VFX software firms need to standardise tools and processes if the industry is to continue to create high-quality images, according to Autodesk senior media and entertainment vice-president Marc Petit.

He hinted that Autodesk could release cloud-based tools later this year as it seeks to address the need for greater collaboration among those working in the VFX industry.

“Our customers spend a lot of time connecting applications together and solving workfl ow problems,” Petit told Broadcast ahead of this week’s animation and effects conference FMX.

“We link creativity and efficiency and we focus on workflow because our customers say they need to work faster - workflow and collaboration are critical.”

Maturing technology and knowledgeable directors who are keen to create ever more complex images are challenging the firm’s customers, Petit said, adding that the “de facto commoditisation of VFX technology” has increased the need for greater co-operation.

“VFX technology has an impact from day one of the creative process - as soon as directors get a script then 3D graphics technology kicks in,” he said.

“The biggest challenge is not so much a technical one; it is the need to harness the complexity.”

Petit said cloud-based products would help to address issues surrounding online collaboration and workfl ow management, and add value to products in the face of “aggressive” reductions in price.

He added that Autodesk has made a “massive investment in research and development in the cloud and related products could be released later this year.

“There is a pattern to when we release products, and that is usually in the spring, with updates in the autumn. Historically we have done that, and it might be the same this year,” he said.