cooling the core

New Holland Creative ON GPUs and Deadline

Founded in 2015, Sydney-based studio New Holland Creative specializes in design and motion graphics for advertising, broadcast and feature films. Its talented team of design directors and animators boast an impressive history of award-winning Design, Visual Effects and Broadcast work. New Holland has recently added Hyundai and Foxtel to their rapidly growing list of clients. When New Holland began building its technology pipeline, one of the first pieces it put in place was Thinkbox Software’s Deadline.

“We installed Deadline at the very beginning, quite literally as soon as we powered on our first PC,” shared Clinton Downs, CG design director, New Holland Creative. “Having used several different proprietary and off-the-shelf render management solutions over the years, I’ve come to appreciate that Deadline is the best turnkey solution on the market.”

"Without Deadline, I’m not sure how we’d accomplish this dynamic workflow"

Deadline has also made New Holland’s implementation of a GPU-based pipeline effortless. The studio renders CG imagery exclusively on GPUs with Redshift, leveraging a dedicated in-house cluster and cloud-based rentals via UltraRender. New Holland has installed and configured Deadline to seamlessly merge on-premise and cloud-based nodes into a unified farm, connecting the UltraRender server to its Deadline floating license pool via a VPN tunnel. Deadline features such as region-based awareness allow for the application of special rules on the cloud-based nodes, which appear in the studio’s Slave list alongside its in-house nodes.

a scalable solution 

“With services like UltraRender, we’re able to scale up our rendering resources quickly, easily and at a reasonable cost. Combined with the incredible speed of Redshift, which I consider the most stable, production-ready GPU renderer on the market, we can render more with less and punch above our weight. Without Deadline to manage our resources, I’m not sure how we’d accomplish this dynamic workflow,” Downs explained.

"Thinkbox comes from the VFX world and understands our challenges first-hand, which cannot be understated"

Using Deadline, New Holland has enough control over each GPU to efficiently allocate resources. Individual Slaves can be assigned to each GPU, allowing for a powerful level of granularity. For example, UltraRender nodes are grouped to handle frames with low I/O and high render times, a configuration that ensures offsite nodes spend more time rendering images and less time syncing files. 

In addition to unifying on-premise and cloud-based GPU nodes, Deadline works seamlessly across New Holland’s OS X and Windows workstations, providing features for easily swapping paths between platforms during rendering and allowing artists to render Adobe® After Effects® composites across both platforms simultaneously.

Beyond serving as a render manager

“Thinkbox comes from the VFX world and understands our challenges first-hand, which cannot be understated. Choosing software built by a developer who feels like a partner is very important, as budgets and time constraints are continuing to tighten. I know that if we’re in a pinch, the Thinkbox support team is there to help us,” noted Downs.

Beyond serving as New Holland’s render manager, Deadline is steadily playing an increasingly larger role and is starting to be tapped for generating customized QuickTime deliverables for clients as well as facilitating connectivity with Autodesk® Shotgun® production management software.

Downs concluded, “As we often rely on technology to deliver the imagery our clients demand, it’s key to stay abreast of technological advancements. At New Holland we’ve chosen GPU rendering as the way forward, with Deadline, UltraRender and Redshift crucial to making that possible.”