Sydney-based Skyhouse’s team of dedicated, seasoned creatives formed Skyhouse Studios in early 2020 with the purpose of producing creative solutions for any visual endeavour by leveraging their scale and expertise. Recently the company were looking to get on board with cloud rendering for animation and VFX and for that they chose the Digistor Cloud Render Onboarding Package and a Digistor Customer Assurance Plan.
Skyhouse General Manager, Lydia Grbevski, explained, “We had been looking to implement AWS cloud rendering through Deadline Render Manager for a long time and began our search for a local vendor to no avail. We found overseas companies were offering a similar service but it wasn’t convenient or cost effective for us to go down that route. With that in mind we were very quick to jump on board when Digistor announced its off the shelf solution that implemented AWS through Deadline as it was cost effective and easy to implement. We did need support though so, that combined with a Digistor Customer Assurance Plan, was an ideal solution for us.”
The Digistor Cloud Render Onboarding Package enables Skyhouse to scale on-premise and in-house rendering capabilities into the cloud with enhanced render speed and scalability. Using cloud-based rendering, Skyhouse can now scale their rendering power in minutes to control how quickly they want to complete any project giving them incredible compute elasticity and cost control as they only pay for what they use.
Grbevski continued, “We needed a way to scale our internal render farm without having to submit renders to a separate render manager or third-party cloud rendering service. Deadline with AWS allows us to submit renders to our local farm and spin up extra machines of our choosing from the cloud. Sounds simple, but the set up was not. That’s where Digistor came in. Their engineers were able to take care of the entire setup process and troubleshoot with Thinkbox and AWS. Having Digistor’s help along the way, especially in ironing out those teething issues, made the process so much more simple, easy and efficient.”
According to Grbevski the Digistor Cloud Render Onboarding Package is an ideal solution for Skyhouse and indeed any company operating in the areas of visual effects, visualisation, animation and editing, who would benefit from less time spent on waiting for renders to finish, and would like to utilise Digistor’s extensive experience in deploying and supporting cloud-based workflows.
Digistor’s onboarding package also enables Skyhouse to take advantage of cloud rendering utilising the AWS Portal, with Digistor setting up and configuring the AWS cloud environment and helping them communicate with an on-prem Deadline environment.
AWS Portal simplifies the Skyhouse process of launching infrastructure and rendering in the cloud by extending an on-prem Deadline environment into the cloud, using AWS EC2 spare capacity – EC2 Spot. It also facilitates secure communication between the on-prem and AWS cloud environments, handling the asset transfers and software licensing.
Grbevski added, “Our setups are quite complicated and we found they would often break when we used other platforms. Amazon’s cloud infrastructure mirrors the exact setup we have on premises and even remaps things to work with Linux render nodes which work out to be more cost effective than the Windows equivalent. It goes without saying that Digistor’s offering has levelled up our game and in turn, levelled out the playing field. This technology has given us the ability to deliver the same level of work as some of the bigger studios and we have not had to sacrifice on quality or quantity of work due to traditional rendering constraints.”
Digistor’s Customer Assurance Plan was a big part of the reason Skyhouse chose the overall Digistor package as Lydia Grbevski concluded, “We were blown away by Digistor’s engineering teams’ commitment to make things work and never leaving us with an unfinished or untested setup. They have always provided a committed and professional service. In other words, the Digistor Cloud Render Onboarding Package is excellent and the Digistor Customer Assurance Plan is so good we are going to upgrade it.”