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Linkage Design Revs Up High-End Car Animations with VRED and Qube!

3D design firm automates training and visualization queue with PipelineFX’s stable render farm manager Qube!

- PipelineFX announced that Linkage Design, a global automotive design and training studio, has tapped Qube! to manage all VRED rendering projects in their US and UK offices.

With a service list that includes digital modeling, Class-A surface creation, concept designs, and scan-based reverse engineering, Linkage Design can not only create assets, they can show artists how to make them too. Training programs for VRED Professional, Autodesk’s 3D automotive visualization tool, have already been big hits for the studio. Now with the addition of Qube!, Linkage has found a way to automate the rendering process, bringing projects in faster for top automotive clients.

“We depend on Qube! to be ready and waiting, not only upon completion of a project, but also for motion tests at stop points during the creation process,” said Dawn McArdle, Senior Visualization Specialist at Linkage Design. “Exterior driving shots and moving parts never look 100% correct the first time around, which means we need our render farm to pump out overnight tests that will be ready to re-work the next morning. Qube! is made for that.”

At a firm like Linkage, individual computers aren’t able to keep up with the sheer number of frames slated for test runs. Before Qube!, the team was manually routing renders from their desktops. Already an inefficient use of time, this process led to even more trouble during the night, as render errors sidelined jobs and added hours to their shots.

“Manually setting up renders on multiple machines at the end of the day is time consuming,” added McArdle. “With Qube!, you can select which computers receive jobs, and then go home knowing your final passes will be shepherded as you sleep. It maximizes your resources.”

When in office, the team found themselves delighted by the instantaneous updates Qube! gives on jobs currently in progress. “The UI is easy to use, and easy to decipher,” said Michael Check, CEO of Linkage Design. “We like the numerous monitoring features like the ability to understand which workers are responsible for specific frames, and performance comparisons that tell us which workers are our fastest. Adding more speed into our routines also gave us the desire to re-render all of our early VRED content, and finally tackle our reel.”

Another benefit was access to PipelineFX’s dedicated support team. From the start, they were there to help Linkage Design write scripts during the initial install, a factor Linkage now attributes to the reliability they’ve seen in the last few months.

“The way Qube! works with VRED is going to be huge for the design viz industry, as many auto suppliers and small design shops have desktops sitting idle during parts of the day and night,” said Check. “Most firms aren’t going to make the jump to a dedicated render rack just yet, so tapping into these idle computers is an excellent source of added efficiency. Qube! is how we get there.”