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5G Unleashed:
Qvisten Animation Supercharges its Remote Production Workflow Using Celerway ARCUS

See how award-winning 3D studio Qvisten Animation uses Celerway’s powerful ARCUS mobile router to accelerate production, reduce connectivity costs, and enable real-time remote collaboration between teams on location and in the office.


Qvisten Animation Based in Oslo, Qvisten Animation is a prominent Norwegian animation studio and the largest of its kind in Scandinavia. With a focus on 3D digital animation for children, Qvisten has animated more than 400 projects since it was established in 1994, from films and commercials to music videos and games, including Captain Sabertooth & the Magic Diamond, the Cattle Hill and Knutsen & Ludvigsen film series, and the music video for Secret Garden’s Storyteller album.

Background

For any project, Qvisten has teams in multiple places—the Oslo studio and the remote locations—that need to communicate and share vast amounts of data every day. On location, the team uses multiple cameras to gather still images of the physical environment at different angles, which then become building blocks for scenes of the film. Artists in each location need to access and collaborate on this material every day in real-time.

To understand the amount of data involved, consider that for a film with a running time of an hour or more, the team could easily shoot more than 400,000 images, each about 65 MB in size. On any given day, they must upload around 30 GB of data.

Challenge

The time it takes to share this data impacts Qvisten’s daily workflow. Due to the 24-hour delay between recording on location and image processing back in Oslo, the natural flow of real-time collaboration is interrupted, and even a minor creative decision can cost time and money. What’s more, latency and inadequate download speeds at remote sites make it difficult for the artists there to playback and edit their own work in real-time.

Qvisten CTO Andreas Martin Aanerud saw that 5G has the potential to help change that, which is why the company participated in the 5G Innovation Hub North, a collaborative test environment. He was glad to learn that brand new 5G networks are available at Kristiansand Zoo and Amusement Park, a theme park near Kristiansand in southern Norway where Qvisten is shooting material for their latest project.

In the past at temporary locations, Qvisten would bring in expensive fiber lines, if available, but now that 5G is an option, such a long-term investment is the least cost-effective solution.

Despite the potential of 5G, Aanerud found in practice that the team was unable to take full advantage of it because of the lack of a secure network layer on Qvisten’s existing equipment. He tried to address this issue using various network appliances, but none of these solutions allowed for remote administration and configuration of the modems.

Solution

Celerway is also a participant in the 5G Innovation Hub North, and a mutual contact put the two companies in touch. Once Aanerud learned about Celerway’s technology, Qvisten’s vision of an ideal remote workflow with 5G was poised to become a reality.

Aanerud’s priorities were:

  • to exploit the full potential of 5G for near real-time collaboration, and
  • to use as little equipment on site as possible, with minimal impact on Qvisten’s existing IT infrastructure.

To that end, Aanerud chose ARCUS, Celerway’s rugged flagship mobile router powered by CelerwayOS with Phantom VPN. ARCUS gives Qvisten a secure, seamless, and continuous VPN connection at Kristiansand Zoo by combining multiple simultaneous WAN connections.  

Qvisten’s configuration of ARCUS includes two 5G modems as well as 4G, using mobile operators with complementary coverage areas, plus Ethernet. Qvisten has set policies that match traffic types to their WAN connections. For example, Ethernet is the WAN with the lowest latency and runs at between 10 and 50 Mbps, so Qvisten uses it for low-latency database connections. For the speed required for remote playback of 3D and uncompressed images at 24 frames per second, they use ARCUS to combine the two 5G modems, resulting in a secure and uninterrupted 1,3 Gbps connection. As Aanerud says, “the magic here is in how Celerway uses 5G, combining all these data streams using Phantom VPN load balancing.”

Integration with Qvisten’s existing IT infrastructure was as simple as installing an instance of Phantom VPN on a virtual machine in the company network. For 3D work, the team at Kristiansand uses thin clients to access material and processing tools, and the heavy processing happens on the servers back at the Oslo office.

Results

Qvisten is delighted with the results. “With ARCUS, we can go anywhere and create a secure remote collaboration hub for our entire team, and our remote workflow is the way we dreamt it could be,” Aanerud says.  

The old workflow with its 24-hour delay is a thing of the past. Now, the team enjoys near-real-timecollaboration by using 5G and other network resources at their full potential. Thanks to an uninterrupted connection with low latency and high-speed downloads, artists at Kristiansand Zoo and directors with access to any Qvisten workstation can quickly make and implement creative decisions, enabling their best work in 3D and augmented reality.

ARCUS is configured for Qvisten’s specific needs and data traffic types, and Aanerud and his team can easily monitor network performance and make adjustments remotely via Celerway’s Nimbus remote administration platform. Also, he’s happy to report that ARCUS is fast and easy to set up. “I can have a remote location up and running quickly, with fewer devices and less complexity in our networking setup, while giving teams access to our servers just as if they’re in the office.”

Eventually, Aanerud would like to see this ideal workflow implemented at Qvisten’s partners throughout the region, but for now, he’s content that at Kristiansand Zoo, remote collaboration is exactly what the team hoped it could be.

To learn more about how Celerway solutions can keep remote teams connected, contact us.

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