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How cloud rendering can cut costs and shorten production times

Scott Pagano creates music videos and concert visuals for some of the world’s leading musicians, developing captivating environments and augmenting experiences; clients include Skrillex, Zedd, The M Machine, Flying Lotus, and Production Club. He is also spearheading a movement of freelancers who can take advantage of new technology to compete with bigger facilities.

Do you use 3D formats between your 3D and 2D compositing applications?

I use the Alembic format heavily to move geometry between Houdini and Maya. I have begun to experiment with taking the Alembic caches straight into Nuke from Houdini, and I’m excited to explore new (and potentially faster) ways to assemble shots. I’ve tinkered with the AtomKraft demo and love the 2D/3D hybridity that Nuke is allowing.

Over the next 12 months, what features do you think will be the most exciting?

As a big V-Ray user I am excited to see the release of V-Ray 3.0, whose RT system looks to be considerably enhanced. I am curious about the potential to do real production rendering using this system. I’ve also been taking a look at Clarisse iFX which looks to be a really amazing tool based on quite a different paradigm.

I’m constantly looking for ways to be able to reach the level of complexity and detail that I desire on projects with unusually tight deadlines. Tools that require a radical change in workflow can be difficult to implement when images need to keep churning out, but I look forward to taking some time to explore them.

Have you used cloud solutions, and if so what for? Can you quantify the benefits cloud solutions give you?

I’ve used several cloud rendering services for projects over the past few years, most recently from Zync. The scalability without the IT headache is fantastic and allows me – often as an army of one – to not have to be overly concerned with hardware/software issues and focus on the art of what I'm doing.

The way Zync integrates seamlessly into one’s workflow and local file structure is fantastic and allows you to keep working the way you always do – just with a lot more horsepower.

This article originally appeared in 3D World issue 175.

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