Untold Studios Powers Creative Workflows from Home with NVIDIA Quadro in the Cloud

U.K.-based creative studio uses Quadro Virtual Workstations on Amazon EC2 G4 instances to get the GPU performance needed to power creative workflows from home.
by Nicole Castro

Studios, creative departments and production companies are searching for tools that make it easier to work from home. But one independent studio is staying ahead of the game by being one of the first to completely operate in the cloud.

Untold Studios, based in the U.K., is home to 100 artists and producers. Their projects range from visual effects and advertisements, including the popular John Lewis & Partners Christmas featuring Excitable Edgar, a lovable computer graphics dragon, to the latest season of Netflix’s The Crown.

Most employees worked out of Untold Studio’s London office on Old Street, but the studio made the decision to use NVIDIA Quadro Virtual Workstations (Quadro vWS) running on AWS when they first opened for business.

So when the coronavirus outbreak occurred, Untold’s IT team had very little to change to enable employees to work from home.

Ramping Up with AWS

With the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) G4 instances powered by Quadro vWS and NVIDIA T4 Tensor Core GPUs, the artists at Untold Studios get all the creative power they need to work remotely. Employees can access professional graphics workstations to work on image rendering, content creation, video editing and simulation from anywhere, on any device.

“We opted to work from home before the government made it mandatory, as there was no technical reason that artists needed to be present in the studio,” said Sam Reid, head of technology at Untold Studios. “We ensured that all staff had a VPN connection, which allowed them to work from home with no change to their workflow. This made creativity within teams more fluid, allowing for wider conversations between broader teams across the globe.”

Being cloud-based, Untold Studios has the advantage of accessing their resources remotely. Through private VPN connections, the artists can connect to the MPAA secure environment from home and access content in the same way as if they were physically in the studio.

Scalable for Graphics-Intensive Workflows

Untold Studios takes advantage of the scalability that comes from running in the cloud. When the team receives a big project, they’re not limited by hardware availability. Instead, Quadro vWS allows them to quickly add more virtual workstations as they hire contractors and freelance artists.

Untold Studios also harnesses the power of the cloud for rendering workflows. Since all the data is already hosted in the cloud on a highly scalable and resilient storage platform, the team doesn’t need to manage the same restrictions as others who store their data on premises. The artists also don’t have to wait for lengthy transfers to the cloud and back when rendering.

Image courtesy of Untold Studios, from the John Lewis & Partners Christmas featuring CG dragon, Excitable Edgar.

Thanks to the cloud, Untold Studios can also easily upgrade to the latest technology, ensuring that artists’ creativity is not hindered by running on old systems. This makes it easier to run the latest software and content creation tools, get fast support and maintenance, and increase productivity.

“We were able to migrate painlessly from the NVIDIA Tesla M60 to the T4 GPU in just minutes by changing a single line of code,” said Reid. “Moving to T4 gave us improved performance with some apps and ended up being less expensive because we were able to provision artists with workstations that are more suitable for their workload.”

The Amazon EC2 G4 instances provide Untold Studios with the latest Quadro technology to accelerate creative workflows, reduce time-to-market, and improve design quality. Quadro Virtual Workstations on AWS G4 instances offer color and pixel accuracy, video and audio sync, support for dual HD monitors, and full Wacom support.

Untold Studios is also pioneering the use of real-time ray-tracing, working with Epic Games’ Unreal Engine to enable this technology to be used in state-of-the-art commercials.

Learn more about Untold Studios and how NVIDIA can help you work virtually.

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Featured blog image courtesy of Untold Studios. ©NETFLIX