Chapter 1 - (2013)

Siggraph Anaheim - USA 2013

Santiago Montesdeoca
4 min read



It has been three years since the last time I wrote something and a lot has happened! Life has kept me busy with amazing experiences in faraway places! As you might also notice, my blog platform has changed, as this represents a new stage of my life. However, my old blog at Blogger will continue to exist as a reminder of a rewarding undergraduate student life.

There is a lot to catch up since then, therefore, there will be three posts called chapters which will briefly expose what has happened since 2013. Let’s start with chapter 1 (Jul - Oct 2013). was one of the most enriching experiences I have had and it went well beyond the skills of being an artist at a studio. With we tried everything we could to start a revolution. We aimed for a Cooperative Studio, a new business model for everyone involved in filmmaking. A model where everyone could share the profits made, proportionally to what they really contributed to the production. It sounds utopic but we really believed in it. As a matter of fact, we still believe.

Nevertheless, we rushed too fast into creating a platform without any ongoing production to back it up. Once we noticed that everything we created was not being used, we were a bit too late and low on budget to start a production ourselves - which could have shown the benefits of our cooperative and motivate others to start using it. I believe this was our biggest mistake, and a difficult one to revert. Nonetheless, we decided to continue the development of our production platform and agile profit-share system. Why? It is something we have always wanted to have and we plan to start using it for our future independent productions. buckshot
Our creative production platform and asset tracker based on Google Apps!

My time in Los Angeles was awesome! Marcus, Sara and Hanna were wonderful people to live with and I never had a boring day. We had a very healthy routine with a lot of workouts, delicious lunch always prepared by one of us, a lot of sun and great working conditions. As it should always be! I really enjoyed our routine, even though routines are things I normally do not enjoy.

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Memories of LA

We also had the opportunity to attend Siggraph 2013 in Anaheim, to present and Buckshot, and held a Birds of a Feather where over 20 people attended. It was really great to see other people who believed in our philosophy and were incredibly supportive about it. We met a lot of remarkable artists like Bobby Beck, Bernhard Haux and the guys from Theory Animation. We all share the same vision of online collaborative studios and each of them has been developing their own solutions towards this future. I wanted to feature them here, as well:

Sync Sketch Theory Animation Scarecrow VFX
Collaborative Video Reviews, Collaborative Cartoon Studio, Collaborative VFX Studio
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Memories of Siggraph

Not only small startups are pioneering the way, Bobby Beck and the awesome people at Animation Mentor will be releasing Artella to the world, on May 10th! Artella lives by the same concept of, by being an open collaborative production platform in the cloud. This platform will enable people from all over the world to, as their slogan says, > Create Together <. They have already been testing it internally at Animation Mentor with some cool results. I can’t wait to try it out and start contributing to it. Exciting times to come!

Artella, create together
Creative Production Platform

Siggraph was an eye-opening experience and I would love to come back one day. Who knows, this might even become true in the upcoming years, now that I am doing my PhD in Computer Graphics. Nevertheless, I have to admit that I personally prefer FMX. It might not be as academic, but it is much smaller, which makes it more cozy. Thus, one shares a much more personal space with everyone in the industry. Being held in downtown Stuttgart also adds a lot of charm.

The last official photo of the team

After Siggraph, I had to say goodbye to my new friends and the lovely family in Los Angeles and flew back to Stuttgart to meet my brother and my German friends. In October I finished my duties within, at least for the moment. I managed to develop a whole project pitching engine, based on google apps and also a great intranet two-way linking system for Google Sites. I left some documentation for everyone interested in stepping into Google Apps Programming for Google Sites. I am happy with what we achieved with the capabilities, the time we had to work together and everything we learnt by doing so.

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Memories of Germany

My time in Stuttgart, though brief, was remarkable. There were things that needed to be done and prepared back home for the next chapter, which was just around the corner in my life, called… World Trip! (coming soon).