RTX GPU Arnold

Autodesk has announced the release of Arnold 6 with Arnold GPU RTX rendering to provide powerful new levels of responsiveness. The latest releases of Maya 2020 and Arnold 6 are shipping today, December 10. They contain new features such as RTX-accelerated ray tracing and AI-powered denoising.

Autodesk built Arnold GPU based on NVIDIA’s OptiX framework to take advantage of NVIDIA RTX’s RT Cores for dedicated ray tracing and Tensor Cores for AI denoising.

NVIDIA is also releasing a new Studio Driver to support these new updates to Arnold and Maya RTX interactivity and acceleration in final frame renders.

Maya Arnold 6 GPU render, courtesy of Lee Griggs

“We’ve worked closely with NVIDIA to optimize Arnold GPU to run on the latest RTX GPUs and RTX Server, and we’re excited to get this latest update into the hands of new and existing Arnold customers,” said Chris Vienneau, senior director of Media & Entertainment Products at Autodesk.

Arnold 6 GPU render from Maya showing denoise

With the new updates, rendering with NVIDIA RTX GPUs is multiple times faster than a typical dual-CPU rendering server. “Speed and interactivity have become more crucial than ever to the creative process,” said Vienneau. “Arnold 6 delivers performance gains that will help lighten the load with the same high-quality render results that the CPU renderer is known for.”

Autodesk Arnold 6 new features include: 

  • A unified renderer that allows users to switch seamlessly between CPU and GPU rendering.
  • Support for OSL, OpenVDB volumes, on-demand texture loading, most LPEs, lights, shaders, and all cameras.
  • New USD components like hydra render delegate, Arnold USD procedural, and USD schemas for Arnold nodes and properties, which are now available on GitHub.
  • Several performance improvements to help maximize efficiency, including faster-creased subdivisions, an improved Physical Sky shader, and dielectric microfacet multiple scattering.
  • Bifrost for Maya: Significant performance improvements, Cached Playback support, and new MPM cloth constraints.
Arnold 6 GPU render from Maya using OpenVDB volumes.

Maya 2020

Autodesk Maya 2020, is also now also available with new GPU-accelerated features:

  • GPU caching of ncloth and nparticles enables smooth, real-time playback of animations without the need for playblasts or skipped frames.
  • New Proximity Wrap deformer joins a family of GPU-accelerated deformers to make it simpler to model deformations in materials such as cloth and muscle systems.

Arnold GPU is available to try with a free 30-day trial of Arnold 6. Arnold GPU is available in all supported plug-ins for Autodesk Maya, Autodesk 3ds Max, Houdini, Cinema 4D, and Katana. For more information

Arnold 6 GPU rendering with OSL Shaders

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Revenue Operations: A Game-Changer for B2B Marketers

Revenue operations is no doubt among the hottest trends in B2B marketing. Look at Twitter, for example, and you’ll see the hashtag #revops popping up more and more frequently.

So why has revenue ops continued to gain popularity and traction by the day, and how can marketers reap its benefits?

First, what is revenue ops?

Before we dive into the impact that revenue ops is having on Marketing, let’s back up and examine what it really means to have a revenue operations team in your company.

Although the concept of revenue operations is fairly new, it is by no means a new function. It’s the alignment of existing business functions—Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success—into one team that is driven by a single goal: growing revenue.

The traditional organization model divides teams by business function, governed by respective departments, such as Sales Ops, Marketing Ops, and Business Ops. Each team brings to revenue ops its own unique incentives, priorities, and challenges, which might not always align with the others’. On the occasions that those goals do overlap, each team may still have its own approach toward a solution based on different perspectives and expertise.

Revenue operations addresses that problem by breaking down the walls between departments and aligning goals, analytics, and the tech stack, focusing all efforts on growing revenue.

Many people refer to revenue operations as the behind-the-scenes driver that advances processes and enables technology and analytics. But that’s not everything about revenue ops. Revenue operations supports the go-to-market teams by providing them with a single unified view of customer experiences and a comprehensive summary of every player in the process of growing revenue.

Revenue operations is the new revenue-production engine

We are undergoing an industrialization of revenue production. The tools we use have fundamentally changed the way we go to market, which means Sales, Marketing, and Revenue Operations have become less artisanal and more operational.

Ten years ago, you were in charge of making sales calls if you were in Sales, and you were in charge of marketing materials if you were in Marketing. Now, marketers need to know how marketing materials will advance leads, and sales reps need to know which marketing assets to leverage if they want to target a prospect.

