SGI Solutions Speed Production for Shanghai Motion Magic Digital Studios
SGI Altix Servers and SGI XE Cluster Systems Produce Animated Series in Months Instead of Years
LAS VEGAS, NAB 2008, SGI booth SL4314, (April 2008)—To accelerate the creation and delivery of a variety of animated cartoon series for customers around the world, Shanghai Motion Magic Digital Studios (SHMDS) regularly relies on a media production solution from SGI (NASDAQ: SGIC), consisting of SGI® Altix® server and SGI® Altix® XE cluster systems. The boom in joint-venture motion picture production in China, fueled by the easing of foreign investment restrictions, is helping spur animation production, driving cutting-edge facilities like SHMDS to upgrade to proven high-performance technology that will streamline and speed their workflow and greatly improve their bottom line.
Prior to the SGI system purchase last year, a 50-episode series required 100 people working for two years, a situation far too labor-intensive and time-consuming to be competitive in a global marketplace. SHMDS looked to SGI for a robust workflow environment that would deliver a proven, stable and highly efficient solution that managed the complexity of streaming multi-megabyte files throughout the animation process while delivering breakthrough performance.
“Being one of the biggest animation production bases in China, our challenge is to produce the best-quality animated films to meet our global customers’ expectations within the required time,” said Mr. Xu, chief executive officer, Shanghai Motion Magic Digital Studios. “Time-to-market is critical for us. Competition in this market is not only about employing leading-edge creative designers, but supplying them with the high-performance computing power and services to maximize the time of these skilled and highly talented artists.”
The new SGI system streamlines the workflow, and incorporates all aspects of animation production including design, scenario, storyboard, character design, 3D production and post-production -- and exceeded SHMDS’s expectations.
“Comparing approximately the same feature development on different platforms, we realized that SGI Altix technology delivers results in 1/6th of the time of our previous system,” said Mr. Shen, system support team leader, Shanghai Motion Magic Digital Studios. “The Altix cluster system is housed in such a slim rack, we don’t need to enlarge our computer room. And, because of SGI’s infinitely expandable architecture, we can grow our system easily by simply adding more units into the rack. We have been SGI users for over 10 years, and we are very pleased with ease of implementation as well as their professional support services. The reliability of SGI systems is very important for us, since most of our users are not IT professionals. SGI technology ensures artists can be focused on their development work without any interruption by IT infrastructure.”
Shanghai Motion Magic Digital Studios purchased an SGI® Altix® 1300 server system and 11 SGI® Altix® XE310 cluster servers. The “slim rack” SGI Altix XE 310 cluster covers space only slightly larger than a floor tile, representing a 300 percent improvement in drive density per rack compared to a standard rack. Its ultra-dense rack architecture delivers up to 40 percent more compute performance per floor tile than competing blades.
“With the support of both the central and local governments, several digital zones have been set up in Beijing and Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, which offer incentives enticing foreign companies to establish domestic production facilities for digital animation in China,” said Bill Trestrail, vice president of sales for Asia Pacific, SGI. “We can see China’s animation industry booming in the very near future, and we believe SGI can serve this market well by contributing not only our high-performance hardware, but also our knowledge and expertise in optimizing the creative workflow to increase productivity. SGI systems have revolutionized the workflow in digital film labs and animation facilities in Hollywood and around the world, and we look forward to providing China’s exploding entertainment industry with the tools to compete worldwide.”
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