Like most companies, Crafty Apes (www.craftyapes.com), a visual effects and production studio with a list of impressive credits that includes Jumanji: The Next Level, Watchmen, Hustlers and Dolemite Is My Name, had to quickly shift all of its artists to working from home in March, with relatively little time to prepare.
“We had to go from an office full of people to everyone working from home, and we had to do it very quickly,” said Tim LeDoux, founder and VFX supervisor for Crafty Apes. “Our artists are all now working from home, editing shots, doing their jobs, and all with a high degree of security, since we’re just streaming the data and not sending any files home.”
The transition of approximately 150 artists, across its five global office locations, took approximately one week, with 60 artists transitioned in a single day. Crafty Apes was able to execute this move with little disruption and keep its artists online and maintain production schedules at a time when many enterprises across a wide range of industries have struggled to support a mass migration of employees from the office to the home.
The transition was supported by RFX Inc., a hardware and software solution provider for the VFX industry, and Teradici, the creator of PC-over-IP (PCoIP) technology. Crafty Apes, a Teradici customer for several years, expanded an existing installation of PCoIP technology it had already been using to support artists in branch offices and other remote locations from centralized data centers.
Crafty Apes artists have full access and functionality of their office workstations from their home offices using 10ZiG zero clients and can work within their regular software applications, including Nuke, Houdini, Autodesk Maya and Adobe Photoshop. PCoIP technology encrypts and sends only pixels to the remote endpoint with high-fidelity color and graphics performance and virtually no latency, while keeping files securely stored in the office location and compliant with Trusted Partner Network (TPN) security requirements.
“There are a number of reasons for VFX and animation studios to implement PCoIP technology, including long term security, efficiency, and cost savings to be found in centralizing workstations either in the cloud, in private data centers, or a combination of both,” said Ian Main, technical marketing principal for Teradici. “One of the key advantages is in the agility and resiliency PCoIP solutions can bring to studio workflows, and we believe this can be applied across not only the media and entertainment industry, but more widely across other organizations as well.”
RFX, which specializes in software and professional services for visual effects studios, has seen increased demand for remote work solutions over the last several weeks as production centers like California, New York, Vancouver and India closed offices and shifted employees home to comply with public health recommendations.
“Each company has different permutations and combinations of hardware, software, projects, and locations to support,” said Cliff Edson, general manager for RFX. “Teradici PCoIP technology is tried and tested across the industry and delivers in terms of fidelity, performance, and security requirements, but the specific implementation of it can vary according to each company’s needs. Working closely with Teradici, we have been able to run proofs-of-concept exceptionally quickly and help minimize downtime during a studio’s transition.”