Integration is the new rule of the game; and if teams want to win, they need to understand exactly how their actions will impact other functions.

Revenue operations has moved from a world in which you must be highly trained to do anything, to a world where you can move ten times faster without intensive training. It’s no longer about the “art of the deal” but instead operational efficiency. Thanks to Big Data, predictive analytics, and now AI, the industry has limitless, scalable, on-demand power, and with that a demand for quick answers to the ever-changing buying environment.

Think of your organization as operating like a production line where your unit of production is revenue, and every business function is a worker along the production line contributing to revenue generation.

In the past, marketers would say, “Marketing is where the magic happens.” Guess what? That’s no longer true with the emergence of revenue operations. Marketing is only one of those many players along that production line that drives operations forward.

For that production line to run smoothly, each worker needs to not only ensure the quality and timely completion of their part but also seamless coordination with other workers along the line.

The emergence of revenue operations is a game-changer for marketers

Many marketers are worried that the emergence of revenue operations may replace their function in the organization, but this is not the case. While revenue operations combines and aligns different business functions from Sales to Customer Experience to Marketing, it’s not meant to be a replacement for any team.

The revenue ops team is neither producing new content material nor approaching new prospects. It’s simply bridging the gap between teams that might otherwise be working on their own. Because of that, marketers should embrace revenue operations and the many benefits it brings along, instead of passing it up out of doubt or fear.

Here are three of the many ways revenue operations will enable marketers to up their game.

1. Revenue operations supports marketing efforts

As noted earlier, revenue operations is meant to support marketing efforts. So, if anything, revenue operations is your powerful ally that will ensure delivery of marketing campaigns and support to sales and customer success teams, and ultimately to the customers themselves.

Think of it as a support function that opens the communication channel and manages the data flow to ensure a 360-view of the marketing and sales funnels.

Use it to align your marketing efforts with sales efforts to deliver kick-ass results.

2. Revenue operations opens up a new channel for communication

One obstacle that always gets in the way of cross-functional collaboration is communication silos. It’s natural for companies to silo because of their different perspectives and priorities, so the best way to combat those stubborn silos is to give the team one single goal to work toward: revenue.

With revenue operations, marketing teams share data with sales and customer success in real-time, enabling a clear view of the funnel, leading to quick internal and external analysis and translating into prompt actions and adjustments.

Revenue operations is the glue that binds everything together and makes sure teams are in harmony from the first time a prospect interacts with your brand to a closed-won opportunity.

3. Revenue ops drives positive cultural changes

Transitioning to revenue operations from a siloed structure will be a big shift for any organization, but the positive, sustainable changes it will bring are significant. With the alignment of data and goals comes the alignment of people. When everyone shares the same view of revenue production, teams avoid wasting time and resources on duplicate efforts. When teamwork becomes the backbone of operations, efficiency and happiness thrive.

Revenue operations also strengthens organizational transparency. By ensuring that team members share a common understanding of what the company is doing and why, revenue ops drives accountability at all levels and replaces the “blame game” with collective learning when facing a challenge.

Revenue ops meets the demands of a new age

Revenue operations is crucial in elevating your revenue production engine, taking into account that operational excellence no longer suffices to create a point of differentiation. In an age of constant demand for data and analysis, the one who provides the fastest and most holistic answer to customers’ needs and wants wins. To live up to that expectation, your organization needs to become a holistic one first, and revenue operations is instrumental in breaking down the stubborn departmental silos to create an open flow of data across the organization.

So, marketers, don’t let fear get in the way of progress. Jump into the opportunity and up your game with revenue operations.

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Do your team trust you as a leader?

Your success in business relies on how well your team, customers and even key stakeholders can trust you…

Because here’s the thing, without trust, you just have a bunch of people occupying the same space and only considering their own needs without truly connecting. And you can’t hide that shit. That’s something that flows on out into your community, to your online audience and to your customers.

So how do create strong bonds and resilient relationships that are built on the basis of trust?

One word – leadership.

The importance of trust in leadership

Now first, for anyone new to the class I want to clarify my take on leadership. To me, leadership isn’t about telling people what to do. To me, the most important part of leadership is building relationships that offer people a vision, a direction or a purpose that they can buy into.

We’ve all had people in our lives at some stage or another who inspire us. People who we can look up to because they have a tremendous work ethic, or they take good care of themselves, they’re open, always willing to give advice, ya know…someone you just instinctively trust…

That’s f*king leadership.

