Post-Production, VFX

Ready for 4K – and everything beyond

The unstoppable demands for speed and smooth collaboration

Topic
Fast, centralized storage
Project
BAND
Partner
Video Progetti
Location
Milan (IT)
Challenge
Fast-pace 4K workflows
System used
ELEMENTS ONE (60bay) / JBOD / Media Library

In the heart of Milan, Italy a highly skilled team of professionals are extremely busy finishing the post-production of numerous commercials and feature films. From editing, to VFX, computer graphics, 3D CGI, and color grading: BAND utilizes an impressive fleet of state-of-the-art high-end technologies, including Final Cut and AVID, DaVinci Resolve, Autodesk Flame, Flare, Maya and Lustre, Foundry’s Nuke, and more. Founded and owned by Adriano Mestroni and Alberto Mantini, the experts at BAND are ready to tackle any given task – and always apply their vast and long-standing experience to every single project they get take care.

Efficiency experts …

Taking a rather unusual approach, BAND has managed to create extremely flexible high-performance workflows. By allowing for simultaneous processes, BAND save their advertising and cinematographic clients tremendous amounts of time.

An exceptional set-up like this takes its toll on the underlying hardware though. Especially in the course of high-res, full-scale projects in 4K, the demands in terms of performance, speed and manageability were increasing disproportionately. And of course, the successful full-service post-production was facing the very common problem: BAND was running out of space.

“Simultaneous workflow processes need simultaneous access to all assets.
ELEMENTS ONE: the collaboration trailblazer!”

… added another efficiency expert

Aside from needing more storage space, BAND needed a solution that was just as versatile, efficient, and nimble as they are themselves. Relying on their long-term trusted partner Video Progetti, utterly dependable both in terms of technical expertise and operational support, BAND laid out in detail their specific needs regarding their production workflow.

While leveraging and integrating BAND’s existing StorNext-based storage, protecting the customer’s previous investment and increasing their ROI, Video Progetti designed an entirely new solution utilizing ELEMENTS ONE. The new set-up fulfills all of BAND’s requirements perfectly, and provides a centralized media storage solution, allowing every workstation to read and write media files directly to and from one spot without any delays. In addition, ELEMENTS ONE offers numerous tools that actively support their workflow, and easy-to-use workflow automation features take tasks off their shoulders. Figuratively speaking, BAND gained a new team member that effectively took over various tasks, providing relief of workload.

Super simple integration, optimal use of existing resources

Videoprogetti managed to install and configure the system with the least possible amount of downtime during production.

The basic system, consisting of an ELEMENTS ONE 60bay was expanded with a 60-disk JBOD. Without formatting the filesystem, the JBOD expansion was added in „hot mode“, instantly increasing both storage space and system performance, easily providing sufficient performance to display uncompressed 4K files in real-time.

“No orientation phase or familiarization necessary.
Simply jump right in and start collaborating.”

The graphical user interface that comes with every ELEMENTS solution is fully intuitive and super-easy to use.  Therefore, only a very brief training, conducted on site by the professionals of Video Progetti, enabled the technical staff at BAND to use ELEMENTS ONE to its full extent, including all of the unique embedded features.

Optimized workflow – simplified maintenance

The all-in-one solution ELEMENTS ONE provides the option to connect both Fibre Channel and Ethernet-based clients to the central storage in concert, granting virtually all workstations in the facility simultaneous access to the central media storage. This circumstance not only paves the way for an optimized collaboration between all workstations but the central repository with a multitude of automated processes allowed BAND to leave behind their manual back-up system used previously.

ELEMENTS ONE also connects their entire VFX-pipeline, based exclusively on Autodesk software – from Maya 3D, to Luster color correction, to Flame finalization. All eight online systems have instant real-time access to the media storage, allowing BAND to operate at full capacity and optimal efficiency by utilizing different VFX systems to collaborate on the same project simultaneously.

“Less time and effort for maintenance of the IT system
means more time and space for creativity.”

Without any worries or headaches about the underlying IT and a lot less effort to maintain it, ELEMENTS ONE provides the creative team at BAND more time and freedom to focus on the quality of the output for the content they produce – and deploy their creativity to its full extent.

A GUI is good. A simple GUI is much better.

Besides being the “central stage” for User Management, Workspace Management, Production and Project Management, the fully intuitive graphical user interface of ELEMENTS acts also as the entry for ELEMENTS Media Library.

Authorized users can browse, view, share, and comment on media assets on the central storage – from anywhere at any time through the web-based GUI.

“Well-thought-out – from start to finish:
Store, view, share, manage, edit, finalize, archive.”

The Media Library also contains a Rough Cut Editor, allowing anyone with access to create rough cuts – that are fully compatible with virtually every professional editing tool, e.g. Avid Media Composer, Premiere Pro or Final Cut. A simple XML file export will make the rough cut created in the Media Library instantly available on any of those professional applications.

Equipped with a full-text search engine, ELEMENTS Media Library provides the option to establish a fully indexed data base, making sure that all assets are easily trackable – including all comments and annotations anyone has ever left in the history of any asset.

“Full-text search engine for archived assets.”

The indexed MAM data base in the Media Library even applies for the LTO-7 archive connected to ELEMENTS ONE. Accessible through the same HTML5-based GUI, archived assets become searchable for easy restore and recovery.

Bottom line

With the implementation of ELEMENTS ONE in their workflow, BAND has not only gained a fast and secure central storage unit, but was able to reduce their manual effort for maintenance significantly – from start to finish. Setting up workflow automation tasks, such as transcoding processes, initiated by ELEMENTS ONE but performed by the WORKER node, alleviates workload off the main system, safeguarding the highest possible performance for the online storage.

Also archiving and recovery times were reduced notably, as tagged archived assets are now searchable through ELEMENTS unique and intuitive interface.

Success Story Print-PDF, 500 KB
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