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VFX in the Cloud

The power and flexibility of production in the cloud has multiple benefits for VFX studios both large and small. By migrating pipelines away from legacy on-premises infrastructure to a dynamically scalable and powerful cloud environment, many aspects of the unpredictable nature and expense of the VFX production process can be mitigated. The ability to globally access unlimited creative tools, rendering applications, elastic computing and infinite storage will bring multiple benefits to production, operations and technology stakeholders while enhancing the bottom line.

Making best-guess commitments to expensive on-premises hardware and software to provide sufficient infrastructure for a project can be a risky challenge due to the fluid nature of VFX production. Shot turnovers pushing or creative changes can mean either expensive capital expenditures sitting idle or overburdened as projects overlap due to sliding deadlines. Creative compromises are often made due to the bounds of limited resources, and this can be a make or break situation for a VFX studio in such a competitive market place. The power to scale up and down in the cloud when required is game changing.

As cloud technologies are available globally, the notion of collaboration and breaking down geographic barriers become a reality, enabling creatives to work remotely from almost anywhere in the world. On a more local level, imagine the ability to leave work at a regular hour and pick-up your shots from the comfort of home during the long hours of final delivery knowing you have access to exactly the same computing power.

For the small VFX companies the commoditization of cloud services is particularly seductive. The notion of using and paying for only what you need, when you want it, will go a long way in creating a level technology playing field. And don’t forget keeping all this cloud infrastructure running and upgraded with the latest and greatest computing power and fastest storage is someone else’s problem, not yours.

Michael Taylor is Bebop’s VP of Customer Success and has over 25 years of experience working in VFX and post-production at companies such as Digital Domain, Rhythm and Hues, and Encore. He is an executive producer and technologist who has embraced and managed change and disruptive technology throughout his whole career.

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