Case study

A complete editing and storage solution
at Annix Studios

Annix Studios came to us after being commissioned to animate Little Charley Bear, starring James Corden, for CBeebies in partnership with Chapman Entertainment. They needed to update their editing facilities and storage, and we helped deliver a powerful Final Cut system on time and under budget.

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Breaking viewing records
Annix Studios are the creators of the Scragg ’n’ Bones cartoon series. Chapman Entertainment were founded in 2002 by Keith Chapman (creator of Bob the Builder), Managing Director, Greg Lynn, and Commercial and Finance Director, Andrew Haydon. They’re also known for the shows Fifi and the Flowertots and Roary the Racing Car, both of which have been sold to over one hundred countries worldwide. The two have now created a new flagship show for CBeebies, which has already broken viewing records for the time slots at which it airs, and with these figures not including the ever-popular iPlayer platform, the immediate popularity of Little Charley Bear has been overwhelming.

Building an editing and storage solution
Our network and post-production specialists consulted with Annix’s Head of IT and Systems, Barry Zubel, to establish Annix’s bandwidth and storage requirements, then set to work finding the most cost-effective way to get the system to Annix within budget and on time.

We went through multiple hardware and software options with them, presenting a number
of different systems that they could use. Annix eventually decided on a solution based on top-spec Mac Pro suites with AJA Kona 3 cards running Final Cut Studio 3 – a reliable, industry-proven solution that could be integrated with their existing workflow. These were combined with Wacom and Alesis control surfaces for video and audio, all of which had their own directly attached LaCie 12Big 12TB 4Gb RAID systems. These were chosen due to their competitive price point, integrated fibre controllers and the high level of reliability stemming from the use of OEM Xyratex hardware.

Expanding the storage system
After developing a solution for Annix and delivering it to them in record time, we handed over to their engineers for the installation. They were so happy with the results that they’ve since come back and expanded their storage with two more of the LaCie 12Big systems. As well as giving Annix all the storage they need, the new system allows them to view wireframe, unrendered, rendered and broadcast quality footage simultaneously on a Final Cut Pro timeline, making it easier to track (and edit!) the development of each frame. Not only is the storage used for editing, it also forms the backbone of their 100-node render farm.

“Jigsaw24’s pre and post sales support has been second
to none. It’s reassuring, in this day and age, to be able to pick up the phone and talk to one of their technical staff who understands your requirements and can give you excellent advice on the spot. They are my first, and usually last, port of call for all of our ongoing specialist requirements.”

Barry Zubel, Head of IT and Systems, Annix Studios.

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Annix Scragg 'n' Bones
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Who are Annix Studios
and Chapman Entertainment? Arrow

Annix Studios and Chapman Entertainment are behind hit shows for the BBC such as Little Charley Bear, Scragg ‘n’ Bones and Roary the Racing Car.