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August 2016

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STORAGE FOR VFX 27 POST AUGUST 2016 feature, 2307 Winter's Dream, a futuristic tale of a hu- manoid rebellion. "In addition to VFX shots for 2307, we're doing the VFX edit for the entire movie, matching scenes shot-to-shot," Sussi explains. "That's a huge hit for the server, but Pro Studio is doing just fi ne." He's found it "comforting" to know that PlatPlat can rely on Pro Studio as jobs ramp up and the company's work becomes more complex. "Pro Studio is battle tested; it has a great track record. And there's a road map for expansion laid out for us, so when the need arises for more storage, it won't be a big deal to make it happen," says Sussi. "Quantum guided us to Pro Studio as the best fi t for us and will continue to be our partner as we add onto the system." SCANLINE VFX Scanline VFX (, which won a 2015 Emmy Award for its work on Game of Thrones, was founded in Germany and opened offi ces in LA in 2007 and Vancouver in 2011. It has expanded its storage in North America to link its two West Coast locations and accommodate more editors and VFX artists working simultaneously on major feature fi lms. For VFX editing, Scanline runs a Facilis TerraBlock 24EX with a TX16 16-drive expansion module with up to 32TBs of storage. "The hardware is based in LA and links to Vancouver," says lead VFX editor, Evan Salusbury. "All editors have Ethernet connections so they can work on multiple shots and multiple shows at the same time. Before TerraBlock, we used localized storage. But when we expanded in Vancouver, we needed a storage solution that enabled us to share between the two locations." Scanline chose TerraBlock as an alternative to Avid ISIS. TerraBlock promised to be "easier to incorporate into our pipeline and would give us the opportunity to deal with Adobe Premiere projects, too," Salusbury explains. "TerraBlock covered all the editorial bases, not just Avid." The company has run 15 shows on TerraBlock so far, and "it's been pretty seamless," Salusbury reports. "We started with up to 32TBs and haven't fi lled it yet. But the system is expandable; it can double in size." LTO tape is used for archival storage. Among recent fi lms on TerraBlock was Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Two editors working simul- taneously in Vancouver on Avid Media Composers V.8.0 edited numerous VFX shots, including scenes with the iconic Batmobile. San Andreas was in-house at the same time, along with Furious 7. At another time, fi ve editors in LA and Vancouver were busy with Independence Day: Resurgence while The Hateful Eight was also in-house. "High-speed Internet connections between the two cities enables us to send data back and forth in realtime," says Salusbury. "We can also access computers in both locations remotely to see what's going on." Animators and VFX artists use EMC Isilon X200 and NL400 NAS servers. "It's a large cluster with 64 nodes," says Scott Miller, studio manager of Scanline in LA and Vancouver. "The nodes range from 32TBs to 144TBs for a total of more than 4 petabytes." Scanline has used Isilon since its North American offi ces opened. "We started with a handful of nodes and expanded," Miller explains. "We did a big upgrade last year, which doubled our capacity." Isilon was selected for its "industry-standard" status as well as its security and scalability, he notes. "The servers are very stable. In nine-plus years, we've had no loss of data. We're very happy with Isilon's performance; I'd give it A+ all around. Isilon has been very successful for us and will continue to be as projects get bigger, denser, faster." Scanline expects to tackle new installments of Justice League, Power Rangers and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 this fall. "We're looking at more people and more storage" for VFX editing, Salusbury says. "This is a business with ever-changing schedules, and sometimes you need to ramp up to perfect-storm level." The company will look at TerraBlock's hybrid solution down the road as Scanline handles larger and larger fi le sizes and the need for speed increases, he notes. "We've been editing VFX in HD, but in future we'll be cutting 4K and will need to scale up our storage. Projects will only get more storage-heavy as time goes on," Salusbury forecasts. DELUXE DEVELOPS 'THE PORTAL' When fi lmmakers bring their projects to Deluxe creative companies, it's so the studios can build a post workfl ow for their projects, while also lever- age new technology to increase effi ciency and shave unnec- essary time from always-tight delivery schedules. Essential to providing this is to be able to store the vast amounts of data needed by editorial and post in one place and to deliver it to editorial, VFX and fi nishing houses anywhere on the planet, quickly and securely. It may sound simple, but it's actually enormously complicated. That's what drove Deluxe to develop The Portal, a new service that allows all camera original fi les and metadata to be stored on a Deluxe server. For the full story, visit Scanline VFX stores assets on Facilis TerraBlock for such projects as San Andreas.

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