Bangkok-based Spice Shop Co., Ltd. is a commercial post-production house that began its operations in February 2012. It is a tape-free, all-data facility offering a full range of post-production services. The company focuses primarily on producing TV commercials for the local market and across Asia Pacific.
In a matter of months, Spice Shop has grown from a small group of industry professionals to a 40-person team, producing TV commercials for megabrands, including McDonald’s, Dove, Panasonic and Honda. These commercials have been viewed by audiences across the globe, from Southeast Asia to Latin America.
Geared for Growth
The company’s facility was designed and built with this long-term expansion strategy in mind. Spice Shop was the first in Southeast Asia to be equipped with SCANITY, a real-time 2K film scanner that maximizes film quality and workflow, integrating seamlessly with the facility’s other advanced infrastructure. This long-term vision also steered the choice of software and tools that Spice Shop’s artists would have at their disposal to produce work to surpass the industry standard.
“While setting up our facility, we evaluated many creative software solutions. The decision to go with Autodesk was an easy one, because the technology meets our artists’ and clients’ needs,” explained Matthew Szabo, Director of Operations at Spice Shop. “Autodesk solutions have set a standard in the industry. The power, versatility, flexibility and creativity they offer are second to none.” In an industry environment, the ability to deliver immersive and realistic content in a variety of formats – including HD and stereoscopic 3D – is absolutely essential, particularly when faced with shrinking deadlines. Szabo shared that the benefits of choosing Autodesk solutions were clear.
“Autodesk Flame software helps us deliver on time. It handles large projects faster and better than other solutions we have tried. With Flame, we have peace of mind that projects will not be delayed due to compatibility issues, no matter what the final delivery format. With the ability to share projects through the cloud, our teams are also able to work simultaneously on a single project and meet tight deadlines,” he said.
Autodesk Flame is a specialized high end creative finishing solution for television and film production, offering innovative tools for visual effects, advanced graphics, 3D compositing, and a comprehensive set of effects tools for finishing stereoscopic 3D projects.
Initially, Spice Shop was using Autodesk Maya and Autodesk 3ds Max animation software, along with a single Flame. The company planned to add a second Flame after its first year in operation. However, after a month in business, Szabo made the decision to purchase a second license of Flame. This was a strategic decision made to keep up with strong customer demand.
Flame is used by Spice Shop artists for compositing and beauty re-touching of commercials and
close-up shots. Spice Shop has also used Flame to revive archival footage, giving the visuals a new lease on life. With Flame, they restored old black-and-white film footage to produce rich, full-color environments where personalities from the past come face-to-face with those in the present.
“In order to have the old black–and-white footage interact with what has been shot in the present day, we had to do extensive post-production work on the old footage. We used Autodesk Flame to re-color the images and improve the overall quality of the footage by removing noise and grain, and smoothing out the texture,” Szabo revealed.
Accelerating to leapfrog the competition
In a competitive landscape where a handful of large, well-established post-production houses dominate, smaller outfits like Spice Shop are challenged to establish a presence. Autodesk solutions have helped offer power, flexibility and productivity for the Spice Shop team, while enabling greater interactivity and collaboration. “Our digital artists and our computer graphics department have found that collaboration has been made easier by the shared range of resources from the Autodesk family,” Szabo added. “Autodesk solutions are helping us deliver innovative work, manage more projects and attract more customers.”
The ability to deliver more projects in less time has fueled Spice Shop’s exponential growth. With the addition of the second Flame, the team saw a 40% increase in their monthly project count as soon as the system was up and running.
Spice Shop is armed with a creative arsenal comprised of Flame, Autodesk Smoke video editing
software, Maya and 3ds Max, with plans to purchase a third license of Flame. Pairing top creative talent with the right technology has placed the breakthrough outfit in a strong position to establish itself as an industry leader, with the scale required to take on ever more complex projects.