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Guava Studios Buys Sledgehammer For New 3D Department

Guava Studios has purchased a Sledgehammer HD!O system from Maximum Throughput of Montreal as the core shared storage component for its new 3D animation department.

Guavas post-production workflow involves first creating the required synthetic or animated elements within their 3D department. Subsequently the final, rendered versions of these elements must be shared with their compositing department to assemble the final piece. The compositing department consists of four Discreet Flame systems. A smooth hand-off of material from one set of artists to another is key to getting jobs out the door on time.

Ari Klingman, senior engineer, commented, We knew we needed a shared storage solution to bridge the two departments, but there was a bigger requirement than just sharing the data. When our 3D artists have rendered what they believe are final versions, they need to see them in a video context, because the end piece will invariably be shown on television. We were wasting a huge amount of billable time in our Flame suites just to review, and often reject, work from the 3D department due to motion or color problems. So we needed a shared storage system that could also address our video requirements. We decided to evaluate Sledgehammer based on these needs.

Sledgehammer is at the core a very fast network attached storage (NAS) device, so it was clear that it would likely be able to handle our file sharing requirements. But what really got us excited about the system was its ability to turn folders of rendered files into real-time video that we can play back with the push of a button. This unique functionality eliminates the need for a second render, conversion or load of a playback file. Now, we can preview the rendered work immediately and in a full broadcast color and motion context. This saves us hours upon hours of back-and-forth adjustments. Sledgehammer has greatly streamlined our pipeline, and now saves us significant time and money on a daily basis.

We are extremely pleased to have provided a solution to Guava Studios that helps them deliver projects on time and on budget, added Giovanni Tagliamonti, ceo at Maximum Throughput. Sledgehammer was designed and built based on the requirements of the post-production and broadcaster communities, and its great to see our technology addressing everyday workflow needs.

Maximum Throughput Inc. ( is a networked storage and media management tool developer. Max-T's storage solutions deliver SAN level performance over TCP/IP. The company's unique solutions provide many times the storage bandwidth of other NAS and SAN products, using smart software that runs on industry standard hardware. The media management tools are integrated within the storage, delivering enriched functionality in one versatile solution.

New York-based visual effects company Guava (( was established for creative artists and producers to make striking images using the most effective means. Innovation influences everything at Guava - from the art and craft of the moving image to the insight and skill in creating the best production team for the job. Located in New York's Flatiron District, Guava fosters experimental thinking, exploration and open collaboration between artists and clients. And Guava's involvement at the earliest stages of a project ensures solutions are stunning and practical. Guava's visual effects artists include Aron Baxter, Alex Catchpoole, Mark Wilhelm and Amber Wilson. Guavas 3D artists include Steve Takowski, Dave Bernkopf, Spyro Serbos and Adrian Graham.

Bill Desowitz's picture

Bill Desowitz, former editor of VFXWorld, is currently the Crafts Editor of IndieWire.