In Broadcast - November 2021 - 60

60
www.inbroadcast.com | Vol: 11 - Issue 11 | November 2021
InMedia
Passion Pictures scales intelligently into
the cloud to manage data and compute
power on a job-by-job basis
A
nimation production companies
and studios have found a rare
spot of sunshine as the rest of the
entertainment industry slowly emerges
from the dreary-looking environment
of the last two years. It is a sector
where visual effects artists, animators
and video editors can work entirely
from home and all their efforts come
together online for the final result.
With production workflows that are
smoother to run and less risky than
live-action film production, streaming
providers like Disney Plus, HBO Max
and Netflix are doubling down by
commissioning new animated series
which will provide thousands of hours
of new content for subscribers.
For creative production group,
Passion Pictures, keeping up with
the pace of this growth meant more
teams collaborating using cloudbased
services as opposed to their
on-premise facilities. Passion Pictures
needed to scale into the cloud
efficiently yet intelligently, controlling
all of the resources they were using;
from workstations, to render compute
and even data movement.
Passion Pictures connects and
inspires through the moving image and
specialises in animated commercials
and features, illustration, technologyenabled
storytelling and feature
documentaries.
With
30
years
of
innovation in motion under their
belts, Passion Pictures most recent
accomplishments in CG animated
film includes McDonald's Inner Child
Christmas advert, Project Cobra
character
trailer
for
financial
for
battle
services
royale
mobile game, Free Fire; and The
Composer a heart-warming Christmas
film
provider,
Erste Group.
Cost-efficiently Scaling
for Business Continuity
During 2020, Passion Pictures
needed to rapidly scale up the amount
of compute resource to handle heavy
workloads using cloud, specifically
Amazon Web Services (AWS), where
many of
Passion
Pictures rendered
images were being produced. Their
existing system had limited capacity,
and these new projects needed to
scale far beyond the limits of the
infrastructure that Passion Pictures
had previously implemented. Because
of the scale that files were being
generated in the cloud, data egress
costs also had to be carefully managed
so that they were only paying for data
that was actually needed outside of
their cloud environment (rather than
temporary data).
The foundation of this is a pixstor
based on a single Amazon Elastic
Compute Cloud instance that can
comfortably service up to 300 render
nodes. They can also easily add
more servers down the line with no
disruption to any of their workflows
or pipelines. By harnessing the power,
flexibility, and scalability of pixstor's
high-performance software-defined
storage, Passion Pictures now has the
confidence to explore opportunities to
have servers in other locations should
production capability need to grow.
Intelligently using
Cloud Compute for Rendering
pixstor
and ngenea
Inner Child for McDonalds, Directed by Against All Odds at Passion Animation Studios
script pushes the data back home to
Passion Pictures' on-premise solution.
To handle project deadlines, Passion
Pictures use Thinkbox Deadline with
AWS Spot instances that start up
on demand to view the storage and
prioritises the order of files that need
to be rendered.
have
been
developed to support the entire media
lifecycle from ingest and creation
through to distribution and archive,
providing significant benefits for
the full spectrum of media-centric
organisations. Passion Pictures has an
on-premise storage where they house
all of their data. When they work on a
project that requires cloud compute,
every time they publish a new version
of their data, whether it is a 3D model,
an image file or a cache file, an
automated push to the cloud server
and storage using ngenea is triggered.
ngenea offers the ability for artists
to share, access and use their data
across the entire company, wherever
they are located. ngenea wraps
existing file, Cloud and object storage
in a global namespace with a single
view of the data, retaining the full
path and filename wherever that may
be. With ngenea, they can quickly and
securely transport data to and from
globally distributed cloud, object
storage, traditional Network Attached
Storage (NAS) files and tape resources,
automatically moving data into the
'right cost' resource according to value
and usage as work teams and business
needs demand.
When Passion
Pictures starts the
rendering process, the scene files
that need to be rendered are pushed
into the cloud to be queued and
pre-warmed for rendering. Once
renders have been completed, a
Passion Pictures is ahead of the
curve in how animation production
studios are using the cloud to meet
the need of their customers. Thanks
to ngenea, they transport data from
on-premise to an intermediary AWS
S3 bucket. They can then run a small
pixstor system in any AWS region,
much smaller than any other cloud
storage offerings, to provide compute
storage for their render nodes. This
ensures huge cost savings, as they
do not have to overprovision large
amounts of underlying storage to
service their cloud compute.
" A lot of the team at pixitmedia
have worked within the industry and
have been through these pain points
themselves so you can have these
solution orientated conversations
with them. pixitmedia has helped us
take that next step again with ngenea
to allow us to have a more linear
scalability to the business. "
Jason Nicholas - Head of CG at
Passion Pictures
The Confidence to Meet the Future
In helping Passion Pictures
scale
to meet the needs of the business,
pixitmedia's
team of technical
specialists have re-architected the
way they move files into the cloud with
minimal disruption to the pipeline.
Previously render files were being
downloaded unnecessarily which
incurred AWS egress costs, these
included incomplete sets, temporary
or intermediate files and failed render
files. By integrating ngenea and pixstor
into
their
Autodesk
ShotGrid
and
Thinkbox Deadline publishing tools,
Passion Pictures now have complete
control over their data flows and
egress costs; tailoring their workflows
to only queue and receive complete
render sets back from the cloud.
" There are two sides to this
technology. On the one side, it is an
enabler for us as a business. We do
not want technology to be the reason
we don't do a job. We shouldn't be
resource limited and we have now got
more capability and more confidence
in growing that.
The other side is from the client
perspective. In our line of work,
deadlines can get tighter, resolutions
can get bigger and the number of
projects you're doing simultaneously
can suddenly all land at the same time.
Having the ability to not be limited
by resources but also being able to
respond to a client bringing a deadline
forward and paying extra for that
render capability to get it to them
faster, we now have that. It's not a
limiting factor anymore. "
Tim Wharton - Head of Systems at
Passion Pictures
The result is a complete solution
which respects their entire hybrid
cloud
studio
pipeline,
that
is
completely cost efficient and scalable
into the future. Passion Pictures
can now confidently deliver their
speciality of shortform projects and
expand into producing more longform
content, ultimately focusing on their
craft; telling award-winning stories
that connect and inspire through
animation.
For more stories of how we've
helped the world's leading creative
organisations do their
best
visit: https://pixitmedia.com
work,
http://www.inbroadcast.com http://www.pixitmedia.com http://www.pixitmedia.com https://www.pixitmedia.com

In Broadcast - November 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - November 2021

Contents
In Broadcast - November 2021 - Intro
In Broadcast - November 2021 - Cover1
In Broadcast - November 2021 - Cover2
In Broadcast - November 2021 - Contents
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 4
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 5
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 6
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 7
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 8
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 9
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 10
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 11
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 12
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 13
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 14
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 15
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 16
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 17
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 18
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 19
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 20
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 21
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 22
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 23
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 24
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 25
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 26
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 27
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 28
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 29
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 30
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 31
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 32
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 33
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 34
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 35
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In Broadcast - November 2021 - 37
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In Broadcast - November 2021 - 43
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In Broadcast - November 2021 - 71
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In Broadcast - November 2021 - 73
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 74
In Broadcast - November 2021 - Cover3
In Broadcast - November 2021 - Cover4
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