We don’t follow anyone unless we trust them. Because the reality is when we trust someone, we feel safe and making people feel safe is at the core of good leadership.

So how do we develop strong and humble leadership that inspires trust?

How to build trust

It comes back down to the safety thing.
You create a space where your team know they matter.

You’ve gotta create a set of company values that reinforce your environment as a positive, happy, healthy and well-functioning work place.

And you keep your work culture clean.

And above all else, you create a space where no matter what’s going on, no matter how hard the workload is, no matter how looming the deadlines are, no matter what’s on the agenda – people can come to you and talk to you when they need to.

The highest form of trust is when someone can come to you and share anything with you.

Trust is an incredibly important factor, and the way that we build trust and the way that we build relationships is by creating safe spaces. Which is done by producing an environment of vulnerability where people feel like they can open up and connect with you.

Quote about leadership
How this will change your workplace

We don’t want to be waiting until things go wrong before we engage with people or with departments to try and fix the problem.

The highest levels of leadership are intuitive, and that means being able to see and feel things before they happen, meaning you have the ability to nip things in the bud before they become too big.

And I can tell you right now, as a leader you’ll be putting out so many fires that you’re basically a f**king firefighter. Leaders are often going from one problem to the next, so you need to be able to solve problems really quickly. But the most evolved form of problem solving, is to be able to prevent problems from forming in the first place – basically noticing smoke and putting it out before there’s a fire.

Quote about leadership

Quote about leadership

A great way to do this is by intuitively engaging with people around you to build, establish and maintain that trust.

But remember, in order for people to trust you in the first place, you’re going to have to trust them back.

Anyone can tell anyone what to do. Anyone can be dominant and threatening. But it takes a true leader to create high levels of compliance in an environment where there is grace, ease, flow and a high quality of great connections and relationships.

Ultimately that’s the trust you want to create. That’s the trust that will flow out of your organisation into the community, online and most importantly into the hearts of customers.

FREE DOWNLOAD: How to build culture that wins

Kerwin Rae

Kerwin Rae is a businessman, investor, strategic advisor, author and international speaker. He has studied and observed the psychology of influence for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on influencing human behaviour and how it relates to sales, marketing, fast growth business principles, leadership and personal transformation.
Snapchat: @KerwinRae

Latest posts by Kerwin Rae (see all)

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Small Business Trends Wins Small Business Standard of Excellence Award

Small Business Trends proudly announces we’ve won the Small Business Standard of Excellence Award in the 2019 WebAwards.

The Web Marketing Association, established in 1997, hosts the awards annually. The WebAward Competition is now in its 17th year. It has become the standard of excellence for website development and advertising agencies, recognizing the best websites in 96 industries worldwide.

A panel of three or more judges evaluates each site for design, innovation, content, technology, interactivity, copywriting and ease of use. The judges then score each site between 0 and 70 based on its mission statement and prospective audience. With a focus on which site most lives up to its goal, a winner is then announced for each industry.

A Little Bit About Small Business Trends

Small Business Trends, founded in 2003 by Anita Campbell, was originally created as a way to publish newsletter articles online. Fast forward sixteen years to 2019 where it has since grown into a a hyper-engaged community of small business owners with 2+ million monthly visitors.

Having more than 20,000 pages of content, Small Business Trends has covered every imaginable small business topic, interviewed industry movers and shakers, spotlighted other small businesses and startups, reviewed tech products and much more.

As a fully independent and privately-owned company, Small Business Trends looks forward to continuing to serve small businesses well into the future.

The team that makes everything possible is as follows:

  • CEO and Publisher: Anita Campbell
  • Chief Operations Officer: Staci Wood
  • Chief Technology Officer: Leland McFarland
  • Executive Editor: Shawn Hessinger
  • Assistant Editor: Joshua Sophy
  • Chief Strategy Officer: Tamar Weinberg
  • Marketing Manager: Amanda Stillwagon
  • Tech Editor and SEO Specialist: Matt Mansfield

How Awards Can Benefit Your Business

Being recognized for a  job well done by your peers and industry leaders has many benefits.

Winning an award provides recognition and lends to your business’s credibility. If you’re a new business, winning an award can put you on the map so-to-speak. If you’re a seasoned enterprise, winning an award shows your company remains a relevant, innovating leader in its industry.

Winning an award also has some real-world tangible benefits. According to research by Kevin B. Hendricks and Vinod R. Singhal, businesses that win awards and recognitions can expect to receive a sales boost of up to 37%. If they are a public company, the stock price can see a jump as high as 46%.

