Passion Turns to PipelineFX for Big Ad Campaigns

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Wed, 10/08/2014 - 14:14 -- Nick Dager

When you’re responsible for Nike’s visual message to World Cup fans, the pressure is intense. Not ready in time? Then Nike just missed their shot. For Passion, rising to the occasion meant using PipelineFX’s Qube. Their reward was the award-worthy hit The Last Game – another in a string of successes managed by the number one render farm manager for VFX.

With its superstar characters and incredible animations, The Last Game is far from an anomaly. For years, Passion has been producing commercial and film VFX for multi-million dollar campaigns. Charmin, Dove, and the BBC are clients. But behind the glamour of the big names is a production-proven system that puts render efficiency on a pedestal.

“The ability to assess what you’ve done is particularly powerful,” said Daffer Al-Faiadh, IT manager at Passion Pictures. “With so many variables to account for when you’re managing render queues, the benefit of Qube is that it can manage most of them automatically, while still offering performance charts that let you know if it’s performing to the levels we require.”

Performance graphs come standard with Qube licenses and can show everything from farm performance to resource utilization rates. When a firm is growing rapidly like Passion was during The Last Game production – 150 percent increase in artists, 100 percent increase in farm capacity – it becomes increasingly important for techs to have easy routes to that data.

“Efficiency begins with automation and gets better with adjustments,” added Al-Faiadh. “Qube plays to these needs brilliantly; it’s always working for you, routing prioritized jobs and feeding available workers so your farm has as close to zero downtime as possible.”

One of the main hurdles for other render farms is a lack of compatibility with some of the industry’s most popular tools. After 12 years in existence, Qube has amassed a large job-type collection that makes it easier to insert into production pipelines like the ones at Passion’s London and New York offices. Project regulars like Autodesk Softimage, Autodesk Maya and The Foundry's Nuke were covered by these job types on day one, ensuring that the integration process could move on to more complex needs.

When a complex need arose, PipelineFX’s support team worked remotely or onsite to rectify any issues. Not limited to an introductory package, this support staff is available to subscription customers indefinitely, so as the pipeline develops, so does Qube.

“We have a lot on our plates, and the last thing we want is to be limited by our tools,” said Al-Faiadh. “Qube helps us trust our projections, so when we say it’ll be done on time, we know we aren’t lying.”