Pop Family Entertainment previews Being Betty Flood at AWS re:Invent 2021

Innovative production workflow of magical animated feature includes Amazon Nimble Studio and Epic Games’ Unreal Engine.

Sydney-based production company Pop Family Entertainment creates content that spans genres and audiences, appealing to all ages with documentaries, live action drama, animated comedy, and everything in between. At Amazon Web Services (AWS) re:Invent 2021, Pop Family Entertainment COO Gerry Travers provided a glimpse into his studio’s latest project, upcoming animated feature Being Betty Flood.

A story about a teenager’s journey of self-discovery, the feature follows free-spirited Betty Flood as she uncovers her family’s secret past while navigating a fantastic world where magic rules. Teasing the project, Travers detailed the concept designs and inspiration behind the characters and key locations. The feature’s aesthetic is art directed with rich textures and detailed environments, assisted by the use of Amazon Nimble Studio and Epic Games’ Unreal Engine. Implementing these technologies allowed Pop to optimize its 3D computer-generated imagery, streamline its workflow, and create a high-end quality film efficiently and economically.

Image courtesy Pop Family Entertainment.

“Amazon Nimble Studio gives us to access secure, high-performance tools, and quality rendering with fast server speed on a pay-as-you-go basis, all while allowing for cohesive artist collaboration,” Travers shared.

Highlighting a projected 81-week production schedule throughout the presentation, Travers outlined the various ways his studio’s smart use of technology allows it to produce content and collaborate more effectively. With artists working remotely across Australia, cloud-based tools have proven beneficial creatively and logistically. Amazon Nimble Studio is an AWS service that empowers users to produce content entirely in the cloud, providing access to virtual workstations, storage, and rendering. This allows Pop to onboard artists quickly and tailor the specs of their virtual workstations.

Travers noted, “Talent has been traditionally reliant on the artist’s proximity to the workplace, but with Amazon Nimble Studio, smaller studios can cast a wider net and this creates a more diverse workforce from all across Australia.”

GPU rendering is also key for Pop to get the desired lighting from 3D raytracing on Being Betty Flood. Rather than purchase compute resources to accommodate expected render peaks, Travers noted how his team scales with cloud-based Amazon Nimble Studio, and avoids wasting infrastructure by having it sit idle. He also covered the use of Unreal for previsualization and scene composition on the project, which supports greater iteration, as well as plans to use it more deeply in production for faster rendering with richer results.

Image courtesy Pop Family Entertainment.

For the latest on Being Betty Flood and other Pop Family Entertainment projects, check out: https://www.popfamilyentertainment.com

To learn more about Amazon Nimble Studio, check out: https://aws.amazon.com/nimble-studio

Brought to you by AWS: This article is part of the befores & afters VFX Insight series. If you’d like to promote your VFX/animation/CG tech or service, you can find out more about the VFX Insight series here.

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