Winning an award can also elevate the status of your company by attracting new people, clients and customers. And when it comes to your customers, their loyalty to your business can be strengthened because of the recognition your product or service has received. Not to mention, winning an award or special recognition can also increase morale within the company itself.

The key is to find awards that are relevant in your industry. Because winning awards that are not relevant to your industry can, in the end, potentially damage your reputation.

Before entering your business for award consideration, make sure the awards are hosted by a reputable organization.

Lastly, a big shout out to all of the 2019 WebAward winners in their various different categories!

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Apple and Microsoft Join the Academy Software Foundation

The Academy Software Foundation, a collaborative effort to advance open source software development in the motion picture and media industries, today announced that Apple and Microsoft have joined the Foundation as Premier members.

David Morin Executive Director or ASWF

“Filmmakers everywhere use Apple products. We are delighted to welcome Apple as a new member, and we look forward to working with them to ensure that our open source projects run well on Apple software platforms,” said David Morin, Executive Director of the Academy Software Foundation. “We are also pleased to welcome Microsoft to the Academy Software Foundation. Their membership helps us hit a significant milestone as we surpass $1M in annual funding, a solid financial base that we will use to support our open source projects, the software engineers that develop them, and the open-source community in general.”

Studios and vendors across the industry have come together to support of the Academy Software Foundation, launched in August 2018 by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Linux Foundation.  The Academy Software Foundation provides a neutral forum for open source software developers to share resources and collaborate on technologies for image creation, visual effects, animation, and sound.

Apple’s Tim Cook at the Mac Pro Launch

“To support the continued growth of open source software across our industry, we have the privilege of providing developers with tools that make it easier to contribute code and participate in the community,” said Rob Bredow, Executive Creative Director and Head of Industrial Light & Magic, and Governing Board Chair of Academy Software Foundation. “One of these tools is the Academy Software Foundation’s Continuous Integration (CI) build infrastructure, which streamlines development for build and runtime environments. With Apple as a new member, we hope to work with them to improve support for Apple platforms, which will continue to democratize open source software development.”

As a new Foundation member, Microsoft is committing to dedicating engineering resources to support Foundation-hosted projects and will assume roles on the Academy Software Foundation Governing Board and on its Technical Advisory Council (TAC).

“At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more, and it’s this mission that drives our commitment to open source,” said Tad Brockway, corporate vice president, Azure Storage, Media and Edge, Microsoft Corp. “We’re excited to become a member of the Academy Software Foundation and work together with the industry’s open source community to bring the latest cloud technologies to the Foundation and its projects.”

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15 Tips to Unify Company Culture Across Departments

As your company grows, you may find different departments start to silo themselves off from one other. However, a strong company culture is one that includes all departments and brings them together. That’s why we asked members of Young Entrepreneur Council the following question:

What is a good way to connect team members in different departments to build company culture?

How to Unify Company Culture Across Departments

Here’s what YEC community members had to say:

1. Use Common Work Language

“Different departments have different work-related words or phrases they use to describe what they do. And this can make other departments feel alienated. To bring teams from different sects together, develop a common language that everyone can understand. Wherever you see a disconnect between employees is where you should develop terms that everyone can understand.” ~ Jared Atchison, WPForms

2. Encourage People to Share Pieces of Their Personal Lives

“When our team was at its peak in terms of size, we were at 35 people. And it definitely felt like departments were getting alienated. We had weekly meetings with different departments. But they still wouldn’t connect. We mixed this up by having people start meetings with one good thing from their personal lives that happened this week. It helps people find common ground and build new relationships.” ~ Karl Kangur, Above House

3. Host Team-Building Activities

“Team-building activities like scavenger hunts, escape rooms and bowling outings can be highly effective in building connections across departments. Consider planning quarterly events where people from various departments are put on the same team. They’ll learn about one another in a relaxed, fun atmosphere. Which will translate to improved communication in the workplace.” ~ Stephen Beach, Craft Impact Marketing

4. Have a ‘Family Outing’

“Marketers always talk about showing consumers that they are joining your family when they invest in your product or service. The truth is, you can benefit from using this tactic with your employees. It’s hard to get to know people when you are constantly focusing on work. However, taking your employees out for a family outing can be an effective way to bridge the gap and bring people together.” ~ Blair Williams, MemberPress

5. Designate Team Volunteer Days

“Giving to charity makes people feel good and can boost morale. Some offices designate days for volunteering at homeless shelters, delivering clothes to families in need or tutoring students before exam season. Within a workplace, you can donate books and toys to children in need. Or even chip in to buy a goat for a family abroad. Choose a charity plan that accommodates everyone’s values and time.” ~ Patrick Barnhill, Specialist ID, Inc.

