ORLANDO, FL — Animation company Theory Studios (theorystudios.com) has a team of graphics professionals scattered around the globe. Collectively, the team of animators, designers and graphics effects experts have worked on videos and animations for children's television series and major theme parks. To help the studio produce high-end graphics concepts and content, Dell Technologies and AMD teamed up to provide the Theory Studios founder David Andrade with a complementary Dell Precision 3630 Tower. Equipped with an AMD Radeon Pro W5500 8GB GPU, 32GB DDR4, 2666MHz RAM and a 512GB NVMe Class 40 SSD, the configuration was ready to take on demanding graphics tasks and turn them out quickly and reliably. In fact, when Theory Studios took delivery of the unit, it came, in Andrade’s words, “at the perfect time.” That was because they had an immediate need for a machine to help them handle a large queue of Adobe After Effects processing tasks for an animated TV series that was underway.
To hear Andrade talk about Theory Studio’s production process, it becomes clear that there is a distinct production pipeline where assets go from the early concept stage to content creation, animation, compositing and all the way through final rendering and post production effects. At Theory Studios, the company uses Adobe Creative Cloud with an emphasis on After Effects. They also work with Blender for 3D creation as well. By itself, Blender is a complete graphics pipeline, with modeling, rigging, animation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, along with video editing and game creation support. This means a constant flow of files moving from stage to stage within the pipeline, where specific individuals handle specific tasks, and use their PCs, along with server-based assets, either in the cloud or on-premises, to handle the enormous processing loads involved.
As each artist in the workflow assumes control of an asset, they turn to the appropriate software tools to tackle that particular phase of the task at hand. Within this environment, a graphics workstation is not only used for content creation by artists, but is also often put to work as a rendering machine to process raw assets. Given that some of these tasks might typically take hours or even days to complete, reducing this unattended render time can be a critical way to improve overall efficiency.
“All of a sudden a six-hour file export on that other PC was reduced to a three-hour export on the Dell Precision 3630,” says Andrade, who wears many hats. “I’m trying to take my IT hat off now. I don’t want to build PCs, I just want to have them ready, done and working. For us, Dell PCs just work.”
Having struggled himself with component-level compatibility issues when previously building computers, he now enjoys the simplicity of pre-configured Dell workstations equipped with AMD graphics. Additionally, when it comes to recommending computers to his team, Andrade simply says, “If you want a new machine, get this Dell Precision workstation with AMD Radeon PRO graphics.”
Valuable time is saved and Andrade remains confident knowing they will do what he and his team need them to do right out of the box. Andrade is likewise sold on Dell Service and Support, especially as it pertains to his team’s support needs.
“I don’t have to deal with it, and they can just talk to Dell directly and that makes perfect sense,” he says. "As a small business, you’re spending less time fixing stuff and more time making stuff. It’s making stuff that makes you money, so I think it’s worth the cost.”