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How DNEG ensures it can integrate AI into VFX remote workflows

DNEG using ASUS ProArt hardware as part of their AI-empowered VFX workflows
2 minute read
DNEG using ASUS ProArt hardware as part of their AI-empowered VFX workflows

DNEG, being one of the global premier visual effects and animation studios, has integrated AI into its VFX workflows. We got an exclusive visit to one of DNEG's employee's home offices to see how it manages remote work.

As regular readers are well aware, we often work with ASUS on producing case studies for their wide range of products. We thought this was an interesting one and worth reproducing on the main site, as it highlights the need for powerful kit and color accuracy when working from home around the world. The days when employees had to come into the facility to get their hands on the horsepower needed for their work are long gone...

Integrating AI with VFX workflows

Founded in 1998, DNEG has established itself as one of the premier visual effects and animation studios globally, makers of blockbuster films such as Dune: Part Two, Avatar, and the recent hit series The Last of Us. Over the years, DNEG has grown into a global powerhouse with multiple facilities across the world, earning numerous awards, including Academy Awards, BAFTA Awards, and Visual Effects Society Awards. And it is determined to continue that growth with the innovative integration of AI into its VFX workflows, enhancing both efficiency and creativity.

The need for high-performance gear

The shift to remote work faced challenges for DNEG, particularly when it comes to the need for high-performance hardware capable of handling complex machine learning tasks. DNEG's workforce is scattered across the globe and requires robust computing power to run and display projects seamlessly from home. This requires investment in advanced technologies such as high-performance GPUs and CPUs.

Martine Bertrand, Senior Researcher in AI at DNEG, emphasizes the importance of specialized equipment in AI workflows: "Machine learning requires having access to very specialized pieces of equipment that you would not be able to necessarily have in your home. Having access to those via virtual machines from anywhere in the world is a very important thing for us."


Bertrand kitting out her remote workstation

A powerful graphics card is the heart of it all

DNEG uses Puget Systems Workstations powered by ASUS for its machine learning pipelines. These workstations are equipped with powerful CPUs and robust graphics cards with 16GB of VRAM, which enables the distributed teams to manage training and pre-processing tasks with a breeze. Bertrand highlights these components in running pre-trained models and producing high-resolution images.

“The graphics card is the heart of it all. Because we're playing around with pre-trained models, they can run fantastically on 16GB of VRAM, and you can produce high-resolution images on a graphics card like this. The workstation in its entirety is a very interesting machine for doing AI work,” she explains.


This workstation features a robust graphics card with 16GB of VRAM

Color empowered workflows at global scale

Consistency in AI workflows is essential, and DNEG achieves this using ASUS ProArt Display PA32UCXR monitors. These monitors offer high dynamic range, high bitrate formats, and 4K content accuracy, which are all vital for maintaining quality and detail in visual effects. The auto-calibration feature of these monitors ensures uniformity across the global workforce, facilitating effective communication and collaboration, when working in large-scale projects.


Bertrand uses her ProArt monitor when finishing her projects from home


Utilizing ASUS ProArt hardware, DNEG's employees work effectively from home, enhancing their ability to contribute to cutting-edge AI-driven VFX projects. With the hardware, DNEG meets the high demands of machine learning and AI workflows while ensuring productivity among its remote workforce. This strategic integration underpins DNEG's commitment to excellence and maintains its leading position in the visual effects industry.

“I've been playing around with ASUS material for years. They're amazing pieces of hardware. This is something that will need more of as time goes by, so I'm really excited to see where this goes,” concludes Bertrand.

Tags: Post & VFX Technology Production AI