Ingenuity Studios reinvents its pipeline with VAST Data Universal Storage

Ingenuity Studios has selected VAST to help deliver next-level realism to a host of long- and short-form works, including feature films, television series, music videos, commercials, and more. Ingenuity Studios tapped VAST Data’s Universal Storage architecture to leapfrog the status quo by deploying a simple data storage platform that allows artists and animators to easily collaborate on projects with ultra-fast performance and low-latency, without the classic flash storage tax.

Rendering workflows are changing rapidly for animators and visual effects (VFX) artists, with new machine learning and deep learning technologies being used to automate and enhance much of the creative process. To train and deploy these new deep learning models, studios need to provide high-speed access to rich content for high-throughput computation. All-flash infrastructure is not just a critical advantage for metadata-intensive render farms, but also an essential component of demanding deep learning pipelines. VAST’s Universal Storage uniquely boosts speed without the classic exorbitant all-flash storage costs, enabling render farms to deliver at up to 10x faster performance than HDD-based scale-out storage and de-risking infrastructure choice as VFX pipelines evolve to support more deep learning technologies.

VAST’s Universal Storage architecture will be used for all of Ingenuity Studios’ projects going forward, and is already supporting such productions as American procedural action drama television show S.W.A.T., which features a wide range of exacting effects. By helping the Ingenuity Studios team create rich content via huge amounts of data, its artists can push the boundaries of realistic visual effects with precision and speed.

“We generate massive data sets for every project we work on. For our 3D and simulation teams, a single frame can require several gigabytes — and we need thousands of frames just for one sequence. Having the infrastructure to control that sprawl and serve more than 300 remote workers who all need low-latency access to that data is critical to our operations,” said Grant Miller, partner and VFX supervisor at Ingenuity Studios. “With VAST, smart storage architecture allows us to unleash the power of all-flash without breaking our project budget.”

“I can always count on Ingenuity Studios to deliver VFX shots that bring the accuracy and immediacy of the action unfolding,” said Chad Wanstreet, VFX supervisor for S.W.A.T. “Having been an artist earlier in my career, I have a deep appreciation for what goes into the work from a technical perspective. The pressure is on when you're working with steep episodic television deadlines, so incorporating a storage solution that further speeds the time from concept to delivery is a great move by Ingenuity.”

“The Ingenuity Studios ethos of advancing what’s considered state-of-the-art to create new worlds by pioneering technologies, such as deep learning and all-flash data storage, is shared by VAST Data as we aggressively innovate to unlock new possibilities in data infrastructure,” said Jeff Denworth, co-founder of VAST Data. “Ingenuity is leading the way with awe-inspiring visual effects that immerse viewers at home, in theaters and on the go, and we could not be more proud to help drive their next-generation render and AI workloads.”

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