CASE STUDY

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Facilis TerraBlock Shared Storage Unleashes Productivity for Emoxis

 

Emoxis LLPEmoxis Case Study Image is a long-established 3D animation and video post-production house based in Singapore. Catering to global advertising agencies and multinational corporations, the company’s services include television commercials, multimedia video productions, infographics, corporate presentations, animatics, stilomatics, motion graphics, animation, VFX and audio. Whatever the project, Emoxis’ creative team collaborates to deliver a unique aesthetic for each client within a short timeframe, which requires a strong storage infrastructure for quick and easy file access and sharing. Last year, Emoxis invested in a Facilis TerraBlock 24D to streamline operations.

At Emoxis, jobs are passed from offline, to 3D, motion graphics and online finishing at a rapid pace, and TerraBlock has simplified and accelerated the flow of data through Emoxis’ workflow. “Our operational team is lean, so productivity is hugely important. We want our creatives to be able to perform at top speeds, and with TerraBlock at the center of our workflow, they can,” said Mark Sun, creative director, Emoxis. “Our files render and transfer quicker than ever before, and we can playback uncompressed Adobe Premiere files in real-time. This functionality is crucial, especially when facing tight deadlines daily.”

Before integrating TerraBlock into its workflow, Emoxis explored NAS and standard file sharing with a centralized server, but quickly found that those solutions lacked the performance needed for concurrent connectivity and multi-format playback, while using more complex protocols. After searching for a higher quality storage solution that could match its video centric workflow needs, Sun purchased the TerraBlock through integration partner The Media Village. “We couldn’t be more pleased with our final decision. After using the system for some time, it’s evident that Facilis’ team is dialed into our needs as video creators and built a highly efficient solution at a price point that can’t be beat,” noted Sun.

Collaborating closely with The Media Village and Facilis, Emoxis’ TerraBlock installation ran smoothly, and the team was up and running in no time, with TerraBlock connected via 8Gb Fibre Channel to five Mac workstations that run Apple® Final Cut Pro®, Adobe® Premiere Pro®, Autodesk® Smoke®, Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve and/or Avid® Pro Tools®, in addition to four Windows motion graphics suites that are linked via 1Gb Ethernet and run Adobe® Creative Cloud™ and Autodesk® 3ds Max®. The system is also linked to three producer workstations, a custom archive workstation, encoding suite, ten render farm nodes and an administration file server.

Emoxis is unique in that it is not a full edit-based post-production house, and shares its storage with producers, whose work typically requires 1Gb access to input documents into project folders. While real-time performance played a role in the decision-making process, finding an affordable, fast and easy way to share data between the entire team was the most important. “With Facilis, you don’t incur per-seat licensing fees, and you can easily customize your connection, whether Fibre Channel or Ethernet, to work in a hybrid environment,” said Sun. “It’s also easy to use and there is no cumbersome metadata controller; you can customize your workflow to cover a variety of situations. That alone made it a no brainer in terms of our decision to acquire TerraBlock.”

Over the course of post production on each project, Emoxis’ team will often draw upon high quality stock footage purchased from sister company, MotionElements.com. As the HD and 4K footage arrives uncompressed, the team has to be able to maintain maximum availability and speed while transcoding the footage for the timeline, which TerraBlock has afforded.

TerraBlock has also eliminated the need for Emoxis’ team to migrate project files from one workstation to another when changing edit suites, because all of the workstations can access footage directly from the system. “TerraBlock has put our editors at greater ease. It’s simplified the project planning process and changed the flexibility of how we work as a team for the better,” explained Sun. “We needed to move uncompressed HD files in real-time, and TerraBlock delivered; we wanted everyone in our studio to have access the same shared volume and TerraBlock provided that.”
He concluded, “No news is good news in this business, and we never hear any complaints about file access or networking from the staff. TerraBlock works perfectly the way we envisioned it would, which gives our entire team a peace of mind.”

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