By Diana Colella, SVP, Media & Entertainment at Autodesk
Entertainment studios and gaming companies face relentless pressure to produce compelling content. The goal? More stories and games, faster and with leaner staff. In the streaming era, players and audiences are just a click away from moving to a different app or channel.
To compete in this always-on, always-ready-for-the-next-best-thing environment, you need creativity and efficiency. Working in the cloud helps with both, enabling industry collaboration and better workflows.
The objective is to provide the tools that allow customers to unleash their greatest potential, as well as to make collaboration more seamless, open, and accessible for everyone, everywhere.
Uniting the production pipeline in the cloud
The varied schedules and diverse technology in film, TV and modern games production make collaboration a challenge. With productions spanning hundreds of people across many locations with thousands of shots, numerous assets, and millions of versions, we’re talking petabytes of data. Hence, Autodesk is developing its new M&E industry cloud, Autodesk Flow, being created to bring people and data together across the production pipeline to unify workflows and data.
The idea is to create centralized asset management systems where all project information can live and be shared throughout the project lifecycle for continuity.
A cloud platform will provide connected workflows upstream in production, and Moxion is a great example. These efforts are driven by genuine needs. Production teams have long struggled with siloed data, manually moving data on and off disconnected systems. At its worst, hard drives were literally trucked around between facilities, and the same shots had to be recreated over and over, draining time and increasing the risk of error.
Moxion, the powerful, cloud-based platform for digital dailies, brings raw footage from the set, into one flexible tool for review by anyone, anywhere, moments after capture. Studios and production managers coupling this with ShotGrid for project management are already seeing powerful results.
Amazon Studios, the production arm of Amazon, combined the tools to create the company’s biggest production to date, “Rings of Power,” an expansion of “The Lord of the Rings” franchise. The 8-hour series is the largest film television production in history, requiring more than 9,000 shots across five visual effects companies. It’s the equivalent of producing eight movies at once, so business as usual wasn’t an option.
To manage many moving parts, and enable collaboration between teams, Amazon Studios leveraged ShotGrid and Moxion to connect their production pipeline in the cloud, where on-set data flows to post-production nearly in real time, delivering this epic narrative.
Driving the industry forward with open standards
A fluid cloud environment for the production pipeline leads to better collaboration. Open and interoperable data flows through flexible and scalable pipelines with much less friction. That’s why companies in the M&E industry are making significant investments in developing and promoting open standards.
By open sourcing technologies such as RV, it allows VFX and animation artists and production teams to view high-resolution images and sequences in real time and compare different versions while collaborating on projects. The same goes for providing code contributions, alongside other industry collaborators like Sony and DNEG. The Open Review Initiative, a new project within the Academy Software Foundation, will drive a unified, open-source toolset for playback, review, and approval.
This also includes offering Bifrost for Maya USD integration that allows customers to author USD assets using the Bifrost graph. And supporting and driving MaterialX, Open Color IO, gITF, Open Timeline IO, and a range of other open standards to help transform the industry from closed and siloed, to open and collaborative.
Bringing the power of Maya to more artists, everywhere
Maya is renowned for its 3D animation and visual effects toolset used by the largest studios around the world. To make content creation more accessible, it is imperative to lower the barrier to entry for artists operating independently and in smaller facilities.
Maya Creative is a new, more affordable, streamlined version of Maya that allows creatives to tap into the power of Maya via Flex, our pay-as-you-go pricing tool. You pay for what you use, nothing more. This model allows smaller studios to quickly add artists to their workforce to minimize crunch time. Whether you’re a freelancer, a small indie studio, or a large production house, these tools are here to empower, you with workflows that bring creativity to life.