6. Organize an In-Office Happy Hour

“Not everybody has an opportunity or is willing to attend team-building activities outside of the office. Especially if they know there will be a lot of people from other departments whom they don’t really talk to. Bring together time into your workplace. Organize casual happy hours every week, but preferably not on Fridays when everybody wants out of the office as soon as possible.” ~ Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS

7. Cater a Monthly Company Lunch

“One great way to connect team members in different departments is by hosting a monthly company lunch. Choose one day each month (or every other month) and provide a full lunch for your entire office and then eat the meal together. You can even assign seats, putting members of different departments at the same table, to make sure team members get to chat with people they typically wouldn’t.” ~ Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

8. Have Your Teams Teach Each Other

“Company workshops are a great regular activity where every team member can reveal their day-to-day work and the business challenges they deal with. Individuals often can’t grasp the bigger picture across the entire organization. Employees discussing their accomplishments or projects they work on can demonstrate the business value they bring to the rest of the company.” ~ Mario Peshev, DevriX

9. Encourage Fun

“Just because your employees have different roles in the company doesn’t mean that rings true outside the office. A great way to bring team members together is by encouraging play during the week where they can play games and catch up on their personal lives. This builds a community of belonging and gets everyone comfortable with each other. Encourage fun where and when it’s appropriate.” ~ Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

10. Set Up a Designated Lunch Area for Everyone to Eat Together

“It’s good to have a general lunch area that team members can sit and eat. Food is something that typically unites people, so it will give them something to talk about and a way for them to grow intra-company relationships.” ~ Nicole Munoz, Nicole Munoz Consulting, Inc.

11. Cross-Train Your Team

“If possible, cross-train your team so they can get to know one another and the work that goes into each position. Over time, you’ll notice that bonds are formed between employees, regardless of their primary position in your company. We like to make cross-training a fun and interactive learning experience to encourage a positive company culture.” ~ Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

12. Hold Offsite Meetings

“The day-to-day drudgery of the office can bring down morale. Try hosting offsite meetings for a change of scenery. I find that many local coffee shops will let you reserve a room for free. Buy them coffee and make sure at least a portion of the meeting is strictly social so team members can connect. Your employees will love it and they will be more productive once they return to the office.” ~ Ben Walker, Transcription Outsourcing, LLC

13. Make Up and Then Celebrate a Company Holiday

“Not everyone celebrates the same holidays. But, if you create your own company holiday they will! Consider making up your own company holiday, like “Board Game Day,” for instance. For this company holiday you can decorate, bring in games, provide a meal and give your team members a half-day to celebrate it. This will bring different departments together and build company culture.” ~ John Turner, SeedProd LLC

14. Create Common Goals

“Common goals create incentives to work together. The reason you have a company and not a ton of individuals is because working together provides more value than everyone could individually provide value themselves. One tool I like to use from an empathy standpoint is to try to find three things you have in common with someone else. If you dig hard enough, everyone has three things in common.” ~ James Guldan, Vision Tech Team

15. Bring Remote Employees Together for a Company Retreat

“At our remote company, we hold a retreat once a year so employees can meet each other in person and get to know one another. When you work from home, it’s even more difficult to connect employees from different departments, which is why the retreat is essential for building a positive company culture. Even if you’ve never spoken to someone before, seeing them in person helps to form a connection.” ~ Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster


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This week in media news, Instagram tests shoppable ads, Facebook explores new tools for public figures, YouTube creates a Fashion hub, and much more.

Will you be implementing any of these into your digital marketing strategy? Anything we missed? I’d love to hear your thoughts, post in the comments below:


YouTube launches Fashion hub

  • The new Fashion section will feature content from creators, brand collaborations, and trending videos in the beauty and fashion sector.
  • YouTube says the move was inspired by the growing fashion and beauty community on YouTube, many of whom are up and coming artists and creators.

Source: YouTube.

Instagram tests shoppable ads

  • Instagram is now testing the option to allow brands to advertise shoppable posts, that were previously only available as organic posts.
  • Instagram Shopping has allowed brands to upload organic posts, tag pictured products, which can then be purchased by users.

Source: Instagram.

New Facebook desktop layout

  • Facebook is slowly rolling out a new desktop layout, which is designed to make it easier for users to navigate their favourite elements.
  • The update features tabs along the top of the screen where users can switch between sections like News Feed, notifications, and groups.
  • Users will also notice the Discover section has been removed.

