DUBLIN, Ireland -- Technology developer Aspera  announced that Brown Bag Films , Europe’s successful creative-led animation studio, has deployed Aspera Sync  to enable real-time post-production collaboration between its partner studios in Ireland, Mumbai, Singapore and Indonesia. Aspera Sync offers a scalable and multidirectional file-synchronization and replication solution for moving big data over large distances at high speed. It provides a high-performance alternative, up to 100 times faster than traditional sync and replication technologies, and eliminates the inefficiencies and costs of manually shipping tapes.
Brown Bag Films relies on worldwide partner studios, often in far-flung locations, for portions of their animation workflow. To successfully manage the ever greater number of projects in its pipeline, and increasingly handle the big data demands of 3D and HD productions, Brown Bag Films needed a real-time 24/7 collaboration solution to enable quick and easy file-sharing with its worldwide partners. Other key requirements for the file solution were that it had to be fast, reliable and stable while ensuring no file corruption occurred during transfers.
FTP was unable to meet Brown Bag’s stringent requirements. Even with a dedicated team to manage file transfers and content movement across sites, Brown Bag Films experienced partial transfers leading to corrupted files, while the latency between the site in Ireland and the overseas studios caused transfers to almost grind to a complete halt. Brown Bag Films needed a more stable and sophisticated mechanism to reliably move and synchronize the large data sets.
“We had reached capacity in terms of the work we could realistically handle and the number of new projects we could take on at any one time,” said Brian Gilmore, head of technology at Brown Bag Films. “We wanted to be able to maximize our available global resources and implement 24-hour production without being hindered by the transfer of large files. After reviewing the offerings out there, Aspera Sync proved the best solution that could meet our demanding needs.”
Brown Bag Films selected and deployed Aspera Sync to move and replicate file sets between sites in the background and leveraged a Web-based production tracking system to keep track of all replicated files and versions in a ‘hands-free’ operation. Users at the overseas studios simply access files via storage mounted to their desktops. When users place the finished files back onto the mounted drive, Aspera Sync automatically transfers all new or modified files at high speed back to Ireland, where Brown Bag Films’ internally developed tools create a ‘package’ of files, ensuring correct naming convention.
To support smaller animation studios on an ad-hoc basis, Brown Bag Films deployed Aspera Connect Server , which allows anyone to download files from the central server using an install-on-demand browser plug-in. This overcomes previous issues of users having to install FTP clients and makes the whole experience a lot easier for smaller studio partners.
Incorporating Aspera Sync software into its existing pipeline has enabled Brown Bag Films to integrate more closely with its overseas partner studios, and facilitate real-time collaboration between artists and producers across time zones.
Gilmore added: “Aspera Sync has revolutionized our data transfer workflow, helping us to take on four times as much work at any given time by splitting it between locations – all in the knowledge that quality will be maintained no matter where the file is active in the world. As a company, it has helped us become more productive, at a glance increasing efficiencies across our data flow management.”
“We’re delighted Brown Bag Films has selected Aspera Sync to support its global workflows,” said Bruce Brewer, European sales director at Aspera. “The ability to keep multiple sites in sync at high speed, without needing to employ production assistants for file transfer monitoring or worry about quality control, drastically increases efficiency and will continue to support Brown Bag Films’ rapid business growth.”