and entertainment solutions helped power award-winning visual
effects (VFX) shots in several films up for an Oscar last night at the 85th
Annual Academy Awards®.
Dell's end-to-end highest performance technology helped Dell VFX
and Important Looking Pirates (ILP),
deliver projects and execute against creative visions quickly and
efficiently for the films "Snow
White and the Huntsman," nominated for
an Oscar for Visual
Effects and "Kon-Tiki,"
nominated for an Oscar for Foreign
Language Film, respectively. Dell
Precision workstations also helped
Tippett Studio bring "Ted" back to life to present the Oscars for
Sound Mixing and Sound Editing alongside Mark Wahlberg.
"We are beyond proud that many of our customers were nominated and
recognized for their great work at the Academy Awards® last night," said
Neil Hand, VP, Tablet and Performance PCs, Dell. "Dell's goal is to
provide our customers with reliable, secure and high-performance
technology so they can focus on their creative workflows, key to being
competitive in the entertainment industry, and spend less time worrying
Pixomondo, an international VFX studio and longstanding Dell customer
and partner, was enlisted as one of the VFX vendors on "Snow White and
the Huntsman," a UK-American fantasy film based on the German fairy tale
"Snow White." Pixomondo managed 261 character, environment and action
shots in the movie and helped the film's supervisors realize the design
and style of many of the shots.
"Every show comes with its own unique set of creative and technical
challenges. On 'Snow White and the Huntsman' we developed methodologies
to share data between multiple software packages, at times with artists
in different offices wrking together on the same shot," said Andrew
Roberts, Digital Effects Supervisor, Pixomondo. "The demand to turn
around high quality shots in a short timeframe is always present, Dell
Precision workstations and Dell
PowerEdge servers supported us every step of the way."
The film was an around-the-clock global effort by more than 200 artists
across six of Pixomondo's offices. Artists in Los Angeles, Burbank,
Berlin and Toronto all worked on the opening battle sequence with each
office focused on different shots, including the massive army,
shattering soldiers, character animation and fire and smoke simulation.
The work on the "storming the beach" sequence was also spread across
several offices with Berlin artists creating volleys of fireballs,
Beijing team members developing the crowd duplication and arrow shots
and the Los Angeles office working on the development of digital
soldiers on horseback. Additionally, Toronto artists delivered the
dwarves and fire in the forest attack sequence and Shanghai helped the
character, William, raid the wagon.
Pixomondo credits efficient, reliable and global IT infrastructure
backed by 24/7 support from Dell
in helping this dispersed team collaborate, render and share assets
across offices at all times of day all over the world. The studio needed
hardware they could rely on and that would scale with them. Dell systems
allowed the artists to efficiently deliver the scope of high-quality
work on time. The studio used a complete end-to-end Dell solution
including Dell Precision T5500 tower workstations paired with high-end
dual-Dell UltraSharp U2410 and Dell ST2420L monitors, Dell PowerEdge
R510, R410, R310 and R200 servers, and Dell
Networking 6248 switches to simulate, animate, render and view its
work on the film.
This combination of Dell technology, services and solutions allowed
Pixomondo to focus more time on creativity and workflows to overcome
challenging shots and sequences. For instance, Pixomondo successfully
delivered very complex shots where knights crumbled into tens of
thousands of obsidian fragments by developing a custom dynamics system.
The proprietary system gives physically accurate simulations while still
maintaining artistic control over the look of each fragment and the
progression of the overall shatter effect itself. To achieve this,
Pixomondo utilized Dell solutions in offices around the world to share
matchmove, animation, effects and lighting work; "something we're very
proud of and so were Universal
and director Rupert Sanders," said Roberts.
Another Dell customer who made an appearance at the Academy Awards last
night was Important Looking Pirates (ILP) for their work on "Kon-Tiki,"
nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. ILP delivered 62 VFX shots for
a very challenging raft and white shark scene. To achieve the precise,
true-to-life image color required for their work, and experience
consistency across their entire monitor fleet, ILP relied on Dell
UltraSharp U2711 monitors with PremierColor and have deployed them
across the company.
"We were experiencing issues with a previous brand and switched to Dell
UltraSharp due to its size, resolution and the image quality," said
Niklas Jacobson, VFX supervisor at ILP. "We have been very pleased with
the reliability of the monitors and we plan to expand our Dell
technology infrastructure and investment as the increasing demands of
our industry produce requirements that we believe can be met by Dell
Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) listens to customers and delivers innovative
technology and services that give them the power to do more. For more
information, visit www.dell.com.
Dell, Dell Precision, UltraSharp, ProSupport, PowerEdge, EqualLogic
and PowerVault are trademarks of Dell Inc. Dell disclaims any
proprietary interest in the marks and names of others.
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