When you shoot one big frame at a time

The high-performance computers we rent and sell are excellent for still photographers who work with large RAW files. We recently helped a VA based professional photographer who was working on a print 35 feet high by 100 feet wide. It was shot using a Nikon D850 45.7 MP  DSLR and a Gigapan. Using a current, top-of-the-line iMac, he could not work on the photo without every move of the mouse taking a frustratingly long time.

photo courtesy of Gigapan

photo courtesy of Gigapan

We shipped off an HP Z840 fully loaded with Dual Intel Xeon CPUs, 256GB of RAM, all flash NVME system drives. This custom solution was determined by us knowing the needs of our client and how he wanted to work. A one-week rental was all he needed to get through the project. He did not need to spend tens of thousands to get one particular assignment done although after experiencing the power of the HP Z workstation, we're now in discussions to help him acquire the new HP Z8 workstation with a similar configuration.

Visual media keeps increasing in resolution and therefore file sizes, and this is one of the primary reason we continue to expand our inventory of powerful computers and high capacity storage solutions. Most creatives have demands being put on them by their clients to work in high-definition using 4K and higher with HDR video, complex visual effects in almost every project, creating VR & AR experiences, and large megapixel still images. Computers are coming to market now with a lot of processing power using both CPUs and GPUs to do various tasks based on the design of the software being used. 

It is helpful to our customers that we stay up to date on how creative applications utilize the hardware in a computer. If you're using Adobe Photoshop, for instance, we'll put you into a computer with dual multi-core CPUs and a lot of RAM where, if you're using PTGui, we’ll make sure you get a fast machine along with a powerful GPU for speedier stitching and rendering. 

Your better choice for obtaining technology may be our "Hardware as a Service" model where we provide the machinery to you when you need it rather than you going out of pocket for it. VFX Technologies can get you the gear you need quickly, and we support the equipment so if something goes wrong, you call us and we will resolve the problem through support and replacement when necessary. 

Whether you shoot an image one frame at a time or 24 frames per second and if your subject is real or imagined, you want your work looking its best when you let it go. The right gear will get you there.

Jim Reisman

Today's VFX Leaves Mac Users Behind

The demand for visual effects is growing while deadlines, budgets, and resources are tightening. In all aspects of media production, the need to produce footage combining 4K and greater resolution and high dynamic range color space puts a strain on all the components of a computer. Apple's Mac computers have been the standard for creative artists to practice their craft but, Apple's computers are falling short of what's needed to process all the data associated with today's visuals.

I refer to an article published by one of our clients, Jan Ozer, that we featured in a VFX Insider email sent back in 2016. Jan rented one of our Mac Pro 12-core (late 2013) computers to test the top-of-the-line Mac against an HP z840 workstation. It's easy to see how the benefits of the architecture of the HP and how you can put in the CPUs and GPUs necessary to handle the media coming in from the field. HP and other companies such as Boxx, Dell, Digital Storm and some others; are addressing the needs of power-hungry creatives who are taking their technology to the max!

It is likely that Apple will step up to the plate with something eventually but, meanwhile, other VFX artists and producers are winning projects because they have what's needed to deliver the director's (or agency's) vision.

VFX Technologies sees this all the time. Working with the top post-production facilities in the USA, we work to bring out the maximum performance from our clients' technology. We are upgrading their networks, providing faster-shared storage solutions, and renting or selling new computers.

We rent a lot of Apple computers. They are still great machines and can handle many people’s media needs. Using Adobe Premiere and After Effects on Macs is second nature to most visual artists. Media Composer and Pro Tools from Avid work best on a Mac. The bottleneck comes when you start talking about Flame and Resolve and rendering. We have many filmmakers that do their editing on an iMac and then call us to rent a Mac Pro to finish the job so that they're not agonizing over the final rendering of their effects. It is a  reliable and economical solution.

At VFX Technologies, we hear about every challenge an artist or technologist working at a post company has. We handle the problems they can't. We attend trade shows, seminars, view webinars, and learn about technology trends constantly. That's why we become so vital to our customers. While they're creating and generating revenue, we are making sure they're prepared for whatever monster their client throws at them.