The visual effects industry is a turbulent place, but mid-sized studios can endure much like a larger global outfit or a nimble boutique if they place their focus in three core areas: technology development, specialization, and their people.
Innovate in technology
At Image Engine, we place a great deal of importance in the tools we use. They’re the paintbrush and palette that bring our artists’ ideas to life. Increasingly, this mentality is also associated to the “glue” that binds our pipeline together.
Before & after shots of Image Engine's work on Game of Thrones
Efficiency is the source of our enthusiasm towards technology. This might come from today’s rendering technology, where advances across the board are increasing the amount or specificity of creative iterations possible; or in production tracking, where Shotgun enables us to manage multiple people across constantly moving targets.
But what we’ve found to be most important for a studio of our size is in-house R&D. Managing a mid-size studio is all about the strategic choices you make in terms of development, because every penny counts and it’s our open-source tools like Gaffer and proprietary tools like Jabuka that allow for huge increases in efficiency in our work-flow.
Gaffer enables us to tackle projects that would not have been viable before. With Gaffer in our arsenal, we can manage our projects in a boutique-like fashion, but with the high-end capabilities of a global VFX house. Investing in the right tools for your specific workflow is key to operating this way.