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NASA’s Conceptual Image Lab Brings Science to the Layman with PipelineFX’s Qube!

Does it matter if you are the smartest person in the room if only a few people can understand what you are saying? That is the problem NASA’s Conceptual Image Lab (CIL) solves for scientists and astronomers who are tasked with bringing hard science to the public. Breaking down complicated concepts into a stream of easily digestible visuals inspired the Lab to build up a suite of 3D production products. But it was their need for a non-technical and pro-deadline rendering process that motivated them to use PipelineFX‘s render farm management software, Qube!


Qube! was the saving grace for a team beholden to an open sourced render management code left by a departing system administrator. Once in place, this off-the-shelf software package quickly restored order to a system locked in a spiral of inefficiency. True value was found in the way Qube! seamlessly integrated Autodesk's Maya, Nvidia's Mental Ray, NewTek's Lightwave, Maxon's Cinema 4D, and every other production tool CIL favors. A necessity for a division filled with different production methods and varying product preferences.


“Qube! was a huge load off our backs,” said Walt Feimer, Senior Animator at NASA’s Conceptual Image Lab. “Suddenly, we had this product that upped output and organized our content straight out of the box; and the GUI-interface allowed anyone on staff to get intelligent, yet approachable information from what could have been a complicated process. It put the efficiency of our facility back on track.”

If questions arose, the CIL team could trust in the on-call support of PipelineFX’s technical department. “ASAP is important to us,” added Feimer. “With our deadlines, we need someone to be there when we need them. PipelineFX engineers are always available to walk us through whatever goal we wanted to realize. And their QCA training program is the reason every new person to our system gets up to speed in no time.”

With more time at their disposal, the Conceptual Image Lab can focus on helping scientists depict anything that falls under NASA's four themes of astro physics, earth science, planetary science, and helio physics; whether that’s black holes devouring stars, or solar flares.


“If a scientist has a science result or theory that doesn’t begin as a visual idea, we help them bring it to life,” added Feimer. “We employ the best tools to help them get there. And Qube! is how we get there faster.”

About Qube! and Smart Farming:
Qube! is an intelligent, mature and highly scalable render management solution that can be quickly integrated into any production workflow, and is backed by world-class technical support. Smart Farming delivers intelligence to production pipelines by providing business-critical insight into render pipelines, maximizing investment in rendering infrastructure and automating manual processes. Qube! works out of the box with all leading content creation applications and is truly cross-platform with all software components available on Windows, Linux, and Mac OSX operating systems.

About PipelineFX:
As the leading provider of intelligent render farm management solutions for digital content creation, PipelineFX provides software, support, consulting and training services worldwide. Over 500 customers across film and visual effects, post production, broadcast, design, games and education include Arc Productions, BaseFX, BBC, Cinesite, Deluxe, Digital Domain, Electronic Arts, Herman Miller, L.M.U. Laika Studios, Lockheed Martin, Method Studios, NBC, NHK, Original Force, Pratt University, Procter & Gamble, ReelFX, Smoke & Mirrors, South Park Studios, Technicolor, and Telemundo. PipelineFX is headquartered in Los Angeles, CA, and has offices in London, Honolulu, Portland, Las Vegas, and Vancouver.

Copyright 2012 PipelineFX, Inc. PipelineFX is a copyright of PipelineFX Inc. Qube! and Smart Farming are Trademarks of PipelineFX Inc. All other brand names, product names, service marks or trademarks belong to their respective holders.