Dell would have us know that they were providers of visual effects (VFX) and other key technologies to at least two of the nominees at this year's Academy Awards (now officially rebranded The Oscars). And the nominees were Frankfurt, Germany-based VFX producer Pixomondo, and Stockholm, Sweden-based VFX and animation studio Important Looking Pirates (ILP).
Pixomondo was cited for its work on fantasy film, Snow White and the Huntsman, wherein it "managed 261 character, environment and action shots," said Dell executives in a statement issued to the press on Tuesday (February 26, 2013). The project was a "round-the-clock global effort by more than 200 artists across six of Pixomondo's offices," they said. "Artists in Los Angeles, Burbank, Berlin and Toronto all worked on the opening battle sequence with each office focused on different shots...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."
Speaking for Pixomondo was Digital Effects Supervisor Andrew Roberts. "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," he said. "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."
Roberts and his colleagues were also said to have given credit to Dell for its provision of an "efficient, reliable and global IT infrastructure backed by 24/7 support from Dell in helping [their] dispersed team collaborate, render and share assets across offices at all times of the day all over the world."
According to Dell, Pixomondo's studios "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."
ILP, for its part, was nominated for its work on Kon-Tiki, which chronicles a journey across the Pacific Ocean from South America to Polynesia. For this movie, ILP had been called upon to produce 62 VFX shots to be used in the creation of "a very challenging raft and white shark scene." Dell UltraSharp U2711 monitors with PremierColor were used extensively by the production team working on these shots.
Dell executives also highlighted the fact that their Precision T7600 workstations were used in Tippett Studio's 'delivery' of Ted, the bear from the hit movie of the same name, to the awards show alongside actor Mark Wahlberg on the evening of February 24, 2013 to present the Oscars for Sound Mixing and Sound Editing.