Dell Helps Power Visual Effects in Oscar®-Nominated Films

  Dell Helps Power Visual Effects in Oscar®-Nominated Films

  *Dell technology enables Pixomondo to deliver high-quality visual effects
    shots efficiently and on deadline for the Oscar-nominated film, “Snow
    White and the Huntsman”
  *ILP VFX standardized on Dell UltraSharp U2711 monitors for its visual
    effects work on “Kon-Tiki,” nominated in the Foreign Language Film
  *Tippett Studio leverages Dell Precision T7600 workstations to bring “Ted”
    to the Oscars®

Business Wire

ROUND ROCK, Texas -- February 25, 2013

Dell media and entertainment solutions helped power award-winning visual
effects (VFX) shots in several films up for an Oscar last night at the 85^th
Annual Academy Awards®.

Dell’s end-to-end highest performance technology helped Dell VFX customers,
Pixomondo 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 about IT.”

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 working 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 imagequality,” 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 solutions.”

Additional Information:

  *Dell's Tech Page One: Q&A with Tippett Studio
  *Dell Precision
  *Dell PowerEdge
  *Dell UltraSharp
  *Dell Telecommunications, Media & Entertainment
  *Dell on Twitter

About Dell

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Media Relations:
Katie Schaeffer, 512-728-3812
Lauren Mauro, 512-723-6957
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