Loupe Loupe

The field of cloud-based production tools continues to grow apace. This week sees the launch of Loupe, a new cg production solution from Tangent Labs (the sister company of Canadian studio Tangent Animation).

The cloud-based Loupe integrates all aspects of cg production into one package, from asset and project management to render management. It is compatible with major software including Blender and Autodesk Maya; support for SideFX’s Houdini, Epic Games’ Unreal, and Pixar’s Universal Scene Description (USD) will follow in later releases.

The tool sprung from Tangent Animation’s work on the feature Next Gen, which debuted on Netflix in 2018. Facing tight deadlines after Netflix acquired the film during production, the Tangent team turned to the cloud to boost their rendering capacity. Studio co-founder Jeff Bell, one of the developers behind the original Maya in the 1990s, built an in-house animation pipeline tool that was subsequently developed into Loupe.

The cloud-based solution proved useful to the team, which was distributed across Toronto and Winnipeg. Tangent believes that the flexibility and cost-effectiveness of this approach, which minimizes the need for elaborate on-site infrastructure, will be increasingly popular as the industry embraces remote working. It describes Loupe as a tool “for artists, by artists.”

Loupe has already been made available to select studios in beta, and is now generally available from AWS Marketplace. It joins a widening pool of cloud-based cg production platforms; others we’ve previously covered include Summus Render’s Simple Animation and Nimble Collective’s software.

As well as Next Gen, Tangent Animation’s portfolio includes animation services for Netflix’s upcoming limited series Maya and the Three, directed by Jorge Gutiérrez. The studio uses Blender across all its projects.

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