How a Motion Designer Integrates Resilio Sync with his Workflow for Backup and Accessibility

Andy Needham (@imcalledandy) shares how he sets up his workflow with Resilio Sync (formerly BitTorrent Sync), ensuring all his project files are backed up on a NAS box and accessible whenever he needs to work on them: 

I’m a freelance motion designer and author based in London. I’ve had the privilege of working on projects ranging from the Sacramento Kings and X Factor USA, to Smart Energy GB and Google+.  I’ve been in the industry for about 11 years and as technology has changed, so has my workflow.

Halloween-themed pre-show animation for the Sacramento Kings

For my work, I needed a way to have all of my projects backed up and easily accessible, whenever I needed to work on something at home. My old workflow wasn’t bad per se, but Resilio Sync has become an integral part of my creation process. I discovered Sync one day listening to an FXPHD podcast. Having recently become a father, time is very precious to me (more than ever before) and anything that can save me time or increase my level of efficiency is welcomed with open arms.

Previously to access and backup my work, I was using TeamViewer to log into my computer in my studio; I was also carrying several hard drives around. This setup was okay, but certainly not ideal. It largely meant that my work computer had to be always on, and I was worried a drive would fail, get damaged or stolen.


Worked on this Manhattan shot for X Factor USA, with a great team 

Right around this time, my wife and I wanted a place where we could easily manage our files (things like baby photos), so we ended up buying a NAS box for our home. I installed Sync onto the NAS, as well as the Mac at my office. It allowed me to share any of my current projects (via a folder) and Sync backs up everything instantly on the NAS; I’ve essentially created my own personal cloud. When I’m at home and need to work on something, I simply connect to the NAS and begin working. With Sync running, I’m ensured that the folder on my office Mac is fully up to date with any of the changes I make to project files.

Recently, I worked on a project called Global City Fans. I was responsible for the title sequence for each episode; New York in this instance:

The project was set up with all of my assets and source footage organized in separate folders. I began by working in the office, creating the 3D animations and design work, while preparing the After Effects file for compositing the motion graphics. Since the main project folder was already linked to Sync, all these additions were being sent to my NAS at home. I left the office for the day with the 3D render working overnight; all the while, Sync was keeping my NAS up to date with the rendered frames. This meant I could leave work in the evening and be home for important time with the family.

Later in the project schedule, with the title sequence in the approval stage, my client requested some VFX clean up to remove some advertising in the stadium. Since I was at home, I began by setting up the shots for tracking and roto. It was extremely beneficial to have a head start, and have it synced to my work computer for finishing the next day as the turnaround was very quick.

I really like that the work is protected and accessible whenever needed. Being able to meet last minute client requests and share project files with them at anytime is very important from a freelancer’s point of view; it adds value to your position and allows you to remain flexible.