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King Rollo Films Revs Up Animated Production with Facilis TerraBlock Shared Storage

kingrollofilms_case_study_imageBAFTA award-winning production company King Rollo Films Ltd. has enchanted young audiences with its captivating television animations since 1984. Today the UK-based shop continues to grow, while collaborating with highly talented artists and writers to bring unique children’s stories to life. In order to meet the advanced storage bandwidth and capacity demands that its animation projects require, King Rollo Films purchased a 48-TB TerraBlock 24D shared storage system earlier this year.

To ensure a smooth commissioning process, UK reseller Digital Garage, Facilis and King Rollo Films worked together to deploy and commission the TerraBlock, getting it up and running in little time. Noting the ease-of-use of the new solution, King Rollo Films Technical Director Chris Gunningham said, “I love the user management features on TerraBlock, and the fact that once you set it up, it requires minimal intervention. To sum it up succinctly, it’s trouble free.”

In-house at King Rollo Films, the dedicated production team leverages 30 creative workstations powered by TerraBlock, which are connected via 1Gb Ethernet with a 48-port 1Gb switch that also includes two 10Gb ports. Running on Windows, the creative suites are armed with a combination of creative applications, including Adobe® Premiere® Pro CC for editing animations and animatics; Adobe® After Effects® CC for compositing and effects; and Adobe® Photoshop® CC for developing backgrounds and characters. To archive projects, the studio depends on LTO tape drives.

While working on the second season of the Coolabi/Nick Jr. preschool series adapted from the “Poppy Cat” book collection, the team has seen significant benefits by using the TerraBlock. As an example, test scene load times are four times faster than before. Gunningham shared, “In the past, we couldn’t quickly load large HD Photoshop files from all thirty computers simultaneously, but now with TerraBlock the speed is much improved.”

Currently equipped for HD production, King Rollo Films is considering a move to 4K production in the near future and plans to invest in 16Gb Fibre Channel soon to accommodate the change. Gunningham added, “TerraBlock has proven more than adequate for us for HD, and as we look to the future of 4K, we know it will give us the flexibility and performance we need to make a smooth transition.”

Continuing, he concluded, “TerraBlock has become immensely important to our business; I would recommend it to any studio considering a storage upgrade.”

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