Friday, 14 December 2012

Popular 3D tech company Gener8 launches Cumul8 to streamline digital asset flow

Stereoscopic 3D conversion company Gener8 has proved itself in the 3D business, and is now positioning itself to help other companies manage their digital asset pipelines, delivering real-time insight into the trajectory and status of their digital projects.
Incorporated in February 2011, Gener8 describes itself as one of the top 3D conversion studios in the world. The company uses G83D, a proprietary stereoscopic 3D conversion system, which it says can meet or beat natively-shot 3D.
G83D renders this virtual set in true stereoscopic 3D for every frame of every shot, resulting in the “highest quality 3D conversion available”.
Gener8’s client base includes Sony Pictures, Warner Bros, Twentieth Century Fox and Columbia Pictures. Indeed, the company has worked on a number of major films, including the last Harry Potter movie, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance and The Amazing Spider-Man.
After establishing its competence in 3D technology, Gener8 CEO Rory Armes says clients began to come to the company for other solutions to their filmmaking challenges – namely data flow and communication.
In response, Gener8 has launched Cumul8, a cloud-based data management and analytics system that provides filmmakers with real-time insights and control of their productions. The company says that Cumul8 uses the power of the cloud to control data flow, enabling creators to do what they do best - create.
"Like conversion, we recognize data management as a growth market that leverages our unique skills, and an area we can rapidly dominate," says Armes.
 “Through our experience in [visual effects] VFX, we identified an opportunity to solve more complex and growing problems.”
Cumul8 uses technology to manage the distribution of digital data, effectively controlling data flow and giving Hollywood studios the business intelligence to drive down costs throughout production, says the company.
“One of their biggest challenges is the movement of digital assets,” says Armes.
“As the sophistication of digital effects increases—along with digital file sizes—the need to transfer enormous amounts of data between vendors has become an increasingly costly obstacle to filmmakers.”
The data tells the story of the production; it has a lifecycle.  By tracking its movement from the camera, through the editor, between VFX vendors and back to the director for review, Cumul8 can identify bottlenecks, find trends and provide a predictive analysis for production before problems arise.
“As the number of vendors increase, so do the complex interdependencies between them,” says Gener8’s COO, Tim Bennison.
“When editorial makes a change to the edit, production needs to know which vendors are affected and understand how that change affects them.  
“Whiteboards, e-mails and phone calls can't handle the complexity of communication required.  
"Cumul8 knows where the dependencies are and seamlessly initiates the communication of changes to all the required stakeholders.”
The prevalence of high-fidelity VFX in films is growing rapidly, and Gener8 says managing the stream of large data files flowing between multiple VFX vendors “is a nightmare”.
Bennison explains that Gener8 houses the massive data sets created during VFX production, providing vendors with centralized storage and web-based access to the data they need.  
The company says its security exceeds the Motion Picture Association of America’s requirements, ensuring that a client’s IP is always safe and secure.
Bennison says the data management software currently available is difficult to use and is not user-focused. 
“Cumul8 is a tool designed to minimize cognitive distractions, let artists focus on creativity, and give decision makers the real time information they need - when they need it, and where.”
The service, which Gener8 has been using internally and evolving since the company's formation, is being made available to studios, filmmakers, and visual effects vendors around the globe. 
“We believe that the market for this service is exploding along with the increase in digital assets and the need to track them.”

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