Source: Social Media Today.

Facebook explores new tools for public figures

  • New tools such as multi-contributor stories, and swipe up links in stories are currently being tested for potential roll-out.
  • Multi-contributor stories were first tested at music festival Tomorrowland, where the official festival account uploaded a story, and the artists were able to contribute from their devices with links back to their page.
  • Swipe-up links in stories and the ability to tag products in photos are also being considered for high-profile accounts. Facebook says the move is designed to help monetize accounts with large online presences.

Source:Social Media Today and Facebook

Instagram Clips editor mimics TikTok

  • Some Instagram users have spotted a new story feature that allows them to record multiple clips as part of one single video story.
  • Similar to TikTok, users can adjust the speed and timer of the video stories.

Source: Business Insider.

Facebook launches Facebook Dating

  • Facebook Dating was announced earlier this year, and has been tested in small markets worldwide. It was launched in the US earlier this week.
  • Facebook users over the age of 18 can opt-in to the service and swipe to match with other Facebook users, and will be able to see any mutual friends or liked pages they share.
  • Users can sync up their Instagram profile to add Instagram posts and stories to their dating profile.
  • The “Secret Crush” feature also lets users anonymously select nine Instagram or Facebook users and add them to their “Secret Crush” list.
  • Those users are then anonymously notified someone has a crush on them. They can then select their nine “Secret Crushes”, and if they are on each others list, they can match their Facebook Dating profiles.

Source: Facebook.

Kerwin Rae

Kerwin Rae is a businessman, investor, strategic advisor, author and international speaker. He has studied and observed the psychology of influence for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on influencing human behaviour and how it relates to sales, marketing, fast growth business principles, leadership and personal transformation.
Snapchat: @KerwinRae

Latest posts by Kerwin Rae (see all)

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Olivier Orand’s music video: Thursday Night.

Director Kays Al-Atrakchi created the VFX for French EMD artist Olivier Orand’s new music video, Thursday Night. Orand is best known for his 2018 Electronica album Human.

The Thursday Night music video requiring more than 260 VFX shots. Orand appears only briefly in the video at the very end, the film centres around the performance of actor Augie Duke. The clip is extremely visual and fast-paced, but shot in a very moderate studio. Al-Atrakchi and the team used Houdini,  Fusion Studio and DaVinci Resolve Studio for the majority of the video’s VFX, editing and grading.

[embedded content]

The entire spot was pre-vized and planned out with early simple renders. This included early Blackmagic Pocket 4K cameras tests and test composites.

Lead Actress Augie Duke

The green screen shoot, live action for Thursday Night was filmed on the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, by DOP Steven Strobel. The piece was fully written, directed and produced by Kays Al-Atrakchi.

[embedded content]

The set was based on Sci-Fi Kit bash panels by Oleg Ushenok. The texturing was done in Substance Painter, in sync with Affinity Photo. These kit bash pieces were incorporated with assets from Black Chilla Studios and also used Assets and textures from The French Monkey. The use of these asset bash kits and online textures allowed for fast assembling of the futuristic environments. The main goal was to allow the team to easily build scenes without spending hours and hours on the basic environment, so they could polish the piece and focus on details and finishes. The Production Design and Costumes were by Krystyna Łoboda.

Derek Drouin edited the piece.  The final Edit, final color grade and mastering done in Blackmagic Resolve Studio 16. The music video highlights how far the Blackmagic tools have come, especially in the area of editing and integration of visual effects.

The team used the Video CoPilot Motion Design tools for the film clip’s visual UI. The team extensive researched and built a library of reference material to inform the design and the graphical language of the film and its overlays. CGI Modeling, Simulation was done in SideFX Houdini. The 3D scenes and environments were rendered using the Redshift Renderer. The compositing was all done in Blackmagic Fusion 16.

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Good Jobs, Good Business Gives Small Business Owners New Tools and Advice

Small businesses are the economic engine of communities, cities, and countries around the world. As a result, the economy as a whole does well when they do.

Helping Your Small Business Create Jobs

Good Jobs, Good Business is a free digital toolkit created to provide small businesses owners with tools, resources, and advice. The goal of the toolkit is for owners to be able to create jobs which improve retention, employee performance and productivity. At the same time owners can also achieve real short- and long-term cost savings while creating these jobs.

