Supercomputers using the cloud is the new advancement in animation

These days, animation with web tools such as Macromedia Flash seem easy for the layman to use. But for a really singing and dancing animated movie now you need a virtual animation studio. Especially when technology is moving so fast. This is sort of like a computer programme which you can download on your computer. A creative suite that can embed movies and images, for example, with timelines and you put your layers on them.

The new kid on the block is of ‘Software as a Service’ (SaaS); you will be accessing the company’s computer software architecture remotely via ‘the cloud’ saving on you having to buy a supercomputer which has lots of space and terabytes to host movies, saving on streaming and downloading on yours. The SaaS client will give you graphics ‘processing power’ to do this very quickly. The virtual animation studio, although not yours to ‘own’ – the cloud can be ‘rented’ – it’s scalable and flexible. You will pay only for what you use and the renting of licenses, workstations, backup storage and systems as well as production management in terms of data packages (known as ‘Pipeline’) and in terms of task management and validation (known as ‘Shotgun’).

The cloud is a pretty weird but fantastic idea anyway. Long gone are we from Silicone Valley’s streams of caws and lams where you had chains of networks linked by floor wires and megacomputers with huge data hubs. The Ethernet cable and Wireless LANS moved things forward massively in the last 15 years or so and so too is web animation moving with the cloud.

So – what can you expect with this new cloud-based animation? Firstly, every IBM cloud data centre has a fragment that allows for 5000 servers. Therefore; space, network, staff, power and infrastructure are optimised in many locations around the world. Moreover, the cloud is built with hardware leaders in the IT marketplace and equipped with various energy supplies including fibre links, generators and spare batteries. The backup refrigeration and power resources are inspected regularly to ensure optimum robustness.

The cloud also offers higher bandwidth frames with extra power, (so-called ‘Bluemix’ servers) and a simplified arrangement for greater, quicker problem resolution. In each ‘frame’, there are 40 Gigabits per second of connectivity available (20 Gigabits per second for the private network and 20 Gigabits per second for the public network). The cloud also is available 24-7 and its locations are protected with access to the server rooms being limited only to certified employees. External auditors check the controls and detailed reports are provided for your data security.

With all these checks and balances, there isn’t much to be afraid of when choosing your simple animation studio. The cloud technology means you can rest assured that someone else is looking after your data, and if your PC goes down, there isn’t a problem at all. Take the plunge and get your cloud-based web animation working for you. There is nothing to be afraid of, and you can have some great videos and films to be proud of. The future has really landed. And the cloud is where it’s at.

Photograph by ColossusCloud