Pixar Gains Alienbrain
Ed Catmull, president and co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios, announced at a SIGGRAPH press conference that Pixar will integrate NXN alienbrain VFX into its production process to provide media asset management for its upcoming CG film projects. NXN alienbrain VFX is the first of its kind digital asset and production management system designed specifically for high-end computer graphics projects. Powered by a cluster of NXN alienbrain VFX servers, the asset management solution will serve up information about the location, status and purpose of the millions of assets created during the production of a Pixar film. "Computer animated films have very complex production processes. Pixar has maintained its creative leadership by actively managing this complexity," said Catmull. "For the needs of the next generation of films we see asset management as a key challenge. NXN has shown a very strong commitment to our industry and its VFX system is the first commercial product that meets our needs." The alienbrain software will slowly be phased into the production pipeline of Pixar's Emeryville, California studio. In contrast to traditional asset management systems that focus primarily on archiving completed assets, NXN alienbrain VFX was specifically adapted for computer animated feature films and large visual effects productions, and helps production teams manage their digital assets from concept to creation to completion. NXN alienbrain has been used to manage complex online games like STAR WARS GALAXIES and EVERQUEST II, as well as CG projects like French animation studio Xilam's upcoming feature KAENA, which is scheduled for theatrical release at the end of 2002. Interactive entertainment developers such as LucasArts, Electronic Arts, Sony Online Entertainment and Infogrames currently use alienbrain digital production management software.