The kit comes from Pacific Community Ventures (PCV), an organization dedicated to empowering small business owners. As a 501c3 nonprofit social enterprise and community development financial institution (CDFI), PCV wants to make markets work. As a result, the mission of PCV is to offer fair lending. But also free mentorship, skilled volunteerism, impact investing consulting services and field-building research.

Since 1998, PCV has invested around $100 million in capital and pro bono advising hours. And this has created quality-job-creating companies. The company also influences a growing pool of tens of billions in impact investment capital.

In an emailed press release Mary Jo Cook, President and CEO of Pacific Community Ventures, explains why small businesses need support.

Cook says, “We cannot simply ask small business owners to create ‘good jobs’ without giving them the tools, coaching, and roadmap to do so in ways that support their overall business needs. We are committed to helping small business owners create jobs that are good for their workers and good for their businesses.”

Good Jobs, Good Business looks to extend this effort further by helping owners be more productive and create better jobs.

The Good Jobs, Good Business Toolkit

With the Good Jobs, Good Business toolkit, business owners will be equipped with practical tools and resources to offer good jobs. For example, the toolkit helps balance the needs of the business along with those of the employees.

According to PCV, it removes the guesswork from the “how-to” of creating good jobs and strengthening a business at the same time.

The toolkit focuses on the retail industry. And it was developed as part of a partnership with the Aspen Institute and Walmart Foundation’s Reimagine Retail Initiative.

As a result, this toolkit can help the one in ten Americans who work in retail. Everyone from salespersons to cashiers, stock clerks, and first-line supervisors and managers can reap the benefits of this initiative.

The people in this industry have median annual wages from $20,160 for cashiers to $38,870 for supervisors/managers.

Key Areas

The Good Jobs, Good Business toolkit has seven key areas.

They are:

1. The Business Case for Quality Jobs – Quality jobs provide your employees with greater financial security, enhance productivity, and support professional and personal success. As a retail business owner, you can shape the quality of jobs you offer in a way that works for your business and your employees.

2. Employee Compensation – Your employees are one of your most valuable assets. As a result, higher compensation and other improvements in job quality can lead to greater productivity and improved customer service. This includes attracting qualified candidates—helping not only your employees but also your bottom line.

3. Health Benefits – Providing healthcare benefits offers competitive advantages to your business. In addition to attracting talented workers, it improves their wellbeing and productivity while increasing retention rates in the long-term.
4. Retirement Benefits and Other Wealth-Building Strategies – Offering a retirement plan reduces income taxes for participants and also lowers your business taxes.

5. Stable Scheduling, Vacation and Paid Leave – Stable schedules improve retention, drive down absenteeism, raise productivity, and foster employee morale. And paid leaves and vacations also provide benefits in recruitment and retention.

6. Hiring, Training, and Professional Development – These components are crucial for a productive workforce and healthy company culture. According to PCV, they are three steps in a single process.

7. Employee Engagement – With an engaged workforce you can expect lower absenteeism and turnover and increased productivity, sales, profitability, and a much safer working environment.

You can download the kit (PDF) here.


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Forget ROAS, It's All About ROMI Now

Your ad spend is only a fraction of your investment. To figure out the true ROI of your marketing efforts, you need more than a vanity metric.

Measuring campaign performance is an integral part of your marketing optimization. Choosing your campaign KPIs can have a huge impact on how you measure and conceive your failure or success. Though visibility and engagement metrics (impressions, CTR, click rate) will help you gauge your reach, return on investment metrics (CPC, cost per conversion, ROAS, ROMI) will help you objectively determine your campaign’s revenue contribution.

But how objectively?

ROAS—return on ad spend—is ad networks’ preferred metric. It emphasizes the revenue created by the campaigns you run on their networks, while ignoring much of the spend associated with these campaigns. In that respect ROAS is a vanity metric, which may bode well for the ad networks’ goal of enticing you to spend more of your marketing budget with them, but has little to do with the actual success—or lack thereof—of your campaigns.

That’s why return on marketing investment (ROMI) is rapidly gaining popularity as a more informative metric that gives you actual insights to fuel your marketing optimization.

What Is Return on Ad Spend?

ROAS is the most basic way to calculate how much you’ve earned from your marketing campaign.

Here’s how you work it out: You take your sales revenue from the campaign period, and you divide it by how much you spent on ads.

For example, if you spent $1,000 on Facebook Ads this month, and your revenue was $10,000, your ROAS would be 10, A tenfold return on investment. Whoop!

Simple, huh? The trouble is, it’s vastly oversimplified. As we’ll see in a moment, ROAS can become very misleading for that very reason.

