VES COVID-19 Resources
We hope you are well and healthy. The global COVID-19 pandemic has created a variety of challenges for everyone, everywhere – both personally and professionally.
I. VES Technology Committee Issues Work From Home Best Practices
The VES Technology Committee has recently issued their best practices, tips and tricks for working from home. Their recommendation is designed to help the VFX community by sharing some technical solutions to common problems we may encounter in trying to prepare and adapt to work from home workflows that are, for security and technical reasons, difficult in our industry. This report covers:
- Guidance from Studios, Vendors and Facilities
- Where to discuss issues with your peers
- What are the (secure) remote desktop solutions?
- PCoIP Tips & Tricks
- What works on Mac? VNC?
- What are the bandwidth comparisons?
- What cloud solutions are there and how much work is it?
- What information should be given to employees before working from home?
- Secure File Transfer Solutions
- VPN solutions
- Application Specific Information
- Remote Streaming Solutions
II. Remote Work Solutions
Autodesk is offering free access to their cloud collaboration products including Shotgun until June 30, 2020. They have also published their COVID-19 Resource Center in an effort to help VFX practitioners stay up to date on what Autodesk is doing for their customers working remotely.
Avid is offering free temp licenses for remote users of the company’s creative tools. Commercial customers can get a free 90-day license for each registered user of Media Composer | Ultimate, Pro Tools, Pro Tools | Ultimate and Sibelius | Ultimate.
Conductor is waiving charges for orchestrating renders in the cloud. Updated pricing is reflected in the cost calculator on Conductor’s Pricing page. These changes will last at least through May 2020. To help expedite any transition needs, the Conductor team will be on call for virtual render wrangling of cloud submissions, from debugging scenes and scripts to optimizing settings for cost, turnaround time, etc. If you need this option, then email [email protected]
Foundry is offering FREE 30-40 minute technical deep dive Webinars into their products, workflows and third party tools; Skill-Ups guides to improving your skills as a compositor, lighter or texture artist; special conversational Sessions with customers sharing insights, tips and tricks; their first online LIVEstream of customer and product presentations and their Workflow Wednesdays with 10 minute weekly videos about Nuke. Click here to register for the events you’re interested in seeing. Additionally, Foundry shared this letter from their company president.
ftrack Review is free for all until May 31. This date might extend as the global situation continues to unfold. ftrack Review is an out-of-the-box remote review and approval tool that enables creative teams to collaborate on, review and approve media via their desktop or mobile browser. Contextual comments and annotations eliminate confusion and reduce reliance on email threads. ftrack Review accepts many media formats as well as PDFs. Every ftrack Review workspace receives 250 GB of storage.
Lenovo is offering a free 120-day license of Mechdyne’s TGX Remote Desktop software, which uses Nvidia Quadro GPUs and a built-in video encoder to compress and send information from the host workstation to the end-point device to decode. This eliminates lag on complex and detailed application files. Teams can share powerful, high-end workstation resources across the business, easily dialing up performance and powerful GPUs from their standard workstation to collaborate remotely with coworkers around the world. Users keep data and company IP secure on-site while reducing the risk of data breaches and remotely administering computer hardware assets from anywhere, anytime. Users install the trial on their host workstations and install the receiver software on their local devices to access their applications and projects as if they were in the office.
NVIDIA is expanding their free virtual GPU software evaluation to 500 licenses for 90 days to help companies support remote workers with existing GPU infrastructure. NVIDIA vGPU software licenses – including Quadro Virtual Workstations used by content creators – enable GPU-accelerated virtualization to continue working.
SideFX has outlined some technical tips for artists working from home.
StratusCore is providing VES members access to its Virtual Studio, which includes 40 hours of Virtual Workstation use per month, 25 render credits per month, 50 GB of hot storage, and 50% off all purchases through its partnership with VES.
Symply is providing as many remote workers in the industry as possible with a free 90-day license to SymplyConveyor, its secure, high-speed transfer and sync software. Symply techs will be available to install SymplyConveyor remotely on any PC, Mac or Linux workstation pair or server and workstation. The no-obligation offer is available at gosymply.com. Users sign up, and as long as they are in the industry and have a need, Symply techs will install the software. The number of free 90-day licenses is limited only by Symply’s ability to install them given its limited resources.
Ziva Dynamics is now offering remote licenses for their leading simulation software Ziva VFX 1.9 character creation tool – now compatible with Maya 2020 – at no added cost. Which means any team can complete their studio work from the safety of their homes, with no limitations.
V. Additional Resources
- Crowd Sourced Job Database
- The Foundry Tutorials
- Autodesk Tutorials
- SideFX Tutorials
- Pluralsight: Free online courses
Working from Home Resources:
- New to Working Remotely? These Resources Can Help
- 8 Tips To Make Working From Home Work For You
- Ready to start using Zoom, but need some help? Drop in for a 30 minute live training with a Zoom expert
- How to work from home with kids (without losing it)
- How ‘regular school’ parents can homeschool their kids
Resources for working with children:
- SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s children’s literacy program streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books
- #SAVEWITHSTORIES also features celebrities reading children’s books
- Audible: Free audio books for kids
- Khan Academy: remote learning during school closures
- Scholtastic Learn At Home
- Red Nose Day: Remote Learning Resources
- Coronavirus and Kids: Resources from Save the Children