Animal Logic, the animation studio responsible for Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole (LOTG), the first animated 3D stereoscopic feature film made in Australia, extensively used Fujifilm LTO media to back up and archive the innovative, unique and highly successful movie.
Alex Timbs, Head of IT at Animal Logic explained the decision and process. He said, “LOTG had over 475Tb of unique assets that were ‘checked in’ to our digital asset management system by our team. From that point there was an automated process which lead the assets to be transferred to Fujifilm LTO tape. We also used Fujifilm LTO tape for transferring data and had a library with over 200 slots working 24/7.”
The process at Animal Logic involved an asset being locked until it was moved to LTO and then flagged once the procedure was complete. “This all happened within two days of the asset being locked,” added Timbs. “The movie’s assets were backed up every day and we keep them for life - in other words ‘incremental forever’. We also utilised our VTLs to the capacity of the LTO tapes which was fast and efficient.”
Animal Logic also used Fujifilm LTO media to archive LOTG. Having had a good deal of experience with this type of moviemaking the process was already in place and seamless. Alex Timbs said, “The archive was created throughout the production of the movie and we defined the structure so that we could keep the archive forever. This way the archived assets can be easily used to recreate the original movie or as parts of any sequels. We also archived proprietary information and custom tools created throughout the production.”
As Alex Timbs explains, on a production the size and scope of LOTG reliable media is critical. He added, “For media like Fujifilm LTO tapes it’s all about efficiency, speed and reliability. LTO media, due to its high performance and lower cost, is a far superior platform especially when dealing with large data sets. We also have a mirrored copy of our primary disk storage that ends up on LTO tape. The fact that Fujifilm LTO media is so easy to use, portable, widely accepted and much cheaper than active storage also seals the deal for us.”
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole has been very well received at the box office and has garnered critical acclaim. Timbs credits some of the film’s success to his talented in-house team and the good relationship they have with their media suppliers. He concluded, “I’d like to particularly highlight the role the Animal Logic Data Operations Team of Jeffrey Tan, Daniel Powter, Mark Boorer and Chris Kerr played as they were absolutely key in the success of our backup and archive strategies for LOTG. Our relationship with Fujifilm is very smooth. They are flexible and cope well in our deadline driven environment where last minute changes are a regular occurrence. We’ve even had them deliver 100 LTO tapes with less than 24 hours notice and not bat an eyelid. Fujifilm have a friendly, efficient team and their products are always very competitively priced. Their LTO media is particularly reliable and we didn’t experience a single tape failure throughout the entire production of LOTG.”