When we heard that Michael Kammes had moved to Bebop Technology, we were very curious to find out more about its online virtualisation of edit machines. He's very kindly told us what Bebop is, how it works and answers the question 'Could FCPX be virtualised'.

 

Creating and editing remotely has been the dream of many a creative…especially since the misguided invention of open office floorplans.

Creating where you want, when you want, but also using the tools you’ve become accustomed to has always been the unreachable creative holy trinity. There was always a gotcha. You could edit remotely, but you had to provide your own expensive gear. Or, edit remotely with only a scaled down application or two and necessitating an expensive infrastructure to handle it.

We at BeBop thought this was bogus and aimed to develop a way to create from virtually anywhere, with the horsepower you need, and without giving up your first born as a sacrificial payment.

BeBop allows a creative to easily access a VM (Virtual Machine) located in a data center near you.

bebop desktop2

This virtual machine has a ton of CPU and GPU horsepower, and fast enough storage to handle most anything you throw at it. Everything runs inside this VM, no processing is done on your local machine.

(Right click for larger image)

bebop desktop1

Plus, the creative can access any number of VMs at the same time, thus breaking the 1:1 user-to-computer ratio that hinders many of us when waiting for a render or export.

The BeBop platform unifies all of this and provides easy ways to upload and download content to the data center. We also provide an OTS – Over The Shoulder experience for real time review and approve, which saves travel and you from the producer with coffee breath snapping their fingers behind you. Plus, no more waiting for h.264 exports!

I demo this all of the time, and I often get asked:

How much bandwidth do I need?

Consistent 20Mbs minimum per HD computer screen. 50-60Mbps for larger playback windows (the average home internet connection in the US is ~90Mbps.)

I want to run FCPX.

As you probably know, Apple shut down the ability for Apple clones years ago, and that has since translated to their EULA only allowing the Mac OS (and FCPX) to run on Apple-branded hardware.

Since we can’t virtualize it, that means BeBop would need to use the few Mac centric data centers around the world, plus have a 1:1 user-to-computer ratio. This is massively cost prohibitive, and wouldn’t deliver a pleasurable editing experience from a latency perspective.

BeBop does offer a Mac desktop client, so you can use your Mac to connect to BeBop, but the visualized OS can’t be MacOS until Apple changes policies…and then we’ll be happy to support them.

No FCPX. ANGRY, but OK. What other apps?

Most of the apps in the Adobe CC Suite, including Premiere Pro and After Effects, Autodesk Maya and 3DS Max, Maxon Cinema4D, Graymeta Iris, Blender, and just about any other Windows App. Plus – next month, we’ll be the only platform that Avid sanctions to run Avid Media Composer

How much does it cost?

This varies depending on the apps you want to run, how much compute and storage firepower you need, and what cloud you’re using and where it is. A good starting point is under $6.00 an hour for the VM usage, and a couple hundred dollars a month for editorial-worthy storage. Slow buckets or blobs simply don’t have the speed to keep up.