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Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Reading up on Pixomondo

After watching Pixomondo's VFX breakdown of Hugo in my last post, I went to look up the company.

I knew they were big, I knew they had operations in many countries, but nothing prepared me for what I found when I went to their website.

Pixomondo is a company that started in 2001, doing 3D animation, video installations and commercials. Now the company has facilities spanning across a jaw-dropping 12 counties!

These are: Los Angeles, Berlin, Beijing, Frankfurt, London, Stuttgart, Shanghai, Munich, Toronto, Burbank, Hambug and Imprint. It is beyond impressive.

Being part of a multinational VFX company myself, I observe the common problems that plague companies with multiple facilities in different countries.

One of the huge obstacles is the different time-zones, where production staff work different timing from each other. This translates to time loss. Sometimes at the end of the day in one country's office, things must wait several hours until their counterparts come online to have a discussion, or to come to a consensus.

This leads to a whole plethora of other problems. If one of the facilities lack the authority to make decisions, it has to wait for the other side to review and approve the work they deliver.

Instructions from one side, if not communicated properly, could lead to a lot of guessing on the other side of the world while the original people giving the instructions go home from work. In the end, the side receiving the instructions could end up interpreting the comments wrongly. Worse, the receiving side may have to do multiple versions, having a few guesses as to what the original side wants, hoping to minimise time wasted.

Information and data transfer is another problem. Lots of data like need to be synced and backed up between facilities. Keeping them secure is a problem. Keeping a consistently fast transfer speed and bandwidth is also crucial for operations like that.

These are only a few problems, and just between 2 facilities. Pixomondo has 12. I cannot even begin to imagine how they managed to overcome all of them.

However, they have turned this around into an advantageous marketing point that sounds good to the clients. According to the website, they position themselves as a 24/7 visual effects solution. No matter which part of the world the client is, the client's timezone will always fall into the working hours of one of the facilities, so there will never be a black-out period where the company is unable to respond to any client's needs.

This is definitely a company I will keep my eyes on, waiting to see what other amazing works they will come up with in the future!

1 comment:

  1. You're absolutely right, the multiple facility scenario is a nightmare at Pixomondo. Contrary to how they market themselves, the company is a global mess, with the usual result of artists being over worked, because of the time differences, disorganisation, copying/transferring files, miscommunication, redoing poor work etc.... You nailed it! Anyone who has worked there would echo the same sentiment.