Behind the scenes with Animation Powerhouse Animal Logic: Insights on Remote Review and ClearView Flex

Olivia Broadley

Real-Time Collaboration

We talk to the animation powerhouse that is Animal Logic and see how they’ve been responding to C-19 and look at how they’ve been using Sohonet’s ClearView Flex to facilitate remote review across the globe and hit key production milestones.

Award-winning animation and visual effects studio, Animal Logic, has been inspiring audiences with great stories, breathtaking visuals and groundbreaking technology for 30 years, having worked on Hollywood blockbusters including Peter Rabbit, The LEGO Movie Franchise, Captain Marvel, The Great Gatsby and Happy Feet. With headquarters in Sydney’s Fox Studios, a second home in Vancouver, and development offices in LA, the animation powerhouse’s creative excellence relies on the collaboration of a global team of 600 artists, practitioners and support staff. 

In response to COVID-19, Animal Logic was quick to adopt remote production tools across all sites. This allowed them to continue to hit production milestones on cross-site projects including Warner Bros’ animated feature Super Pets.

We talked to Animal Logic Media Engineer Harry Smith about how they collaborate, both cross-site and remotely, from across the globe.

Harry Smith, Media Engineer at Animal Logic. screening room
Harry Smith, Media Engineer at Animal Logic

Q> When Covid-19 forced lockdown, what did Animal Logic do to continue working on projects?  

We quickly pivoted into a work from home strategy, employing various remote desktop solutions and ClearView Flex for secure, remote review of content from outside of our network. 

Q> What was Animal Logic looking for in a remote viewing solution? 

For a remote viewing solution, we required something that would allow viewers to connect from their preferred device that would support as many viewers as possible.  Critically, we needed a system that would maintain our color fidelity and a stable frame rate so people could focus on what they’re seeing.

Q> Did your team trial other remote viewing solutions?  

We did try other solutions and found they weren’t able to provide a stable viewing experience for the number of viewers we needed to support.

Q> How important has remote working become to your business?

Our preference will always be to work together in the studio, but when our employees or clients can’t, remote work allows us to continue to hit production milestones, thanks to tools like the ClearView Flex.

Q> How did you learn about Flex and what does it enable you to do? 

Animal Logic uses Sohonet to connect our locations and our clients on a private, secure network, so it was a natural extension of our relationship. ClearView Flex has allowed us to set up reviews for our teams and external partners, allowing up to 30 viewers on a single stream.  We can use the system in place of our traditional review practices, which involved many people sitting in our on-site theatres. Flex has helped maintain communication between our teams in Vancouver and Sydney working on Super Pets [based on DC Comics’ family of crime-fighting animals] and the creative team at Warner Brothers in LA. 

Q> For this project, where are your clients located and how did Flex enable you to interact with them?  

Flex has allowed us to share content and, combined with video conferencing, enables us to discuss that content live with our clients in Los Angeles

Harry Smith, Media Engineer at Animal Logic - computer

Q> And how would you describe the remote session experience using ClearView?  

The remote session experience has been good. We haven’t run into any issues after setting up the system, and the support team at Sohonet has been quick to respond and help sort out any issues we have had.

Q> Lastly, does ClearView Flex integrate with your other key remote production equipment? 

The Flex units sit in our facility server rooms, connected to our standard workstations provided to our staff. With remote desktop capabilities to those units, anyone can book out the resource and connect to control the desktop and set up a review session on ClearView Flex.

Olivia Broadley
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