Alright, we’re sorry. You can turn the Christmas music off now.

We just finished talking about Halloween with our Trick and Treat promotion, posting 3D tricks on our Facebook page in exchange for free rendering credit, and now we are already humming festive tunes.

Whilst lots of industries wind down leading up to the December holiday season, the VFX and Animation industries always seem to ramp up. With deliveries for end of year features, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Superbowl and Christmas commercials, November and December are always crazy months. Combine the volume of work with a short month and Christmas parties, and things can get a little crazy.

The team here at YellowDog are expecting a frantic end to the year too. When you are delivering, we too are also delivering, and with the scheduled jobs we can see coming up over the next two months, we’ll be certainly be working with one hand and eating mince pies with the other all the way up to the end of 2017.

Right now, most businesses perceive cloud rendering as a safety net for overflow work, rather than a pre-planned and scheduled part of delivery. Many of our customers will work hard to try and render everything with in-house render capacity, but turn to a cloud provider or render farm when it looks like they won’t be able to deliver everything on time. This makes total sense. If you have already invested in the fixed infrastructure to render your jobs, turning to someone else to help out should only happen when you don’t think that you can manage.

What doesn’t make sense is leaving the preparation for this possibility to the last minute when the client is desperate for the work and you are desperate to go home and spend time with the family.

Rendering is hard, and unpredictable, and in VFX and Animation there are so many moving parts that can affect schedules that preparing for the worst is a must. You wouldn’t start packing your emergency parachute once you realise your main parachute has failed! You’d make sure it was ready before getting on the plane. (Although many of the team here at YellowDog wouldn’t even go that far; they’d be waiting in the bar to congratulate those who were brave enough to take part.)

So here are our two tips for this busy delivery period to ensure that you, like Santa, can deliver everything on time.

  1. Don’t leave setting up and testing with your cloud render provider until the last minute. Do it ahead of time, simulate a production scenario, and see how they perform under pressure. When you need to pull for that spare parachute, you need to know that it’ll work first time.
  2. Consider the impact of locking yourself into only one provider. Do they have the capacity at short notice to deliver your job? Do you know how much it will cost, and are there any hidden charges or premiums for prioritised delivery? Will they be on the end of the phone helping you out if something goes wrong in the middle of the night?

At YellowDog, our platform is built on a concept that we call #LimitlessCompute. We are set up with multiple cloud providers so we always find the right amount of compute to finish your job to a deadline, and we are not limited to the walls of one data centre or the terms of one provider. Plus, you can call us any time, and our busy elves will ensure that we make your delivery work.

We’ll be sending our London based friends some helpful postcards to keep on your desks when things get tricky over the coming months, so keep an eye out in the post for our top Soho takeaway recommendations for after the Christmas party. If you would like to receive one, or are not based in London, contact us and we’ll put a little something in the mail for you that will definitely arrive before Christmas.

Good luck from all of us at YellowDog, and we look forward to hearing from you.

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