VFX and Chill: How Beanfield’s Cloud Connect solutions set up VFX studios for bigtime success

by Eric Ménard, Senior Account Manager, Beanfield

Orcs and gorgons. Zombies and shape-shifting Italian sea monster children. Panoramic dystopian landscapes and whichever superhero movie is coming out this week. What do these all have in common? Incredible visual effects.

VFX is the magic that takes story concepts and turns them into mind-blowing visual experiences. They’re the wow moments that thrill audiences worldwide and can help make (or break) a production.

Mid-pandemic, the colossal value of entertainment, streaming and content in people’s everyday lives is more important than ever. Pent-up productions as studios get back on top of their delayed schedules, alongside huge increases in viewership, mean that demand is at an all-time high.

At the same time, the technology audiences use to consume content is growing more sophisticated by leaps and bounds. AR, VR, 4K, 5G, 6… something coming soon!

Today, both directors and consumers want premium quality content, and the demand for groundbreaking visual effects isn’t slowing down. This exponentially increases the complexity of production for VFX studios aiming to keep up, creating a growing need for studio data infrastructure that’s ready to innovate and evolve.

Beanfield’s network enables burstable cloud rendering solutions for VFX studios

We team up with top VFX shops to make sure they’re leading, not following. Our Cloud Connect solutions create opportunities to innovate your approach and prepare your studio for the future.

Leading VFX companies aren’t just looking to render the same ol’ images faster. You need to render breakthrough, extreme-quality images like never before… and also faster. That increased ask for speed, quality and flexibility is a perfect storm that you want your business to be ready to take advantage of.

To keep up with the pace of the industry and push the boundaries of what your artists can imagine, VFX studios need to have the most sophisticated, cutting-edge and business-savvy approach to managing data infrastructure and workflows.

It’s time to buy the (render) farm

High-quality VFX takes a lot of processing power. A whole lot.

Old school physical render farms are hard on both your teams and infrastructure. They’re big, run hot and suck up a lot of power. They need significant ongoing maintenance from both production engineering and IT. Worst of all, they’re fixed, hard to scale and slow to upgrade.

With a tight deadline or aggressive production schedule, you need time on your side and the ability to add extra resources fast — where and when you want them.

That’s complicated, and sometimes impossible, to do with physical infrastructure. The valuable time you could be using to get the job done can easily get swallowed up. First by sourcing and installing new equipment, then handling the resource drain on the extra cooling, power, space and networking it takes to run it.

Cloud-connected rendering and workflows to the rescue

Get your head in the cloud. There are lots of reasons why Cloud-based technology can help supercharge your VFX studio:

1. Keep time on your side (and cash in your pocket)

The Cloud is as big as you need it to be when you need it to be. A burstable Cloud rendering capability is inherently scalable and elastic, so you can plug into endless decentralized processing power when you need it.

Don’t need it? Then you don’t use it and you don’t pay for it. You can quote and budget for projects more effectively and efficiently. Plan to pay for boosted power from the Cloud when you anticipate it in your schedule (or to accommodate last-minute needs).

Best of all, you can access that extra Cloud-based power in a fraction of the time, instead of the weeks it would take you to rent, pick up, install and maintain extra equipment.

2. Prepare for remote and hybrid ways of working

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated new remote working styles around the world, and that’s no different for the production and VFX industries. With an increasingly remote future and top talent demanding more flexibility and work/life balance,  doubling down on further physical infrastructure puts you at increased risk of falling behind.

Investing in remote, Cloud-based capabilities is not only best for your bottom line and business opportunities, but it’s also ultimately more agile and efficient for your artists and employees.

3. Power your pipeline and stay focused on the work

The lifeblood of a VFX studio is your pipeline, your client relationships and the quality of work you produce. You want to be in the business of creating and blowing your clients away, not maintaining on-premise computing infrastructure.

Cloud connection allows you to outsource costly, time-consuming tasks to new purpose-built technologies to better solve your needs. Ultimately, that frees up your time and energy to focus on what matters most (and all the things that made you fall in love with VFX in the first place).

4. The need for speed

Slow servers are the enemy. Nothing is more frustrating than having a critical deadline looming and waiting…waiting…waiting for that perfect frame to render because your tech is lagging.

Cloud-based connections naturally open up access to computing power when it’s necessary, reducing latency, and delivering premium-quality content very quickly.

5. Scale up and down in real-time

A Cloud-based strategy helps you be ready for anything. If (let’s be honest, it’s more like when) a job shifts its complexity and scope, you can pivot quickly. When you’ve got some downtime, you avoid paying for extra resources or you can allocate more bandwidth to other projects.

That means not only fewer frustrations and more freedom for you, but you can offer your clients the same savings, speed and adaptability.

6. Set your company up now for success in the future

All of the above — flexibility, cost-effectiveness, scalability, and tech proficiency — translate into a competitive advantage. They’re capabilities that can make you stand out from the pack.

The time to re-image your workflow and proactively plan to harness the power of everything cloud-based connection can do for your studio is now. The companies that don’t will be the first to get left behind.

Let Beanfield champion your VFX success

When it comes to working with VFX studios, we’re much more than a “provider.”

We’re an expert partner with experience collaborating with award-winning companies. We know how to evolve your data infrastructure into best-in-class Cloud architecture and take your business to the next level.

Some specific business-boosting outcomes of our work with VFX studios include:

  • Giving access to rendering capacity in the Cloud, as needed, when their needs exceed the capabilities of their infrastructure.
  • Designing a custom 10 Gbps low-latency (sub-13 millisecond) long-haul cloud connection to enable the best possible spot pricing and edge-caching.
  • Providing a 10 Gbps Megaport Cloud Wave connection that allowed tremendous rendering capacity, as well as the flexibility to switch from one Cloud provider to another, as needed.
  • Allowing ultimate flexibility by working with clients to connect internal networks to multi-Cloud infrastructure in various regions.
  • Providing a solution that gives visual effects artists an optimized workflow with  the ability to render frames overnight. In the morning, their finished frames are ready to either send downstream or make further edits.

Don’t let your competition’s evolution into the Cloud throw a shadow over your studio’s future.

Do the groundwork now to set yourself up for groundbreaking projects, attract top clients, and build long-term business success. Ready to see the business effects of Beanfield’s Cloud Connect solution? Let’s chat and collaborate on your very own customized plan.

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