Re: How big is BIG?
Final output will generally be in DPX files, which for 4k are 36MB per frame. Frame rates run at anything from 24-50FPS.
For an HFR movie like the Hobbit, that is 36MB x 48fps x 5400 seconds = just shy of 9TB for final delivery *only*.
The finalled frames will comprise any number of layers - one of the recent movies we worked on had anything up to 12 layers, all original source dpx or exrs. That's not counting any other steps like simulation cache data, point cloud data, models and textures.
As a final note - we worked on a film due to be released soon. We worked on only parts of 5 sequences in the movie. We worked for around 6 months, generating anything from 100GB-1TB of data per day, some of which is transient data. We ended up with a tape archive of the project rolling in at just short of 70TB, for around 7 minutes of total on-screen time.
In Visual FX, big data gets BIG very quickly.