Visual Effects



Sion is a zero-configuration decentralised work-scheduling system suitable for small to medium sized facilities. By building a render farm from idle operator stations (and dedicated nodes if available) utilisation of expensive infrastructure can be optimised. Nodes find one another by multicast so no configuration is required. Work can be scheduled from the usual familiar applications or the command line.


Pooka is a set of operating system components for tracking utilisation of media assets and operator script versioning. It presents as a filesystem which tracks as metadata the exact versions of inputs to processes as they create output files. This gives:

  • reliable information on which asset version were used in a particular shot
  • exactly which script produced a particular output
  • who, where and when the work was done
  • allows the output to be recreated, in many cases without further operator action

The filesystem also serves as a distributed network filestore, allowing a cluster of workstations to provide all needed storage without a centralised server. Redundant copies can be made in a rule-driven manner; archive stores and local caches can be used as well for safety and performance. (This is similar to IPFS but predates it by some years).