PENGUINS ON DEMAND
Ink and Light Leap into Action with UBL
It is vital, especially for small studios, to pick the right tools and processes that keep their business lean and efficient. This decision can be the difference between a project that is profitable and one that can end up financially damaging a studio. In animation and CG especially, tools that can operate to get the job done well and cost-effectively deserves serious consideration.
Deadline 8 alleviates some of that strain via Usage Based Licensing; a unique offering that allows flexibility over the rendering hours studios need. If work is coming in thick and fast, or the opposite happens – studios can scale up and down with hourly bundles of licensing.
It was this solution that enabled the small but growing Dublin-based studio Ink and Light to flourish on a recent project, tackling it using only the render hours needed and keeping budgets strictly in check.
"I'm really proud of our crew, they've done a terrific amount of work and kept the quality really high – thanks in no small part to Deadline 8.0 and UBL."
Harry & Bip is a full-CG animated series about two excited penguins seeking entertainment and adventure amidst the ice and snow. It follows in the same vein as much of Ink and Light’s work—family-friendly entertainment and was based on a concept from studio co-owner Leevi Lemmetty.
Ink and Light specializes in both live-action and animated content, but Harry & Bip, which was completed in association with networks RTÉjr in Ireland and YLE in Finland, represents the studio's first-ever fully animated series.
"It's the longest animation project we've taken on to date and the most ambitious," says Tasmin Lyons, Producer of Harry & Bip. "I'm really proud of our crew. We had an initial order of 15 two-minute episodes, and the team went all in: they've done a terrific amount of work and kept the quality really high – thanks in no small part to Deadline 8.0 and UBL."
SCALING WITH EASE
Harry & Bip presented a conundrum to the small studio when it came time to rendering. One option it could use would be the limited farm setup it already had but would take longer to deliver renders – or spend more money than desired and utilize a remote farm to pick up the slack.
Deadline Usage Based Licensing presented itself as the third option: Ink and Light rented additional local rendering machines and used UBL on those devices, overseeing its rendering needs with Maxwell Render.
"It was fantastic to be presented with that opportunity: UBL ensured that our render farm was used as efficiently and intelligently as possible, while also allowing us to keep our material in-house on our secure servers," says Lyons. "It really was quick, too: we put in the credit card details and were immediately up and running.”
"UBL ensured that our render farm was used as efficiently and intelligently as possible, while also allowing us to keep our material in-house on our secure servers,"
This was important, given that half the Ink and Light team hadn't used Deadline before Harry & Bip. Thankfully the team ran into no problems: “UBL is so user-friendly; there isn’t a steep learning curve,” says Lyons. "Being able to switch between operating systems was a blessing: it meant we could use it between our farm and our workstations. This kind of simple, accessible functionality is so important when you've got a deadline and you're working at the weekends."
For a growing studio-like Ink and Light, a solution like UBL can stand as essential in the early years—and it’s one the team intends to keep in its arsenal.
"Deadline and UBL haven't caused any hiccups—it’s only made things simpler and faster," concludes Lyons. "In a short-term crunch, UBL enabled us to get our material out quickly without a massive outlay. We could suspend jobs when we needed to, and pick them back up when we were ready.
“For a small studio working on a big project, that pliability in rendering power is invaluable. We had limited resources within our farm, so it needed to be maximized to its full potential. Deadline helped us do that."