Real-Time Collaboration

Untold Studios: Reviewing frame and colour-accurate footage, in real-time from home

Introduction

Untold Studios is a full creative studio based in London performing everything from origination to production and post and works with an internationally based creative community of writers, graphic designers, directors, and animators. They are also the world’s first completely cloud-based creative studio – with part of their original vision being to give teams the flexibility to work from wherever they want securely and productively. When the global pandemic broke in early 2020, most productions were sent into virtual shutdown with post producers scampering to set up remote workarounds but for Untold Studios their secure cloud-based workflows meant it was business as usual for Untold.

Products

ClearView Flex

Overview

Using ClearView Flex to collaborate in real-time on VFX shots in progress and enable remote final reviews with clients

  • Stream HD quality video to up to 20 viewers on any device
  • Near zero latency

Challenge

In terms of review and approvals, there are two review workflows Untold drive from the Flame—regular reviews between clients and creatives where they discuss VFX shots in progress—and the final review for the client to sign off on the project. And for final review the picture has to be at the highest resolution and the highest possible quality. Critical for Untold was to facilitate everyone on the session being able to look at the same thing at the same time. The pictures had to be in sync so when the artist operating in Flame pauses the video then that same frame is displayed to the viewer. That way everyone can be confident they are discussing the exact same thing.

Solution

When Covid-19 struck, Untold was working with AWS and Autodesk to migrate its final finishing review machines to the cloud. Without a hitch in workflow, the Studio switched this crucial part of the process to remote cloud workflows using Sohonet’s real-time, remote review tool, ClearView Flex, which addressed all their key requirements. Untold installed a Flexbox for each of its four Flame machines. The Flexbox connects to the video source via HDMI or HD-SDI enabling all parties to participate, viewing frame and colour-accurate footage, accompanied by stereo sound, in real-time. Discussing Flex in actions,  Sam Reid, Head of Engineering says, “We worked on a job which required lots of people to view the timeline from the Flame” and with Flex “are able to connect all four CVF boxes to allow 20 people including the client to view the same stream at the same time.

Result

Untold Studios is no longer constrained by the physical location of their data, so they don’t have to have artists in the office working on content – they can be anywhere in the world. For Untold that was as true before COVID-19 as it is now – but many are following in their footsteps as facilities begin to recognise that remote working can be as productive if not more productive than working in an office with all the distractions that can entail.