say that your character designs, dialog, or story is a derivative of their work and that you owe them compensation. Without proper documentation, the court case can be messy, as each side tries to prove it had the idea first. This is where ver- sion control can be your savior. By having a system that stores the date and time of each unique change, you have a digital trail showing the evolution of your assets. For this reason, you should be committing everything that is part of your project – design documents, scripts, models, textures … the works. Many large companies actually digitize and version sketch- books and pictures of sculpts so they have a history of the evolution of their characters. I have worked with a number of companies that have submit- ted version-control histories as evidence for IP cases and won, in part, because of the digital trail those histories provided. If you don't choose to digitize and version your sketches, it is a good habit for artists to sign and date all the pages in their sketch- books. This can provide some additional ammo for your case should you be pulled into court. S O , W H E R E D O I G E T M E S O M E V E R S I O N C O N T R O L ? We're fortunate to be digital artists today. I recall a profes- sor of mine sharing war stories of hand-generating textures for a football title he worked on, using comma-separated integers in a text file to "color" the jerseys. Today, there's a vast array of tools at our disposal. A number of companies make version-control tools targeted at 3D artists and game develop- ers, and almost all of them give away a full-powered version that is free for small teams. Whether you're working on a 24-hour game-jam project or the next Wall-E, version control should be a critical part of your tool box. And while there are unique strengths and weak- nesses to various version-man- agement tools, the most important thing is to pick one and start using it! ¢ Matt Attaway (@mataway) is the director of community support at Perforce Soware. Over the course of his career, he's worked as a designer, developer, researcher, tester, and DevOps engineer. These are some of the exciting topics that will be covered in the MARCH.APRIL 2015 issue of Computer Graphics World magazine. ¢ WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY – Advances that are making wearables possible. ¢ CG ON TV – Commercials that utilize computer graphics and visual effects. ¢ THE DIGITAL FRONTIER – The serious, jaw-dropping, cutting-edge techniques of visualizing space. Also, the fun, cartoony side of sci-fi. ¢ EDUCATION – Schools help prepare student animators. ¢ SET DESIGN – Architectural design in entertainment. FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION CONTACT OUR SALES TEAM MARI KOHN, DIRECTOR OF SALES | 818. 291.1153 | LISA NEELY, CORPORATE MARKETING & ADVERTISING SALES EXECUTIVE | 818.660.5828 | WILLIAM R. RITTWAGE, PRESIDENT/CEO | 818. 291.1111 | next issue

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