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HomeCraftsAnimationWestern X Uses PipelineFX’s Qube for Talking Puppies Feature

Western X Uses PipelineFX’s Qube for Talking Puppies Feature

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Western X is relying on Qube to manage rendering for Santa Pups.

PipelineFX, makers of the Qube render farm management software for digital media creation, announced that Western X has chosen Qube to manage all graphics rendering on their latest film, Santa Pups.

As a visual effects house that specializes in talking animal content, Western X has developed a custom-designed pipeline for making animals appear to speak naturally in real and CG environments. While this process has proven visually effective over a series of films, it has also been costly in terms of rendering time. With the installation of Qube, Western X is able to mold their render farm into an efficient, semi-automated system.

“The greatest challenge we face on these films is the shot count-to-manpower ratio,” said James Tichenor, visual effects supervisor and producer at Western X. “We run a boutique studio with a relatively small render farm, so every render minute is precious, especially when 20 artists have to turn over upwards of 1,100 shots during the course of a five month post.”

Western X specializes in talking animals.

Key Qube features like the graphical Frame Time histogram, and detail columns that depict Avg and ETA statistics, help the studio easily determine job length and progress. This “Smart Farming” intelligence allows Western X to manage the high volumes of visual effects renders its work requires, all without locking artists’ workstations to long-running tasks. And when in crunch time, the team leases additional licenses to expand the reach of its farm onto unused desktops that would otherwise go idle during the night.

“Qube does a brilliant job of managing our farm resource,” added Tichenor. “Its configurable load managing, prioritization, and CPU management features have made it possible to make informed decisions quickly about what needs to get sent to the farm and when.”

“These films really would be impossible to turn around in the time we have without a solid render management system like Qube,” said Tichenor.

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