We recognize that there is growing demand for In-House VFX artists to work with a VFX production directly, as opposed to working for a facility. In-House artists provide productions with a great deal of flexibility, and the services they provide can be extremely cost-effective.
The flaw that we observe in this business model is that artists and other members of the VFX production team are typically not skilled in systems administration or development. When a VFX artist provides their own workstation and software licenses, and these systems fail, it can be extremely time-consuming to troubleshoot these setups. There is also the issue of consistency of output. When multiple artists author their own deliveries to production and editorial, there can be problems with naming conventions, delivery resolutions, and color. Last, due to the high costs associated with owning your own gear, there are many artists who are simply unwilling to make the investment.
We seek to address this flaw by first, providing turn-key workstations. These machines are high performance workstations, that come pre-installed with current versions of NukeX, as well as Mocha, and Photoshop. For additional software, or varied operating systems, we are happy to provide custom configurations. We connect these workstations to 10 Gigabit networks and high end NAS systems for file storage. We set a performance goal for our workstations – which is real time playback of 4K EXRs from network storage.
Next, we provide a pipeline for shot tracking and output of deliverables. Typically we rely on Shotgun as an off-the-shelf production tracking solution, and write custom Python tools to integrate common tasks, such as versioning, publishing, and scan ingestion. We recognize that not every production wishes to use Shotgun, however, so the pipeline tools were designed to be database-agnostic. The pipeline can also accommodate Airtable, as well as Filemaker.
Last, we provide 24×7 remote support, and aim to provide on-site support within one business day. If a VFX production experiences a systems outage at any time, we want you to know that we’ve got you covered.
We also realize that some productions wish to utilize much larger In-House teams, and incorporate 3D artists as well as compositors. Larger teams, especially 3D teams, often require render resources. On request, we are happy to provide on-premises render nodes. For productions that are approved by the studio to make use of cloud rendering, we can leverage a storage gateway and a hybrid cloud environment to take advantage of the nearly limitless potential of cloud computing.
Our main objective, after all is said and done, is to provide the highest quality engineering support, and thereby empower VFX artists to do what they do best: create.