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Dell’s hand found in slaying “the Giant”

Zafar Anjum | March 1, 2013
Soho VFX relied on Dell end-to-end technology to deliver Jack the Giant Slayer project on a tight deadline.

Dell's media and entertainment solutions helped award-wining visual effects (VFX) studio, Soho VFX, deliver 214 visual effects for the Hollywood film, Jack the Giant Slayer, the tech giant announced today.

Using a combination of powerful, scalable Dell solutions including Dell Precision T3500 workstations, Dell PowerEdge blade servers and Dell UltraSharp U2410 monitors, Soho VFX created many stunning effects on screen, the company said in a statement.

These include a highly detailed castle-siege scene, realistic environment replacement shots, dynamic characters and other action scenes with burning trees and intensive fire simulations.

"With the short deadlines and pressure from the movie studios, we relied on both the Dell workstations and render farm to keep production running 24 hours a day while we continued creating different scenes," said Keith Sellers, 3D Supervisor, Soho VFX. "Despite the stress on the machines, Dell's solutions provided both the stability and processing power we needed to get quality shots done in time."

Dell workstations and servers helped power the creation of vast environments, including realistic flaming trees and water juxtaposed against the stunning backdrop of the highly detailed castle. The studio also delivered an extremely complex computer graphic (CG) forest comprised of more than 2.5 million fully-modelled trees. This 30-second-long shot was so intensive that it required more than 125 hours across 192 machines to be fully rendered, according to Dell.

Even with such a taxing lift, the Dell PowerEdge servers "were rock solid and enabled us to meet our deadline," said Todd Michael Smith, Head of Information Technology, Soho VFX.

Toronto-based Soho VFX has been a player in special effects since 2002. They provided effects in other recent movies such as The Incredible Hulk and The Love Guru.

 

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