Digital Dimension: Animating success for clients and viewers

About Digital Dimension

Digital Dimension provides full-service animation and production services to clients. Founded in 1996, the company's experienced artists have won six Emmy Awards and four Visual Effects Society Awards.

Industries: Media & Entertainment
Location: Canada

In the 3D animation industry, unpredictable deadlines combined with substantial processing demands present challenges for Digital Dimension. The studio wanted to pair its existing on-premises production pipeline with a cloud-based solution that could better handle large rendering workloads and boost team productivity.

Google Cloud Results

  • Improves time to delivery with hybrid cloud platform that increases animation rendering speeds
  • Reduces operating expenses with cost predictability through usage-based pricing that benefits different client production needs
  • Allows animators to flexibly customize production workloads to projects and not be limited by on-premises infrastructure

Render a full TV episode in hours instead of days

Enabling Change

Solutions: Hybrid Cloud

For projects such as the Disney Channel computer-animated show Sadie Sparks, Digital Dimension is tasked with rendering elements ranging from character models to background tree or hair textures for full-length television episodes. Digital Dimension had to support substantial processing workloads to help ensure it was producing broadcast-quality 3D animated shows for viewers. It traditionally took one full week to render two episodes using on-premises hardware and for Sadie Sparks, the studio also had to support a 52-episode order.

With Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Digital Dimension built a hybrid cloud environment that complements its existing production pipeline. The studio's cloud platform is anchored around preemptible virtual machines and graphics processing units (GPU) on Compute Engine, which offer versatile scalability and performance.

Digital Dimension previously relied on a 10-machine and 20-GPU local solution for rendering, but with GCP, producers can quickly spin up to a setup that uses hundreds of GPUs to handle client production needs. The pipeline starts by preparing texture conversion jobs for Redshift on CPU-reliant machines and reuploading them to the platform's storage bucket, the Cloud Filestore managed file storage service. Digital Dimension then spins up GPU-enabled instances, which utilize multiple NVIDIA Tesla P100s, to finish rendering jobs. Because the render node caches files locally, the pipeline avoids putting unnecessary strain on its storage bucket. The studio is also exploring Cloud Storage to easily maintain its platform archiving needs.

GCP allows Digital Dimension to have a secondary platform optimized for rendering, helping the studio increase the number of jobs it can deliver to clients and maximize team efficiency. Digital Dimension can finish rendering full episodes in hours on GCP instead of days, helping the studio establish an invaluable competitive edge for future clients. Google also provided step-by-step guidance to Digital Dimension to help ensure GCP fits the studio's needs, assisting with technical architecture and financial questions.

"Our traditional rendering pipeline required a lot of internal resources and it was important to be proactive about scaling for future productions. We couldn't previously imagine that we could handle all of these projects at once, but with Google Cloud Platform, we now have a reliable way to do so."

Pierre Blaizeau, Head of Technology (CTO), Digital Dimension

About Digital Dimension

Digital Dimension provides full-service animation and production services to clients. Founded in 1996, the company's experienced artists have won six Emmy Awards and four Visual Effects Society Awards.

Industries: Media & Entertainment
Location: Canada