Buttercamp 0.1

Last weekend I attended Buttercamp, and created a demo.

To sum up what Buttercamp was: A 12 hour HTML5 video hackfest, using Popcorn.js and Butter for developers and filmmakers.

After some coffee, and a buffer for everyone to arrive, we had a meet and greet to see what everyone had in mind for the day. Using this info, we split into groups and started working.

There was a handful of demos created using Popcorn, all of which were great, and are covered in more detail elsewhere, so I am going to be bias and talk about the one me and my group worked on ;)

I was in a pretty large group, about 7 or 8 of us. Henrik Moltke being one of them. He had an idea to use GML and Popcorn together, and luckily, most of the pieces we needed already existed, it was just a matter of hacking them together into something that passes as a webpage ;). One of the members in my group, Zachary Lieberman also had an intrest in GML.

Zachary Lieberman had experience with git and github, so we ended up doing a lot of our work here, which proved to be good and bad.

The good was that me and Zachary were able to collaborate quickly and easily, and also gave us a place to continue working on the demo after Buttercamp if we pleased. The bad part was that it was a sort of wall to people that didn’t know git. We had a large enough group though, that we were able to produce two demos, so it worked out.

The biggest thing I learned from this is that git might be too much of a wall working with filmmakers. The question is, should developers expect filmmakers to learn git, or should developers find something more filmmaker friendly. This is not a problem I know how to solve, and if I did have the solution, I doubt it would be an easy one to implement, but is something to think about. Also, any feedback from a filmmaker that either feels git is a wall, or has tried to learn git, would be interesting to hear.

Also, I was lucky to have a pretty good developer to filmmaker ratio, but I heard other groups felt one developer could become a bottleneck if a tricky bug was found. The ideal ratio would probably be 1:1 ratio, with groups being 4-6 people. This would be ideal, but as it was still successful and a blast the way it was, and I would do it again :)

Oh, major edit here.

I forgot something else I took from it all. I did something similar to this a while ago, after 0.1 of popcorn was released, and before Butter was even an idea, and it was amazing to see the maturity of Popcorn between now and then. Last time, I spent most of my time debugging Popcorn instead of making demos, and this time Butter was the one on that end. I have no doubt Butter got the most out of this experience. More than any of the filmmakers or developers, but that in turn, benefits the filmmakers and developers. Win win. I look forward to seeing the next step of Butter in the next Buttercamp.

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