Accelerating Workflows Throughout The Industry
GEORGE EASTMAN MUSEUM
Restoring Classic Films With Cubix Hardware
We were approached by Kyle Alvut of Film Preservation Services at the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York. Kyle has worked in the film industry for 35+ years and has been with The George Eastman Museum for 3 years. Kyle told Cubix that George Eastman Museum has over 28,000 movies, some of them one hundred years old.
Kyle’s role at the Museum is to restore the old movies, which involves scanning film to .dpx files to 3K resolution. The restoration involves tinting and toning, color grading, sizing, image stabilization and dirt removal. The off-the-shelf computer system they were using took an inordinate amount of time to do the cleanup and restoration of each movie. Kyle needed a powerhouse solution to get through the contents of a movie. After researching to find the best, most cost-effective product to do the job, Kyle called Cubix and ordered the Resolve 12 Win4U RM8 5U System.
When asked if he was happy with the Cubix System, Kyle said “The Cubix Resolve system will handle anything we have to do with the 28,000 old movies! I had high expectations for the system we planned on purchasing, and the Cubix System meets all those expectations. The movies that we restored through the new system are at a high quality for digital projection resolution and the images are fantastic.
“When we originally set up the Cubix System, we chose to make some changes, and the Cubix technical support we received was outstanding. The support team gave us everything we needed and stayed with us until we completed our changes. We added to (Blackmagic’s Resolve) easyDCP to create digital content to show at a theater and the Cubix System handled the add-on software just fine. We are confident that we made the right choice when we chose to get the Cubix System that allows for additional GPUs and future expansion. The system is very easy to work with and incredibly fast.
“We are confident the Cubix System will take us into the future by completing all our restoration projects and any other editing or rendering projects we decide we may want to do.”
Another Good Reason For Xpander
Cubix customers have many different reasons why they like they like their Xpanders: maximizing Apple Mac Pro performance, reducing heat and power loads from host PC systems, or even the simple convenience of multiple I/O cards on standby. Another reason to buy Xpander is one which is often overlooked – it’s built to take punishment.
“I couldn’t believe it was still operational after what happened”, says Steve Carson, owner of Carson Filmworks in San Diego, CA, who moved his studio from Florida to California earlier this year. While moving various items around his studio, an unseen exposed wire from a spot-light caused an electrical arc to form between the lamp and the nearest electrical appliance – his Cubix Xpander Desktop 4.
“After I brought the electricity back up, I decided to see if it was possible to salvage some components out of my system. I brought up the components of my edit bay one at a time, turned on my Xpander and Apple Mac Pro, and the Xpander came right up!”
Steve adds, “Not only does my Xpander still operate, but it runs well despite the electrical arc charring a dime-sized area and a small hole into one of the corners of the Desktop 4.”
There you have it – yet another reason to trust your most sensitive I/O cards to Cubix Xpander. Add PCIe slots, external power to your current PC or Mac Pro system…and it’s built like a tank!
CHIPMAN DESIGN ARCHITECTS
Xpander and Autodesk 3DS MaxWith a 33 year history, and retail clients ranging from Banana Republic clothing stores to McDonald’s chain restaurants, Chipman Design Architects in Chicago, IL, has demonstrated a profound appreciation for leading edge technology. With its corporate headquarters in Chicago and offices in Los Angeles and New York covering both coasts, the firm is recognized nationally for its expertise in prototype design development, site adaptation and innovative automated resources. In fact, it’s their continuing drive for PC and IT technology advancements in support of their rendering and visualization activities which drove their need for Cubix Xpander systems. “Back in 2010 when we first started using (Autodesk) iray it took us 35 hours to get an HD image done just using CPU processing”, says Chipman VP of Technology and Visualization, George Matos. “With the Cubix’s Xpander we cut it down to 7 hours using NVIDIA Quadro and Tesla cards. It also made it so I didn’t have to buy a whole new workstation at the time.” George couldn’t believe the increased performance he got from running Autodesk iray with multiple GPUs in his Xpander system, so he ran several benchmark tests just to be sure. “The Xpander has been able to speed up our render times by up to 10x the previous CPU configuration when using iray. The efficiency gain of using iray hardware acceleration helps communicate the visualization aspect much faster because Xpander. In fact, using the Xpander box greatly speeds up initial render times to get a rough draft to our clients in a few minutes instead of a few hours, as it did in the past.” Less time spent rendering frees-up PC hardware resources for use with other applications which Chipman uses, such as Autodesk Revit and Adobe Photoshop. Working smarter by combining the features and benefits of Cubix, NVIDIA and Autodesk products has led to gains in efficiencies which streamlined a critical part of Chipman Design Architects’ day-to-day business.
Color Grading and Post ProductionAs a company with diverse services, Post-Moderne in Montreal needed a hardware solution platform for hosting many different types of PCIe I/O cards with the ability to connect to multiple workstations on an as-needed basis, while providing a very reliable, stable set of solutions for their post-production and equipment rental customers. Post-Moderne has grown their business over an 8-year period by providing everything from camera renting and data wrangling to Digital Cinema Packages. Post-Moderne purchased a Cubix Xpander for use with DaVinci Resolve 8 color grading. The purpose for purchasing both products – speed and efficiency for use with their Apple Mac Pro workstations. “With the need for multiple resources at the same time (fiber channel, SDI monitoring) the Xpander gives us the opportunity to gain much more power for real-time graphic processing.” says Post-Moderne President, Alexandre Domingue. “We don’t have to sacrifice one resource for another since we can add them into the CUBIX, and use it all at once.” Cubix Xpander provides Post-Moderne with the ability to efficiently and quickly move multiple resources among multiple computers as any particular project’s needs arise. Instead of stopping the workflow on a particular machine to switch I/O cards and reboot, such as working on Resolve and the editing in Media Composer, everything is now at their fingertips. “We can definitely render and work with media faster. We’re looking forward to more Xpander-usage situations now. For instance, if Autodesk enables multi-GPU acceleration for Smoke on Mac, then it’s another application for which we can use Xpander in order to maximize performance under OSX,” says Domingue.
DELTA TRACING SRL
3D Photorealistic Rendering
Dionissios Tsangaropoulos started the professional design studio, Delta SRL of Italy, in 1999, and made a name for itself producing high-quality 3D visualizations for architects and the design furniture industries. As the number of jobs increased, so too did a huge production bottleneck – 3D photorealistic renderings. Dionissios and his firm had been using CPU-based rendering software for years, but decided the problem rendering times needed a solution different than increasing the number of CPUs.
In 2010, Tsangaropoulos and Delta SRL tried a new technology, Autodesk 3ds Max and the NVIDIA iray rendering software with multi-GPU rendering capabilities. However, Delta’s graphics hardware configurations were limited by the number of open PCIe 16-channel slots, limited power supply capacity, the amount of cooling required to keep multiple, high-performance NVIDIA graphics cards operating within vendor specifications.
In late 2010, Tsangaropoulos purchased Cubix Xpanders after an internet search, and quickly began to realize the potential performance gains that that using Autodesk 3ds Max and multiple NVIDIA graphics cards could provide.
” In the first month of 2011, we had already completed the same amount of work it took us all of 2010 to do”, says the Delta SRL CEO. “As a result, we can now bring in far more production work.”
Although Delta SRL encountered a few non-Cubix issues early in the process, their business has grown to the point where they need to add more hardware.
“We’re planning to buy some more Cubix Xpander equipment later this year, and double our production power from 8GPUs to 16GPUs.”
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