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SummuS Render transforms animation process with as-a-service solution built on IBM Cloud

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The process of animating a feature film has come a long way since 1937, when Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was made. Back then, it took hundreds of artists several years to hand-draw thousands of illustrations, and the project cost of millions of dollars.

Today, all that is done with computer-generated imagery (CGI).

That is not to say it’s a simple task, however. Usually, when a studio starts a new project, it purchases a large number of animation workstations and the latest software. It hires animators to work onsite. It certainly wouldn’t take as many people or as much time, but making an animated movie is still a multi-million dollar investment.

SummuS Render, a Spanish render farm, helps its clients overcome animation project challenges by offering the entire process as a cloud-based service.

Summus Render Simple Animation

A virtual animation studio

SummuS Render offers Simple Animation, a global, cloud-based virtual studio platform that looks and feels the same for users who connect locally as those who connect via the cloud.

Animation and VFX studios or freelancers can rent their own animation studio with a robust architecture and redundant systems, without the need to invest in hardware, software and IT staff. The solution is scalable and flexible. Users pay only for the services they use, including licenses, workstations, backup storage and systems, and production management.

Choosing IBM Cloud

SummuS Render’s IBM Business Partner, Repessa, recommend that the company work with IBM. SummuS Render needed a vendor with data centers in its primary markets. It needed reliable connectivity. And, of course, it needed servers configured with high-performance graphics processing units (GPUs) , which are essential for animation.

It turned out that IBM Cloud was the right fit. Aside from providing the technical platform, IBM helped with planning and promoting the business concept.

Another factor that set IBM apart was that there is no charge for transfer of data between data centers, which can be a significant cost for remote artists who must transfer large files to and from the studio.

SummuS Render’s Simple Animation solution is a private cloud environment built on IBM Cloud bare metal servers. VMware solutions provide a virtual desktop for each user. Creative content can be transferred quickly and reliably with IBM Aspera.

Because content is stored on secure storage systems in IBM data centers around the world, there is no worry about losing data or unauthorized access. Creative content is backed up and accessible to any user. Access permissions and sizes of storage can be adapted to meet changing needs as the project progresses.

Transforming animation

With Simple Animation, it does not take weeks to set up a studio infrastructure and relocate animators.

Simple Animation clients can provision a full virtual studio in approximately an hour, and artists can log in and begin work immediately. This reduces animation costs by as much as 60 percent. The savings are realized from not having to purchase animation workstations and software licenses. All the latest versions of tools and technology the artists need are available through IBM Cloud.

Additionally, studios can purchase additional capacity from Simple Animation on an as-needed basis.

With no upfront investments, reduced workforce costs, and other savings such as reduced data transfer, storage and even power costs, SummuS Render clients are able to produce movies at a fraction of what they previously cost.

Read the case study for more details.

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