Mediaworkstations For Creative and Post – Chicago Style

Optimus Chicago

2D & 3D Design Animation in Advertising

We sat down with Ken Winke, Luis Mayorga, & Tyler Nelson from Optimus Chicago. They shared the challenges they faced while using outdated Mac hardware, and described the massive difference Mediaworkstation.net made in their work.

Meet Optimus

The team at Optimus describe their workflow

Optimus is a production and post-production house for leading advertising clients, brands, and agencies in Chicago. Their work ranges from a traditional 30 second TV spot to something that’s more long-form and involves more storytelling that brands might use on their websites and social media. Optimus is a full-service agency that provides editorial, audio, design, graphics, the effects, finishing, and color for their clients.

They are using their Mediaworkstations within their design department which creates 2D, 3D design, animation, and some CGI work. The design team includes Ken Winke, Luis Mayorga, and Tyler Nelson. Luis is the Senior Animator whose 3D / CGI workflow includes Nuke, Arnold, After Effects, and Cinema 4D. Tyler works with After Effects, Photoshop and Cinema 4D. The team also use V-Ray, 3DS Max, Maya, and RealFlow for their creative.

Arnold is an outstanding render engine. Because it’s CPU-driven and multithreaded our i-X2 Mediaworkstation is the best workstation for Arnold, but also RenderMan and V-Ray.

The i-X Mediaworkstation is the best workstation for After Effects and Cinema 4D – though the i-X2 is a better choice if physical render in C4D is central to your workflow. Having a really fast chip in your machine is key for Adobe CC — and lots of RAM for After Effects, if you’re using it more and more is also important.

With these new machines, I feel like we can accomplish a lot more and take bigger jobs. I’m not worried about hardware problems, and I can just focus more on design and being creative. We can focus on putting out the best work that we can.

The Transition

The decision to switch from Mac

Previously, Optimus was an all Mac studio, however the Mac Pros were beginning to show their age. Tyler noticed several moments leading up to their switch to Mediaworkstations where he knew their computers were getting outdated. They noticed that render times on heavier projects were getting significantly slower, especially as they moved to 2K, 4K, and larger frames.

Their recent Dove Chocolate project was going on during the transition between the two computers. The project was a combination of working with a lot of 2D, high-resolution artwork in Photoshop as well as 3D projects in Cinema 4D. It involved a lot of copying, lighting, post effects, and they noticed with the old Mac workstations we were really getting bogged down.

The Shedd Aquarium Project

Big Accomplishments with Mediaworkstations

Shedd Aquarium was one of the first projects where the team could really stretch their wings with the new Mediaworkstations, and Tyler noticed a big difference. The project required filming real fish against a blue screen in 4k. They were taking 15 or 16 clips, sometimes even more, and trying to rotorbrush all of these, key them out, and then add them to the scene with depth of field and camera moves. Tyler was able to iterate in real-time as they were working and could operate After Effects quickly. This project would not have been possible on their old computers.

The new Mediaworkstations also helped the team maintain a great relationship with their client who wanted revisions quickly. They were able to have checkpoints with the client every two to three days, as well as work on other projects simultaneously. It was a huge feat made manageable by the Mediaworkstations.

Now I can focus way more on doing the work and I know that rendering is not going to be a huge issue.

The Hardware

The i-X2 Difference

With these new machines, Luis feels like they can accomplish a lot more and take bigger jobs. He’s not worried about hardware problems, and he is able to just focus more on design and being creative.

Tyler noticed less strain is being put on figuring out the schedule of work which was previously dominated by render times. Now he is able to focus more on doing the work and knows that rendering is not going to be a huge issue. He also noticed that they’re able to handle quick turnarounds and work much more efficiently in emergency situations.

Ken appreciates that hardware is no longer a limiting factor in the work they’re able to do. The Mediaworkstations are a great value, will last and work for awhile, and can handle the work they’re doing now as well as the work they’ll be doing in the future.

The Product

i-X2: The Ultimate Workstation

With dual Intel® Xeon® processors and space for up to 10 solid state drives in a small form factor and NVMe SSDs like the M.2 Samsung 960 Pro, the i-X2 is the fastest workstation for CPU Rendering and GPU rendering in a small form factor. With GeForce Quadro or Tesla GPU accelerators or AMD Radeon Pro cards like WX 9100, it is well-equipped for heavy workloads with 24/7 reliability and a sound choice for render engines like Octane Render, Redshift or V-Ray, Cinema 4D, Maya, ZBrush and other intensive texture, modeling, simulation, compositing and render heavy media work.

The Product

i-X | Recommended Hardware for Unity, Unreal Engine and Adobe CC

The i-X is the recommended hardware for Unity, Unreal Engine and Adobe CC. It’s also our fastest workstation for Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro, fastest workstation for Autodesk 3dsMax, and recommended hardware for Autodesk Maya.

Composite with Nuke supported by Intel i7 or Intel i9 Skylake X CPUs: 6-core i7-7800X to 10-core i9-7900X to 18 core i9-7980XE. Model in Cinema 4D with ease. Ready previz or final render from your desktop. With system RAM up to 128GB DDR4 2666MHz and up to 4 Geforce, Quadro or Radeon Pro GPUs the i-X is optimized for GPU rendering and GPU accelerated workflows.

For the full interview with the team at Optimus, click here.