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Reel FX Hits 4.5 Million Render Jobs Using PipelineFX’s Qube!

Leading Render Farm Management Software for VFX Currently at Work on New Guillermo Del Toro Production, “The Book of Life”

Los Angeles, CA (Sept. 18, 2014) – The tools that last are the ones that can roll with the punches. For Dallas, TX and Santa Monica’s Reel FX, one tool has helped them manage 4.5 million render jobs in the most efficient way possible. Now in its 11th year of use, PipelineFX’s Qube! plays the guardian role for a production queue riding high on the success of “Free Birds” and the impending release of the new Guillermo Del Toro-produced feature with 20th Century Fox, “The Book of Life.” 

As the backbone of Reel FX’s render farm, Qube! is used to manage and distribute the 33,000 unique weekly jobs that cycle through the firm’s production departments. Now mostly automated, the render queue behind commercials for Audi and interactive Minion clips for a Universal Studios ride has powered a mixture of 700 render nodes and individual artist workstations. The integration of all available resources with Qube!’s prioritization power has helped utilization rates remain high while artists continue to deliver on their high-profile projects.

“Qube! is in the middle of every commercial, short and animated film we’ve produced,” said Ross Moshell, Head of Technology at Reel FX. “As a production studio, we squeeze every last drop out of our software. Qube! helps keep our render farm busy 24 hours a day so we rarely have downtime.”

Qube! made its Reel FX debut in 2003 while the studio was working on its first long-form animation project, “GI Joe: Spy Troops.” A sudden shift in demand for high-volume, quick-turnaround rendering forced the hand of the growing shop, leading them to Qube! which had already made a name for itself as an intuitive solution to their problem.

“PipelineFX was a helpful, engaging partner right from the beginning,” said Moshell. “Their blend of helpful user interface tools and powerful command-line functionality helped make our early projects successful despite having limited render-management personnel. The same customer-service values and focus on functionality are why Reel FX continues to use Qube! today.”

World-class support is a big reason Qube! is the number one render farm management software for VFX companies today. With so many custom tools and pipeline requirements to account for, a little support can go a long way to making a firm self-reliant.

“During the initial roll-out, PipelineFX would come on-site to tailor Qube! to our specific needs while we learned the basics,” said Moshell. “Over the years, we have grown to depend less and less on Qube! support, primarily because the system is so robust and stable, and because our internal render management team understands the software so well now.”

With knowledge in hand, Reel FX could focus on making the most of Qube!’s powerful features. Custom job types allow render wranglers to manage pipeline automation, media creation and other useful non-rendering tasks, saving time and company resources. When pure automation doesn’t make sense, Qube!’s versatility affords the company the ability to enable/disable machines on a smart schedule that taps the power of artist workstations that go idle at certain hours. This promotes full utilization of equipment, ensuring that priority renders are getting all the juice they need.

Looking back, the studio doesn’t know how they ever lived without a professional render farm manager.

“Before we integrated Qube!, production rendering was done with open-source solutions that offered limited functionality,” added Moshell. “Qube! has allowed Reel FX artists to focus on their work; rather than having to constantly monitor and manipulate their render jobs. They trust that Qube! is distributing the work and they always have a clear window into exactly where their jobs are in the pipeline.”

With growth on the rise and a $110 million blockbuster in their rearview, Reel FX is poised to become a big player in the animated feature world. “The Book of Life,” starring the vocal talents of Channing Tatum, Zoe Saldana, Ice Cube and Diego Luna, should continue that forward trajectory.

“We are in a great place right now,” said Moshell. “The staff is excited about the work, audiences are responding, and we are meeting our goals head on. Keeping on this path means that we have to maintain the hard work and good choices that got us here. We count Qube! as one of those good choices.”

About Qube!™ and Smart Farming™

Qube! is an intelligent, mature and highly scalable render management solution that can be quickly integrated into any production workflow, and is backed by world-class technical support. Smart Farming delivers intelligence to production pipelines by providing business-critical insight into render pipelines, maximizing investment in rendering infrastructure and automating manual processes. Qube! works out of the box with all leading content creation applications and is truly cross-platform with all software components available on Windows®, Linux®, and Mac OS®X operating systems.

About PipelineFX

As the leading provider of intelligent render farm management solutions for digital content creation, PipelineFX provides software, support, consulting and training services worldwide. Qube! runs on more than 30,000 render nodes at over 600 customers in 51 countries and is used to render film and visual effects, post production, broadcast, design, games and education media. Clients include Apple, Arc Productions, Base FX, BBC, Cinesite, Deluxe, Digital District, Digital Domain, Dyson, Efilm, Electronic Arts, Google, HBO, Hasbro, L.M.U., Laika Studios, Lockheed Martin, Method Studios, MPC, NBC Sports, Nvidia, NHK, NYU, Original Force, Pratt Institute, Procter & Gamble, ReelFX, South Park Studios, SVA, Target, Technicolor and many others. PipelineFX is headquartered in Honolulu, HI, and has offices in Los Angeles, London, Portland, Las Vegas, and Vancouver.

About Reel FX

Reel FX develops and produces animated films. The company’s feature slate, released under its Reel FX Animation Studios banner, includes the “Dia de Los Muertos” (Day of the Dead) themed project The Book of Life with Twentieth Century Fox which will be released in theaters on October 17th, 2014 and an adaptation of the Beasts of Burden graphic novel. Reel FX’s first full-length animated feature, Free Birds, was released by Relativity Media on November 1st, 2013, grossing over $110 million worldwide.

Based out of Dallas, Texas, Reel FX launched its feature-length development and production slate in 2010 after almost 20 years of experience as an award-winning one-stop studio for the creation of animated content including films, special attraction/live venue projects, commercials, and interactive projects for companies like Fox, Warner Bros., DreamWorks Animation and Universal Studios. The studio continues to do short form work including commercials, music videos, theme park attractions and live experiential animation.

Since starting the development and production of feature films, Reel FX has aligned itself with some of the most recognized and respected names and brands in the entertainment industry for its projects including Free Birds (Jimmy Hayward, Scott Mosier), The Book of Life (Guillermo Del Toro, Jorge R. Gutierrez), the Beasts of Burden adaptation (Dark Horse Comics, Andrew Adamson, Aron Warner), and Cirque Du Soleil: World’s Away (Cirque Du Soleil, James Cameron, Andrew Adamson, Aron Warner).