VFX company working on Star Wars: The Last Jedi uses Microsoft Azure to save time and costs

Jellyfish Pictures, a BAFTA and multi-award-winning production studio currently working on Star Wars: The Last Jedi, has launched a subsidiary business called RenderWise, which will use Microsoft Azure to dramatically improve efficiencies and reduce costs.

Azure’s power and flexibility will integrate with the company’s existing render farm, allowing VFX studios to work remotely and on demand, greatly increasing work process speed while rendering scenes in the cloud.

Jeremy Smith, Jellyfish CTO, said: “RenderWise was born from an acknowledgement that the VFX industry needs to change. It promotes global collaborative working, which in an industry such as ours is essential. The most important thing, for us all, is to ensure that creativity is never stilted – using the cloud, opens up a whole new realm of possibilities to how we work, breaking down the four walls of our studios, and expanding progress.”

The benefits of the Azure-powered system allow the company to reduce existing time-consuming methods, along with costs and overheads that are traditionally associated with setting up a new studio, thanks to the use of virtual offices – a model that has already achieved success in Jellyfish Pictures’ two new London-based offices.

The flexible nature of Azure, namely its ability to allow users to scale its power on the fly, means that less money will be wasted on resources that might not be required, while in turn allowing more demanding tasks to be carried out in an instant, as needed.

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The new solution will radically save costs across the board, increasing efficiency and reducing waste, with all administration costs being outsourced to Azure, further saving money on cooling equipment and running their own on-premises hardware.

Phil Dobree, CEO of Jellyfish Pictures, added: “For as long as the VFX community can remember, we have been governed by on-premises hardware and infrastructure when tackling projects. RenderWise eliminates this archaic view and liberates what is possible. In order to compete we need to start deploying solutions that enable us to work as efficiently and economically as possible. The solution we have created is the future of how VFX studios will run and I am very proud of the results.”