The Ideal Design Studio for Game & VFX Artists: Defining the Workspace

[fa icon="calendar"] Jun 3, 2021 12:30:52 PM / by Doug Goldenberg and Alex Kline

Doug Goldenberg and Alex Kline

Game  VFX Artist Working in Remote StudioAs the first in our series about Creating the Ideal Studio for Artists in Media and Entertainment, let's start by defining the ideal remote "Artist Experience" for Gaming and VFX artists.

Last year's disruption challenged studios with how to successfully empower artists from their home and bring about the same level of production collaboration while working remotely. In this quick 11-minute Vlog episode, we'll review the key questions studios need to ask themselves when evaluating remote technologies for use by artists. As well as, some of the key lessons learned when setting up cloud environments for production.

Watch: Defining the Artist Workspace

When evaluating technologies for the ideal remote Artist Experience, we need to ask some qualifying questions first:

  1. Does this technology provide and support an experience to an artist that is equal or better, than if they were using a physical box under the desk?
  2. Does the artist need to leave the context of that experience at any point (except when to log out at the end of the day)?
The first question can be broken down into two categories: Technology and Experience. Technology is easy to define as it is the physical devices we're already familiar with. These are the devices that artists use on a daily basis and help with the creative process. They include:
  •   Workstation
  •   Large CPU / Memory capacity to support creative applications
  •   Dedicated Graphics Card
  •   High-speed local storage for caching
  •   Pen Tablet
  •   Webcam (and optionally desktop microphone)

The other category, experience, broadly describes user-experience when all the technology above is combined. In the case of remote work, this is ensuring the technology supports:

  •   Use of hotkeys for creative applications
  •   Delivers high-resolution
  •   Supports multi-monitor setup
  •   Delivers high frame-rates
  •   Delivers pixel color accuracy
  •   Responsive interaction
  •   Supports local USB peripheral devices

The second question is often overlooked but is really crucial for efficient remote work. Since we're emulating a physical desktop through a viewport if you will, it's really important to provide a single pane or context for the artist to work in without interruption. As soon as the artist has to exit or "alt-tab" out of that context (maybe to check work email, answer an IM, have a zoom meeting, retrieve a file), it's game over. You can imagine in a physical example, an artist having to jump between workstations to do different tasks, which is not ideal. So having the ability to do all or at least the majority of their work on the virtual workstation is really important.

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Topics: VFX, Media & Entertainment, Studio in the Cloud, Remote Work, M&E, Design Studio, Cloud Computing, Game Dev

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