Because of its limited scope, it can hardly be thought of as a true ROI metric.

What Is Return on Marketing Investment?

ROMI, on the other hand, is a subset of the ROI metric: It doesn’t look at all the spend associated with your business, but at the spend associated with your marketing efforts.

There are two common ways to calculate ROMI—with and without cost of goods sold (COGS), and they can lead to vastly different numbers. In this article, I’m referring to COGS-inclusive ROMI, but your decision should be based on the specifics of your business. The important thing is to stick to one calculation method to make sure you’re comparing apples to apples.

With or without COGS, ROMI takes into account all of the costs of running your marketing campaign—not just your ad spend. That includes what you pay out for content creation, agency fees, discounts, etc.

When considering COGS, ROMI takes into account only the money you have in your pocket from sales—i.e., your profits, not your revenue. You start with the profit margin you make on each item and subtract costs like packing and shipping.

Then, bearing all of that in mind, to calculate ROMI, you divide the profits from your marketing campaign by the total cost of running that campaign.

OK, So How Does That Make a Difference?

It’s worth mentioning that no matter how you calculate your marketing spend, profitability may not always be your main driver. One such case is awareness campaigns, for which the investment is long-term; there’s no expectation of immediate returns. That said, ROMI still gives you a far more complete and accurate picture of how your marketing campaign performed.

To take the earlier example, let’s say that as well as the $1,000 you spent on Facebook ads, you also paid an agency $1,000 to make the ads.

And let’s say that the item you are selling is lip liner, and your $10,000 in revenue was made up of 1,000 units sold at $10 each.

Those units cost you $5 each, though, so you only make a profit of $5 on each one. Plus, it costs you $2 to package and post (P&P) each unit.

What’s more, these sales were all made with the $1 discount code that you gave out in your ads. That means you effectively spent $1,000 on making those sales happen.

  1. So the cost of running your campaign was actually $1,000 (ad spend) + $1,000 (content creation) + $1,000 = $3,000
  2. And your profit for the period was actually $10,000 (sales income) – $5,000 (cost of the goods) – $2,000 (P&P) = $3,000
  3. And so, your ROMI for the campaigns was $3,000/$3,000 = $1

As in: for every $1 you spent on your marketing campaign, you earned… $1.

Why Is ROMI Better?

The big problem with ROAS is that it lets the ad network take credit for all your sales revenue while ignoring any inconvenient costs and calculations that tell a different story.

ROMI acts as a much-needed reality check. It tells you what the real returns are on your marketing investment—and it lets you put your ad spend in context: Sure, your Facebook ads might be getting a lot of traction, but if the campaign is flawed in some way, you need to know that before you consider scaling up your ad spend.

How Does All That Work in Practice?

Such attention to detail turned out to be hugely important in two campaigns for the snack brand Mattessons Fridge Raiders in 2013 and 2014-2015.

For its first campaign, the brand came up with a cool idea. Using Facebook ads that linked through to a longer YouTube video, it crowdsourced ideas for a “snacking device” that would allow people to snack without using their hands—to avoid touching keyboards, phones and so on with greasy fingers.

Mattessons’ Facebook campaign generated 120 million ad impressions on Facebook and, during the three months of the campaign, there was a healthy spike in sales. However, they dwindled again once the campaign was over. That was bad news, considering the primary marketing objectives were about long-term growth.

Rather than just running more Facebook ads, the company took a good hard look at its ROMI over the period. It figured out that the campaign was too focused on short-term goals rather than deepening people’s connection with the brand. To tackle that issue, it created an AI robot that target consumers could interact with online, and it expanded the campaign to TV ads, all over a seven-month period.

Four months after the second campaign was over, net sales were still up 70% and the overall long-term ROMI was 1.87—i.e., a return of $1.87 for every $1 spent.

If the company had simply fixated on ROAS, it would still be pouring in money to Facebook ads each month, with diminishing returns!

Final Thoughts

Even if your marketing campaigns look like they’re meeting your short-term marketing objectives, it’s crucial to dive in to view every cog in the machine with a critical eye.

Perhaps your ad spend really does drive your profits. Maybe your overall marketing campaign is solid but the Facebook ads element of it isn’t really contributing to your success in any meaningful way. Perhaps it’s even creating a huge expense that doesn’t directly translate into sales.

Whatever the truth of the matter, you need to be able to analyze it carefully for yourself if you’re going to optimize your spend and boost your marketing ROI over time.

ROAS doesn’t let you do that… but ROMI can.

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