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PipelineFX and University of Hawaii Unveil New Animation Render Farm

The University of Hawaii, in partnership with PipelineFX, has deployed a powerful animation render farm in support of digital media education programs across the island.

University of Hawaii Academy for Creative Media (ACM) founder and chairman Chris Lee is leading the project. Recently, Lee was the exec producer of Warner Bros. SUPERMAN RETURNS and is a producer on the upcoming film ONE FOOT TO HEAVEN (JI QUAN BU NING). Previously, Lee was the president of Motion Picture Production for TriStar Pictures and Columbia Pictures. Since many programs across Oahu, including LCC, ACM and Waianae High School, will be sharing this resource, we expect the system to have a major impact on Hawaiis digital media education and the length and quality of work that students are able to produce, said Lee.

Housed at a Leeward Community College (LCC) data center, the new animation render farm is comprised of more than 50 computers providing rendering power for Autodesk Maya 3D animations and After Effects composites. The desktop machines are managed by Qube! as rendering machines when not used by students. What would normally take an individual computer 24 hours to process can now be accomplished by the animation render farm in less than one hour, which means that existing classroom computers can be used by more students.

The ACM and Waianae High School use the system remotely over the Universitys wide-area network. Qube! provides a simple interface for the students to submit their jobs from anywhere on the network for processing on the powerful network, centralized system. The results are then transferred back over the inter-campus automatically.

Kaveh Kardan, ACM chief technologist, said, We have been working toward a more unified approach across all of the University of Hawaii campuses, leveraging talents and resources as we build a world-class creative media education program. Qube! software allows us to maximize all of our computing resources and share this really fast render farm between multiple programs.

ACM offers a core curriculum in three tracks: Cinematic and Digital Production, Computer Animation & Game Design and Critical Studies. More than just a "film school," ACM seeks to empower students to tell their own stories of Hawaii, the Pacific and Asia rather than have those stories told for them through a different cultural lens that is distant and often distorted. It is one of the few programs developing a unique program in indigenous filmmaking. ACM students have written, directed and produced more than 300 short films and videogames, many of which have been recognized in film festivals around the world.

PipelineFX is thrilled to support such a leading-edge deployment of digital media resources for education programs in our home state, said PipelineFX ceo Troy Brooks. Rendering really is the bottleneck for many animation and graphics programs. This state-of-the-art render farm with seamless remote connectivity provides the number crunching power to increase the complexity and detail of local students work to a professional level.

PipelineFX (www.pipelinefx.com), with headquarters in Honolulu, Hawaii, was founded in 2002. Qube! is used by world-class studios around the world, including South Park Studios, Electronic Arts, Buena Vista Games, DKP, Reel FX, Guava Graphics and Radical Ent. Qube! is used by schools around the world, including Carleton School of Architecture, Full Sail, University of Advancing Technology, Pratt Institute and University of Hawaii-Academy for Creative Media.