July 11, 2005


MONTREAL - Visual effects house Meteor Studios (www.meteorstudios.com) recently took on its largest project to date, creating 240 shots for Fox's superhero-adventure "Fantastic Four." The studio is responsible for the film's action sequence that centers around the Brooklyn Bridge. According to Jami Levesque, Meteor Studios' director of technology, the bridge, its far side, the cityscape and some of the cars in the scene were all created in CG.

Meteor began work on "Fantastic Four" back in October and finished its contributions in June. The studio had 100 artists working on the project, using Windows and Linux workstations running Alias Maya for 3D work. Rendering was accomplished using Pixar Renderman. The studio also used Apple Shake for compositing, as well as Autodesk's Flame and Inferno applications running on SGI Octane and Onyx systems for compositing live action elements that were shot on film.

Meteor purchased a 10TB Titan storage system from San Jose, CA's BlueArc in 2004. The system is the backbone for the studio's artists and is designed to be upgradable with additional storage and increased client access, without causing any disruption.

"Given the demanding challenges presented by 'Fantastic Four,' we would not have been able to complete this project without Titan," explains Levesque. "While under our previous environment it could take up to 15 minutes to open a Maya file, it's now a matter of seconds, saving valuable artist time and focus."

Levesque says the BlueArc system is capable of 250-300MB/sec. throughput, and up to 80MB/sec. on individual Linux workstations. Meteor is outfitted with 7TB of storage. Levesque says as much as 600GB of data changed each day during production.