Thursday, 06 November 2014

Vine FX

Vine FX

Escape Technology helped Vine FX set up their studio in 2012 to work on Merlin series five, followed by its prime-time replacement Atlantis. After 1,083 CG shots for the show Vine FX were ready to expand. We have been brought back in to help the studio expand their portfolio of products and upgrade their storage and network at their new offices in Central London.

"Escape Technology’s knowledge and understanding of our workflow and projects have proven to be invaluable as a resource both pre and post-sale"

- Michael Illingworth, Vine FX

Following the success of Atlantis series one – the BBC’s latest fantasy drama, retelling classic Greek myths with a contemporary twist - Vine FX have now been commissioned for a second series to fulfil even more shots and CG expertise.

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Making Fantasy Reality

Vine FX pride themselves on working like an in-house team. Embedding themselves with the BBC’s other production departments, staff worked tirelessly to deliver a believable world full of realistic creatures and, importantly, it was accomplished within very strict TV timescales and on budget.

To bring the new take on Greek legends to life required a huge outlay in technology and workflow optimisation. Based on Quattro Rendernodes, Igloo storage, and PixIT Media’s PixStor storage Escape Technology had already provided Vine FX with a scalable and cost effective environment.

Having designed a truly scalable solution from day one, Escape Technology were easily able to expand Vine FX’s existing setup with minimal disruption and maximum gain.

As a result, the previously FLAME-centric production studio moved from being capable of one big job centred around one key artist at a time to a completely multi-disciplinary, multi-artist powerhouse. This allowed creativity to be truly shared and enhanced by a faster and smarter workflow as our products developed rather than slowed down as data sets grew larger.

To achieve all this Escape Technology provided new and upgraded HP Z Series Workstations, more SuperMicro Quattro Rendernodes, more SuperMicro Igloo Near Line Archive Storage and a new PixIT Media PixStor Online Network/Storage Fabric, as well as more software licences from AutoDesk, The Foundry, Thinkbox, Chaos, Tweak and more.

Vine FX have also signed up to an annual support contract to help them with mission critical work as they expand.

Trusted Advisors

Any company is the sum of its staff, and Vine FX’s creative team of over 40 artists are now able to work across a vast array of demanding projects thanks to the expert knowledge of Escape Technology’s CTO, Lee Danskin, and Technical Sales Director, Phil Darkin.

“Lee and Phil’s knowledge and understanding of our workflow and projects have proven to be invaluable as a resource both pre and post-sale. Our support and supply contracts with Escape enable us to focus on our creativity rather than worry about our IT infrastructure and technical problems,” says Michael Illingworth, founder of Vine FX.

The Escape Technology team turned around an up-scaled studio environment with minimal downtime and, thanks to an effective support contract, were able to deal with any teething problems. What helped even more was the fact that Escape are, quite literally, five minutes away in the heart of Soho. So it’s nice and easy to pop by for a helping hand and get on-site support in mere minutes.

Trialled and tested

Thanks to Escape’s relationship with hardware and software suppliers we were able to provide Vine FX with trial packages so they could test a number of techniques before settling on their chosen products.

Combined with our monitoring of hardware for Vine FX, their in-house IT team can be confident in the choice and reliability of their technology. Should the worst happen, the entire system is regularly backed up and can be restored if the need arises.

This level of support has helped spur on greater innovation within Vine FX and has enabled them to grow even more as a professional, highly skilled creative team.