Doctor Who artists burst to the cloud

Monday, 18 January 2016

We’re talking about cloud rendering a lot right now. It was a major theme at SIGGRAPH 2015, where Google showcased their Cloud Platform, and we were excited about partnering with them last September.

Doctor Who artists burst to the cloud

Then in November, Pixit Media announced their collaboration with Google, to improve efficiency, reduce costs and speed up the rendering process.

Cloud technology provides ultimate scalability in render terms, but it’s still fairly new. So we’re delighted that Milk VFX have taken it up, supported by a PixStor storage solution, and so far it’s working out brilliantly for them.

Milk link their render farms in London and Cardiff with each other and the cloud using PixCache, which comes as standard within PixStor architecture. “We can use PixCache as a client in the cloud and transfer all the required files to Cardiff quickly and easily,” said Dave Goodbourn, Head of Systems at Milk.

PixCache also integrates Milk’s render farms seamlessly with Google’s Cloud Platform: “Recently we needed to burst onto more render nodes due to combined deadlines, and the cloud was the perfect solution. Using the PixCache system on Google’s cloud platform meant that the cloud instances responded, rendered and acted just as if they were in either of our London or Cardiff machine rooms,” Goodbourn continued.

London and Cardiff may be a couple of hundred miles apart, but Milk’s offices couldn’t be closer. “We don’t treat Cardiff as a separate entity – from an infrastructure point of view it’s like we’ve added another floor in London, but for a fraction of the cost.”