ROUND ROCK, TX — Dell media and entertainment solutions helped power visual effects shots in several films that were up for Oscar consideration at the 85th Annual Academy Awards. The company’s technology helped 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, “ says 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,” notes 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.
Another Dell customer who made an appearance at the Academy Awards 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 solutions.”