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Dark Haven’s infrastructure is something that has been on my mind a lot lately.

With Dark Haven Studios, the goal is not only to make movies, but create a machine to create big brands reaching several different mediums from inspiring stories & characters.

We want to keep most things in house and only outsource when necessary. Currently the way we work is through freelancers working remotely. And an increasing problem is as our current project gets bigger and bigger as the amount of assets gets made are increasing in file size. Then we also have the problem since our freelancers live all around the globe they might not sit on good enough hardware. I’m also always looking at software solutions  like scripts and plugins etc. to help things go faster & smoother. A problem with having people working remotely is that how do we coordinate all this? How do we share our proprietary tech with our team, how can we ensure everyone has enough power to create what’s needed, how do we send these big files around efficiently? This is where we really need to take our infrastructure seriously to be able to have an efficient workflow.

One solution I’m investigating heavily on and that I’m pretty much sure Dark Haven Studios will head towards is VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure). And with that looking at NVIDIA’s grid solution. Highly interesting. We at Dark Haven then have the ability to stand for both hardware and software and the only thing the freelancers need is a solid internet connection. They then just login to our system and get access to great performing hardware just as it would be their own. And since we also have our storage here things never leave our internal network and the team gets access to everything they need. This solves lots of problems. I also know the big VFX players overseas like ILM (Industrial light and magic) and Jellyfish in UK are looking in to (if they haven’s set it up already) a solution like this.

Then we also have the rendering side of things. Currently we have a CPU based render farm that has been great to us. However as we move forward we are making the switch towards a GPU based system. I have been looking at gpu based rendering for a few years now and have never felt that the results have been satisfying enough for us, until now. We have renderers such as Red Shift as well as Cycles for Blender  (as well as others out there) with both producing excellent results at insanely fast render speeds.

Mentioning these things, when will we see these implemented in Dark Haven’s infrastructure? Dark Haven Studios are still in its infancy working on its pilot project 124: New Beginnings so building something like this takes time. The process of building this infrastructure has already begun but will probably be in place for full use during next project (not yet revealed), hopefully 2016 somewhere. We live in exciting times!. Love what technology enables us to do!

If you want to build something big, infrastructure is super important but easily forgotten as a creative person.

Anyone with experience working over a VDI system feel free to leave a comment. Anyone experienced working with hardware setup from Supermicro vs HP vs Dell?

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