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VFX for Oscar nominated film created using Amazon cloud

Derek du Preez | Feb. 15, 2013
Atomic Fiction is leading the way for Hollywood to cut production costs using the cloud.

Atomic Fiction is leading the way for Hollywood visual effects (VFX) studios that are looking to cut costs on production, whilst maintaining a high level of artistic quality, by rendering images in Amazon's EC2 cloud.

Computerworld UK spoke to Kevin Bailie, CEO and co-founder of Atomic Fiction, and Alex Schworer, the company's lead developer, who recently worked with director Robert Zemeckis on the VFX for his Oscar nominated film, Flight.

"The nice thing for the artists is that the changes are really minimal. They send their render job, which is kind of like a batch operation, and depending on the complexity, can take anywhere from an hour to a couple of days to finish. For them it doesn't matter whether it's an on-site data centre or Amazon's cloud," he said.

"There is some technology behind the scenes that we use to keep data in sync across the Amazon data centres and our internal data centre, which has been developed by a company called Zero FX. They have written some tools that allow our assets to stay in sync with the cloud."

He added: "Then conversely, once those render jobs finish in the cloud, there's a process to sync them back to our network and alert the artist that it's ready to go."

For an in-depth case study on Atomic Fiction's use of Amazon's EC2, which looks at Bailie's security challenges, bandwidth concerns and the business challenges of rendering in a cloud environment, click here.


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