Image courtesy of Adam Glasgow
Cloud computing was once a tool used predominantly by businesses. It is now evolving into something that can be used by many interests including artists and graphic designers. Hardware and software follow a consistent growth model: As capabilities increase the costs decrease. We are at the point where individuals, entrepreneurs and creative types can make use of the cloud to save time and improve their own businesses.
We can look at the cloud overall as a tool to help manage information. But it also consists of the applications that are used, some of which are evolving to match the cloud’s capabilities. Again, following a similar hardware/software growth curve, applications were initially modified to work from within the cloud. The next generation of applications will be built native to the cloud technology.
A place to keep things
Keeping files on a DVD/CD or flash drive is convenient. But you have to remember where you put the CD and have some way to get the files off. Flash drives have a similar problem that some people tried to solve by wearing them on cords around their necks. But is there a solution that isn’t defeated by losing a tiny drive.
When information is stored in the cloud, it’s there whenever you need it. It can be accessed anywhere that a smartphone, tablet or laptop has an Internet connection. Consider a customer meeting in which a request comes up to see an early copy of a video. If you didn’t think to bring that file with you, you may have to schedule another meeting. If, however, it’s stored on your cloud server, you can just access it with your laptop and show it off.
Saving on rendering
Some of the biggest time sinks in digital animation are rendering each scene an encoding the final video. If you have a beefy machine, you can significantly reduce the time needed, but even the fastest desktop out there is going to take quite a while to encode a feature length film at 1080p. With the power of cloud computing, however, you can harness the power of dozens of machines at once, offloading all your rendering and encoding tasks and freeing time to work on other aspets of the project.
Collaborative projects are challenging to orchestrate. You would have to have everyone in one place using the same tools or, if working remotely, be able to exchange work quickly and consolidate into the final form. The cloud becomes a natural place in which to do team projects.
Teams can access the information from any location where they can get online. In some cases, they can use the tools that they are familiar with. But the cloud is addressing that, as well, by creating applications that are at home in the cloud. Standard office tools, such as word processors and presentation tools, graphics editors, animation tools and video editing are all becoming available from within the cloud. This enables a team to work anywhere on their smartphone, tablet or laptop. The turnaround time on these types of projects can be greatly shortened by using the cloud capabilities.
The cloud has become a tool with something for everyone. No longer just a business application, people are creating movies, designing artwork, collaborating on musical pieces and working on promotional material with customers in the cloud. The time saved means more time available for creative planning and work.