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Hyderabad: IMAGE Tower to be hub of animation, VFX

Hyderabad: IT and Industries Minister KT Rama Rao had earlier this week announced that IMAGE Tower will be ready for inauguration in the first quarter of 2023. IMAGE Tower will be to animation what T-Hub is to startups. The new facility would have six studios including one large studio with a typical studio floor of 120ft X 100 Ft and a similar-sized motion capture green matt studio as well.

The IMAGE Tower would further have a Digital Intermediate (DI) suite. IMAGE Tower will also count editing labs (audio and video), data management labs, a dubbing suite and even a data centre on its premises along with an auditorium and two theatres for screening. These form part of the physical infrastructure at the 1.6 million sqft facility.

The virtual infrastructure comprises a render farm, data centre, bandwidth (internal and external) and shared software licence for gaming and animation occupiers. The render farm will have applications for post-production, sophisticated 3D, visual effects (VFX), animation, and finishing.

The structure is being built on a ‘T’-shape structure implying Telangana and Technology. With this Tower, Hyderabad would emerge as the hub for animation, visual effects, gaming and comics (AVGC). A dedicated data centre is needed due to the humongous data that will be handled. The resolution standards are getting refined and now 4K is already popular and 6K, 8K resolutions are also being spoken about. The use of 3D technology effectively doubles the storage requirements. A film, created at 4K, typically requires 10TB space. However, raw video capture for a full-length feature film requires about two petabytes of storage. These kind of storage requirements push the need for having a data centre within the building with round-the-clock maintenance.

All animation/VFX studios rely on superhighways to transport the huge amounts of data needed to fill 24 frames a second (fps) in a 90-minute feature film. It will have at least four service providers with an independency to clients to select any of the vendors for redundancy, according to the pre-bid queries and responses document.

Gaming occupiers will have access to shared software Licences including Unity Game Engine, Nuke and GameBryo. Animation players will have access to the likes of Autodesk 3DS MAX, Maya, ZBrush, Motion Builder, Stop Motion Pro, V-Ray, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, Adobe PremiereT, Eyeon Fusion and Cloud services (like Amazon webserver, IBM, Google, Microsoft).

What does it mean to industry?
“Hyderabad is home to gaming, animation and VFX players. A lot of VFX outsourcing is done to Hyderabad currently. With the new support system, we would be able to handle new-age projects. Value creation and value addition, and not cost arbitrage, will be our strength,” said Telangana VFX, Animation and Gaming Association president Rajiv Chilaka.

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