Dell aims to provide high-tech solutions to the animation and VFX industry

With an aim to provide cutting-edge tools to the creative industries that can help create breakthrough work, Dell has emerged as an important player in the domain of technologies. VFX industry is on the cusp of a transformation with the traditional ways of creating imagery being challenged everyday. With the burgeoning demand for high quality 4k content and virtual production, technology-providers are hard-pressed to keep pace with the rising standards of content production.

Globally, the media and entertainment industry is valued at $2.3 trillion and expected to reach $2.6 trillion by 2023. The US market makes up roughly a third of this market at an estimated $717 billion in 2020, with growth expected to reach $825 billion by 2023. Though some of this growth is attributed to businesses not traditionally associated with media and entertainment (e.g., museums, education and training) that are now developing media content, the “stars” of the industry are those companies that create content for movies, television and games. These traditional media and entertainment entities make up the bulk of the industry.

Given the rapid pace of technological evolution, studios struggle to provide the best tools to enhance, rather than inhibit, artists’ creativity as they work to develop ever more immersive visual effects or impressive animation sequences.

Dell being one of the leading players in the technology ecosystem has been periodically dishing out gizmos and tools to help bring efficiency and speed to the creative industries with an array of tech-based solutions.

To address these challenges, companies are turning to technology. They are looking for solutions that deliver sophisticated and agile tools, powerful computing and data processing, and ample storage options.

Solutions include such elements as:

• Dell Precision workstations and Dell UltraSharp monitors for content creation.

• Dell EMC PowerEdge servers for a comprehensive range of servers for compute-intensive tasks.

• Dell EMC Networking for distributed workflows and high-speed stitching.

• Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon) offers a range of high-capacity storage solutions.

• Dell Technologies Cloud Platform helps reduce operational complexity, no matter where workloads are running.

• The need for a cutting-edge technology system that provides end-to-end support, from inception through production, and then finally through delivery of content.

• Sophisticated technology tools that enhance, rather than constrain artists and allow them to push the creative envelope on each project.

• Powerful computing and data processing power, plus loads of storage, including utilizing the cloud for iterative collaboration.

• Scalable solutions that can adjust to cyclical shifts.

As a leader in the field of media and entertainment technology, Dell Technologies offers a complete set of end-to-end solutions to help clients fulfil their creative and business potential. With a wealth of experience in the industry, Dell Technologies helps clients configure the solutions that meet their particular needs and keeps their workflows streamlined.

These are the few tools that address the prevailing demands of today:

• Dell Precision workstations and Dell UltraSharp monitors for content creation.

• Dell EMC PowerEdge servers for a comprehensive range of servers for compute-intensive tasks.

• Dell EMC Networking for distributed workflows and high-speed stitching.

• Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon) offers a range of high-capacity storage solutions.

• Dell Technologies Cloud Platform helps reduce operational complexity, no matter where workloads are running.

A range of award-winning visual effects and animation studios already rely on Dell Technologies and their partners to make their work the best it can possibly be.

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Here are a few notable names that Dell continues to support:

MPC

MPC Film is the world’s largest computer-generated production company. In other words, MPC Film
requires a lot of cutting-edge technology to repeatedly turn out Academy Award-winning films. “When one produces imagery at the levels of quality and sophistication that we do, every single frame is composed of hundreds, even thousands, of digital assets,” says MPC India head Biren Ghose.

Considering that simulations like water, fire or destruction generate terabytes of data, it takes a huge amount of computing power, data processing and storage to keep the workflow moving. “The explosion of data and the expectations of managing high-end productions with demanding schedule necessitates that we provide the most comprehensive and user-friendly toolsets,” says Ghose. To meet these demands, MPC Film employs Dell Technologies, including Dell Precision workstations, Dell PowerEdge Servers, Dell EMC Networking and PowerScale/Isilon Storage.

ILP

Important Looking Pirates (ILP), one of Scandinavia’s biggest visual effects and digital animation studios, is well-known for its world-class work on such films as Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and The Shallows, as well as television productions Black Sails, Westworld and Lost in Space.

One sequence from the latter involved creating an enormous water simulation, spanning miles and composed of billions of water particles, which generated more than 500 terabytes of data. Compare that with a smaller-scale water simulation the company created for Star Wars: The Last Jedi in 2017, which generated a mere 30 terabytes per iteration, and one can see how rapidly entertainment technology is evolving to meet the demand for ever more impressive visual effects at higher resolutions and for larger video formats.

“Our business is artistry and growing demands from our clients require us to push technical and creative boundaries,” says ILP CTO Angelo Rivano. Rivano says that ILP places high value on Dell EMC’s ability to provide end-to-end solutions. “The breadth of the Dell EMC portfolio and being able to talk to a single vendor about solutions from top
to bottom are huge advantages,” says Rivano.

ANIMAL LOGIC

With animation studios in Sydney and Vancouver and development offices in LA, Animal Logic has been producing award-winning visual effects and animation for almost 30 years. From making VFX magic for The Matrix and Captain Marvel to creating dancing penguins for Happy Feet, heroic minifigures for The LEGO Movies and mischievous bunnies in Peter Rabbit, Animal Logic has used technology to bring stories to life for audiences around the globe.

According to Animal Logic head of production technology Aidan Sarsfield, one of the reasons the company has had so many breakthrough successes is that artists are always front and center.

Animal Logic uses a wide range of Dell Technologies to create such nonlinear pipelines and improve workflow, without sacrificing artistic output. This includes Dell Precision workstations, Dell UltraSharp monitors, PowerEdge servers and
Dell EMC networking. The company also employs the Dell EMC management platform, which Sarsfield says is easy-to-use and includes relevant tools for the industry.

In the case studies of MPC Film, Important Looking Pirates and Animal Logic, Dell has actively supported the work of each of these industry partners. Working together, they have configured the right hardware and
software to optimize each client’s creative output and workflow, while eliminating bottlenecks and collaboration friction.

Dell Technologies continues to be an invested partner in helping its media and entertainment industry partners achieve their creative and business goals. And in most of these cases, their collaboration has resulted in the studios receiving some of the industry’s highest accolades in the form of Academy Awards or nominations for their work in visual effects and animation.

*Source: Dell Technologies M&E Whitepaper

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