Guava selects Tiger Technology to streamline its sophisticated production workflow
Affordable metaLAN Server and stoneGate software facilitates Mac, Windows, and Flame/Smoke integration in New York-based visual effects company.
Switzerland, Geneva, April 7th, 2008 – Tiger Technology (www.tiger-technology.com), developer of high performance, affordable storage area networking (SAN) and workgroup management software solutions, today announced that New York-based visual effects company Guava, part of the Nice Shoes family of full service HD post-production house specializing in high-end commercial work, had selected stoneGate and metaLAN Server to streamline their sophisticated production workflow.
At Guava, many animators, producers, designers, 3D and VFX artists combine their talent to produce high-end imagery for ad agencies. They come from different backgrounds and use a range of tools, such as Adobe After Effects, Photoshop and Maya, all running on a mix of Mac, Windows platforms.
Guava was facing a common challenge in our industry: “We were spending too much time moving material and projects around, and that was affecting our productivity” says Andrew Casper, System Administrator at Guava. “We needed an affordable solution that was totally transparent, didn’t require any complex setup, and would allow us to work on visual elements and projects, from any workstation… as well as integrating with our advanced Flame and Smoke systems.”
metaLAN Server simplifies cross-platform integration
By installing metaLAN Server on their existing file server, and metaLAN licenses on their desktops, Guava immediately resolved their cross-platform connectivity issues. The efficient, built-in cross-platform protocol lets metaLAN mount the remote volume as a local drive on everyone’s desktop – be it a Mac, Windows, workstation. There was no need to reformat storage or transfer content, or for configuring any CIFS, AFP, or SMB protocols. And since multiple metaLAN Servers can easily combine in a cluster for providing load balancing and failover capabilities, there is virtually no limit to the number of seats that can be connected.
“metaLAN Server really works like a SAN, but it allowed us to use our Ethernet infrastructure instead of expensive Fibre Channel” adds Andrew. “The block-level connection it provides to our server has proven very fast and reliable. Instead of using a network connection, we now mount our shared volumes as regular drives on our desktops. Everyone has easy access to these common repositories for storing and sharing files and projects.”
stoneGate helps deliver
With the bulk of Guava’s productions being finished on high-end Flame or Smoke systems, the efficient delivery of digital reels into DVD, Flash or MPEG files to their clients was also becoming an issue.
“stoneGate has proven to be an invaluable tool for us” comments Andrew. “Our artists no longer need to queue their request or wait for QuickTime movies to be encoded on a dedicated server. Using the stoneGate virtual volume, standard applications can now browse the Flame and pull the images they need and without interrupting the high-end workflow.”
For delivering SD content, the VisualHub and QuickTime encoders access full-res images through stoneGate for outputting a high-quality 640x480 mpeg-4 stream. When compressing HD content, Guava takes advantage of stoneGate’s proxy-mode to speed up the process and access quarter-res (960x540) images instead of the full 1920x1080. In both cases, the encoders grab the QuickTime referenced-data directly off the flame, therefore eliminating the need to transfer frames locally prior to launching the encoding. Once encoded, the compressed files are reviewed and delivered. The positive experience at Guava, has made the Nice Shoes people consider implementing a similar setup in their facility.
“When we’re done upgrading our Flame and Smoke, the next step will be to implement metaLAN Server and stoneGate” concludes Andrew.
“We’re thrilled to see Guava give us their vote of confidence.” says Bernard Lamborelle, Director of sales for Tiger Technology “We’re the underdogs offering a fresh workflow. As we’re continuing to make inroads in the market, I believe this is the type of endorsement that will make other professionals take notice. We look forward to a successful relationship with Guava and Nice Shoes.”
About Nice Shoes
New York City-based Nice Shoes is a full service HD post-production house specializing in high-end commercial work. Established in 1996 with the goal of creating a boutique environment that stays ahead of industry trends, the studio employs the newest technology including three Specter 2K Datacines and five Discreet (Autodesk) Flame/ Smoke suites, totally HD capable. To extend into broadcast design, shoot supervision, visual effects and 3D, Freestyle Collective was born into the Nice Shoes family in 2001, followed shortly by Guava in 2002 and most recently, Nice Spots in 2005. Clients include IBM, Maybelline, Pepsi, VH1, AMEX, Kodak, GMC, Folgers and Calvin Klein.
Drawing animators, producers, designers, 3D and VFX artists from a global pool, New York-based visual effects company Guava is dedicated to making imagery for commercials and other media, such as music videos, film, and art installations, including work in the permanent collection of MOMA. To supplement its experimental thinking, exploration, and open collaboration, Guava continues to invest in powerful, cutting-edge technology to make sure the results are not only stunning to look at but are delivered on time. More information may be found at www.guavanyc.com.
About Tiger Technology
Tiger Technology, Sarl, is a privately held company based in Geneva, Switzerland, developer of high performance storage area networking (SAN) management tools. The company's flagship product metaSAN builds upon years of SAN-related expertise and development to bring digital content creation and enterprise professionals involved with handling large bandwidth files a unique, cross-platform, hardware-agnostic, high-speed file sharing SAN management solution that sets new standards for workgroup collaboration and reliability. For further information, please visit www.tiger-technology.com.