Celebrating with German Perfectionism
The Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film (Trickfilm) marks its 25th edition with an ambitious program of features, shorts, concerts and informative panels.
Europe. Not only does the festival offer the latest in feature films, TV series and shorts, it’s also a great opportunity to learn about state-of-the-art games, VR and installation art projects.”
Like many of his colleagues, Wegenast is hugely grateful for the proliferation of animation in our daily lives. “Animation is ubiquitous now,” he says. “Nowadays it’s difficult to differentiate between film, animation and reality. Indeed, technologies like VR and interactive digital media like games and apps are prominent platforms for animation today. Therefore, we develop new formats of presentation beyond the screen.”
He also sees a huge connection between architecture/scenography and animation, and new economic and cultural possibilities. “There’s another trend to reestablish handmade techniques like puppet animation and cutout to give a human touch to animation,” Wegenast points out. “Over the past 10 years, we have seen a true renaissance of puppet animation and stop motion. There is also a trend to combine real-time and game-based animation with live performance in theaters and music stages. This has created fascinating interactions between animation, avatars and live performers.” You can learn about all the exciting programs and screenings planned for the 25th anniversary edition of the festival at www.itfs.de/en.
While we are on the topic of render farms and cloud rendering, Deadline 10 was released this past year. Thinkbox Software has also curled up under the umbrella of Amazon Web Services, which presumably will mean even tighter integration with the cloud rendering services AWS has to offer.
Deadline has been around for over a decade, and, full disclosure, it’s my favorite of the render managers. The UX, the workflow, the expandability and customizability all just make sense in my brain. It has easy setups to connect to project management tools like Shotgun, fTrack, and NIM. The management system is based on a scalable MongoDB database. Deadline can manage local farms, remote farms (if there is another facility) and cloud servers. Licensing can be local or usage-based by-the-minute, and it only charges for render time, not idle time. In addition, third-party software licenses are available from the Thinkbox Marketplace — again, licensed by the minute. So if you don’t have a budget for 10 Nuke licenses, you can fill up your Nuke license “gastank” and when you render, you deplete your tank as you use it.
But that’s the general overview. What’s new in Deadline 10? Because of the AWS acquisition, you login and install Deadline with your AWS account. AWS connects to and expands your local network, treating it as the same network. This means you can spin up servers preloaded with software, or install your own, and those servers can either use the licenses from the Thinkbox Marketplace, or it can reach over to your local license server. The same holds true for local assets. If a render starts and requires assets, it can pull over those assets to the cloud. There can also be a pre-warming period where dependencies are assessed and synced before rendering begins. The synced assets remain in the cloud to prevent re-syncing.
Licensing has a dynamic system that uses user-defined thresholds to determine where the licenses are pulling from. If you have a certain number of local Deadline licenses, the Deadline slaves can be set to grab those first — and when that threshold is hit, it switches to the Usage-Based licensing, where you are renting the licenses on a per-minute basis.
Additional security measures have also been implemented to lock down the types of commands that can be used on remote machines. Also, remote tools have been updated for more