Apple has some GREAT news for creative professionals.

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Praise be! The cool kid in school hasn’t forgotten about us.Apple's new iMac Pro is targeted right at creative professionals in the media & entertainment industry. The product’s introductory release statement reads that this product is for “everyone”: “From video editors to 3d animators to musicians to software developers to scientists” everyone can find something that relates to their industry or passion in the iMac Pro.

Let’s take some time to examine the specs: The iMac Pro offers a XEON CPU with up to 18 cores that clock up to 4.5GHz. Apple is utilizing AMD's Radeon VEGA Pro GPUs. Once software manufacturers adapt their applications to these GPUs, you will have a graphics card capable of 22-25 Teraflops of computing speed (really fast) compared to the wonderful GTX 1080TI which tops out at 11 Teraflops. Radeon has an architecture that's way ahead of where Nvidia is right now. We predict a GPU war is brewing as we speak. This also supports our contention that GPU rendering is truly the future in visual effects and digital media production.

The Mac is also no longer a sealed box. Apple dropped the Metal 2 SDK to allow developers take advantage of external AMD GPUs using the latest Thunderbolt 3 interface. That is 40Gb speeds you'll be getting! Apple's change will affect the current Mac lineup as they will be able to use upgraded GPUs now, with Nvidia’s new drivers, Macs will allow users to add external GTX cards like the 1080 and when the new AMD GPU ships, there will be drivers to support them too.

Expect that the new AMD graphics cards will also benefit the PC world as soon as drivers become available for Windows.

How long have creative professionals shook our heads in unison and thought to ourselves that Apple no longer cares about us? They still do, and VFX Technologies has the new iMac Pro workstations available for rental and purchase now.

Jim Reisman & Adinah Bolden

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

Get to know the VFX Technology team. Meet Sarote Tabcum Jr.

I have worked as a VFX Producer for music videos, commercials, and feature films. It is a very stressful but fulfilling job, and the experience has given me first-hand knowledge of exactly what a VFX Producer needs, helping me serve them better with VFX Technologies. Let me tell you why.

A VFX Producer has to deal with variables that can only be controlled up to a point. There are the client's concerns which are the result, the deadline, and the budget. Then there is the artist who tells you what he or she thinks they can and cannot do, and you have to get them on the same page as the client. The VFX Producer's challenge is to handle compromise, and the human aspect is the hardest to control.

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You can maintain control of your technical systems. If equipment is rock solid and running, this greatly minimizes stress for a VFX Producer. Once your hardware is in place, you can deal with the rest of the job – a lot of which has to do with pushing and pulling to get things done.

VFX Producers concentrate on getting projects in the door and finding the best talent. Making sure you have the right technology in place is also very important. There is no need for your hardware to be problematic. If you know what software you're using and have properly configured equipment, you will have no problems. At times the job grows so fast, you have to bring in more artists and gear. It's helpful to know the technical aspects of the systems and equipment. This way you can get what you need, and it will integrate into the workflow seamlessly.

The way things work out in our business, you are not going to know you need additional resources until the last minute. Scenarios like this are what inspired me to start VFX Technologies. Through my company, I can be a resource for VFX producers to come to for technical solutions unique to post-production workflows. I keep equipment readily available for when you need more capacity. My team stays up to date on emerging technologies and get a broad view of what challenges are happening in many different post facilities.

Being able to anticipate problems before they occur is helpful. For example, you have a team of 10 people for a project. Experience tells you that towards the end of it, when you need to deliver, you may need to ramp up to 50 people to finish the job. For 40 more people, you’ll need 40 workstations, a storage server to accommodate them and more bandwidth. Where can you get all of that equipment? Again this is the opportunity I saw which led me to create VFX Technologies.

As a technology provider, I see this happen all the time. Projects begin with lots of optimism that the budget and the schedule are well crafted. You’re weeks in, and you need more people, more gear, and, if you could, more time.

What I created is a place you can contact, and my company will deliver reliable hardware that's optimal for the project you're doing.  Like our many clients that rely on us to deploy quickly, our rapid response when you need us is my highest priority.