At production stage, you should already have addressed issues of what media and software the project will be using. Now attention needs to be paid the areas of deliverables, managing changes and alterations, alpha and beta releases.
When the production phase begins. It consists of a methodical attack on a mountain of work. Artists create graphics and animations. Photographers shoot pictures and the director shoots video. Sound designers record audio, select or create sound effects and music, and then mix them. Programmer write software or use existing engines or authoring tools and combine the assets with the software in a process called integration. Then quality assurance testers step in at appropriate times to uncover and log bugs. Through it all, the producers, directors and writers continue to manage the process, supervise the creative efforts, and document the modifications, respectively.
In order to make a master copy, the team must create deliverables, which can be categorized as assets, programming, and pre-release versions.
|Production Phase Deliverables|
|Background art||Artists||Artists work from paper designs completed during the pre-production phase|
|Screen text||Writers and Artists||Artist may create bitmaps|
|Photographs||Photographers and artist||Artist digitize photographs|
|Video||Videographers andÂ artist||Artist may capture video|
|Special purpose software||Programmers|
|Mpeg movies||Video designers|
|Sound effects||Sound designers|
|Bug reports||Quality assurance testers|
|Package art||Writers and Artists|
|Inserts and manual text||Writers and Artists|
Changes and alterations
During production, many elements of the project will require alterations from the original spec. As a result, these changes must be tracked and documented in some way. Paper forms are limited to the amount of information provided by the user and their honesty, whereas software solutions require both the hardware investment and training for the users.
Alpha and Beta releases
Usually when a project is 80% complete, an Alpha version is done to underscore what needs fixing, tweaking and finishing. After each Alpha release, testing and logging bugs, then fixing bugs and any assets takes place, maintaining the quality assurance cycle. A Beta version is released for testing and debugging at 100% completion.
Mastering is the beginning of the replication process. The glass master is produced directly from the customer’s data files, which can be in the form of a CD-R, Exabyte Tape or ZIP file. A disk of polished glass coated with a photosensitive emulsion is burnt with a laser beam. After exposure, the master is developed and the data is saved as “pits” on the master.
The next step in CD replication is where the master disc is electroplated with nickel which, when separated from the master, forms a negative known as the ‘Father’. The father can be used to replicate CDs for very small production runs, but for larger runs the father is plated to produce a ‘Mother’. A stamper is created to actually mould the pit structure onto each CD.
Production is complete. Move on to post-production.