Broadcast Beat Magazine 2017 NAB Show NY/SMPTE Special Edition - Page 24

Deadline’s mass command option allows the team to control multiple nodes from a single worksta- tion. “Deadline really clears up the time artists were forced to waste managing the render farm,” confirms Mathews. “After two months of real problems with our pre- vious render solution, I convinced RealtimeUK to buy Deadline,” Kirkham adds. “It’s just fantastic. It does exactly what you need and doesn’t get in the way. With Deadline, we can simply get on with the fun thing we all enjoy doing!” Stability drives creativity Realtime UK renders with V-Ray on its local farm and uses a pool system to divide up nodes for tackling large or multiple projects. “That does a pretty good job out the box,” says Kirkham, “obvi- ously there are times when not everything can fit into a pre-defined solution. But there are plenty of overrides that allow us to easily manipulate it and get jobs through in the order we want.” and I wouldn’t know if I had any renders or not, because the software had probably crashed,” he continues. “You don’t experience that with Deadline. You know your renders have gone through. And with mobile view and remote work capabilities, you can monitor it all the time. If any- thing does go wrong, the alerts will let you know – but that really doesn’t happen.” Real growth ahead As resolution requirements have increased, so too has the size of RealtimeUK’s render farm. The studio projects further investments in hardware, memory, storage and talent to stay ahead of the curve. “The biggest requirement increase has been memory, and the expansion needed on memory to fit everything in,” says Kirkham. “Everything’s meant to get quicker, which lets you push the quality more, so in a sense everything just gets slower. It’s a weird paradox!” While RealtimeUK began with a standard Deadline installation, the studio has augmented the soft- ware as they’ve grown more comfortable with it. One enhancement that’s made a big difference is a central repository for V-Ray plugins, making it easy to roll back to a past version if required. Deadline’s expandability means the studio will have no trouble adding further nodes as complex- ity increases, whether they choose to stick with a local farm or implement cloud rendering – some- thing that at the time of writing RealtimeUK is just starting to seriously consider. The studio’s favorite Deadline feature is the reli- ability it brings to processing, especially when tackling large jobs. There’s no uncertainty around whether or not render jobs will complete – Deadline ensures they get done. By redistributing resources to where they are most needed, and prioritising jobs according to user specifications, Deadline keeps all renders on track. Even when at full capacity. The Smite cinematic reveals that the studio is capable of creating incredible-looking wotime and time again. Beyond the several million trailer views on YouTube, they’ve also received industry recognition for the trailer: Will Eades won for best character animation at last year’s Manchester Animation Festival. “Stability is the most important thing,” affirms Kirkham. “If it can’t do anything else, that’s the one thing a render solution needs to do. You want to come in and know your work is getting done. With Deadline managing hundreds of tasks across the farm without issue, artists can spend more time creating and less time with technical debugging, translating into a huge productivity boost.” “With our previous setup, I’d come in on Monday 24 • Broadcast Beat Magazine • No matter how large the studio grows in the future to accommodate its many upcoming proj- ects, it will always have Deadline to help them keep their render needs under control. “Anyone that needs to get heavy rendering done with lots of machines, and wants something that’s reliable and easy to use for artists to use, then Deadline should be your choice,” Kirkham con- cludes. “Nothing else comes close.”