Schneider Electric has helped Animal Logic grow its movie-making capabilities with a prefabricated data centre.
With more than 25 years’ experience, independent Australian company Animal Logic has been at the forefront of creating digital content, award-winning visual effects and animation for the film and television industries.
The studio recently delivered work on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), Alien: Covenant (2017), The LEGO® Batman Movie (2017), The Great Wall (2016) and The Master: A LEGO® Ninjago Short (2016). Animal Logic is currently in production on The LEGO® Ninjago Movie (2017), Peter Rabbit (2018), and The LEGO® Movie Sequel (2019). Other film credits include: The LEGO® Movie, Avengers: Age of Ultron, The Great Gatsby, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, 300 and Happy Feet.
Animal Logic Entertainment (ALE) is the development and production arm tasked with establishing a strong slate of innovative, commercially minded, story-driven projects stamped with the visual and technical innovation that has become the hallmark of the studios’ work.
Most recently, ALE announced a joint venture with Imagine Entertainment to develop, produce and finance six feature-length animation and hybrid animation projects over the next five years. Animal Logic is one of the world’s most highly regarded digital production studios with locations in Sydney, Los Angeles and Vancouver – leading to a larger need under pressing industry demand – for the perfect data centre.
Data needs and deployment speeds
Alex Timbs, head of IT at Animal Logic, explains the Animation studio’s growth challenge: “Because our business is cyclical in nature, the demands of the productions we’re working on dictate how many people we have working for us, and how much infrastructure we need. So, speed of deployment for our data centre environments is absolutely critical to our success.”
Timbs provides perspective on the need for high-density data capacity: “Around 90% of the data centre houses high-density compute, which is used for the process of rendering images… the other 10% is high-capacity storage used for production, which houses the images that are generated by that render process.”
Animal Logic prides itself on dreaming big for the big screen and as a result their data centre solution needed to be equally as ambitious. Timbs says he chose a Schneider Electric prefabricated data centre solution because it allows for customisation, has a reputation for flexible engineering, and promises fast deployment.
The new state of Animal Logic’s data capacity
Understanding Animal Logic’s unique needs for capacity and delivery, Schneider deployed a custom prefab data centre in just under four and a half months. The new infrastructure delivered a major boost in data processing, which in turn enabled greater performance and operational agility.
For example, the newly implemented 30kW per rack power density empowers Animal Logic’s facility to process 1.25 petaflops per second on average – exactly the depth of capability the graphics house required for advanced animation production and design. Timbs says: “We selected a high-density Schneider prefab for the purposes of meeting the new business requirements.
Furthermore, data centre infrastructure management (DCIM) software was deployed to provide complete visibility across the facility, improving planning and operational performance. StruxureOn™, a cloud-based monitoring service offers Animal Logic maximum protection of critical equipment. It features 24/7 remote monitoring, remote troubleshooting, and data-driven insights that provide visibility and live metrics – right to their smartphones.
A partnership secured
Within four and a half months, Animal Logic’s prefabricated data centre arrived. It soon began experiencing the returns from investing in a Schneider Electric prefabricated data centre as its compute capability quickly grew and business-risky latency shrank.
The prefab unit will continue to power the studio’s movie-making magic. “Schneider was the only vendor to be able to deliver in that four and a half months, and has very rapidly become what we call a partner in creating these fantastic images that you see on screen,” says Alex. “Schneider Electric is our partner in making movies.”
Animal Logic Sydney is currently in production on LEGO® Ninjago (2017) and Peter Rabbit (2018) while its Vancouver studio is currently working on The LEGO Movie Sequel (2019). Keep an eye out for its continuing contribution in Hollywood animation.