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Autodesk VFX Systems Attract More Than 100 New Post Facilities

During the past six months, more than 100 additional post-production facilities around the globe have adopted Autodesk Inc.'s film and television solutions running on the Linux operating system. The Autodesk Linux-based systems provide digital artists and editors with increased speed and interactivity.

In April 2006, Autodesk transitioned its visual effects and editing/finishing systems from SGI-based workstations to workstations running the Linux operating system. The Linux-based Autodesk Flame visual effects system renders complex 3D composites more than 20 times faster than on previous SGI-based workstations.

"The migration of Autodesk systems to the Linux platform has been a great success," said Stig Gruman, Autodesk's Media & Ent. vp of systems. "This operating system allows Autodesk to take advantage of rapid, continuous improvements to commodity hardware components such as central processing units, graphics cards, and Infiniband networking technology."

Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) recently transitioned six of its Autodesk Inferno visual effects systems to Linux workstations. Inferno and Flame are part of the facility's proprietary SABRE visual effects system for feature film work. "Moving to Autodesk Inferno on Linux has improved ILM's workflow efficiency, allowing our artists to produce high-quality results more quickly than ever before," said Curt Miyashiro, director of production technology for ILM.

"I love the speed and interactivity of Autodesk Inferno on the Linux workstation," added Grady Cofer, visual effects supervisor and SABRE artist. "All of the system's creative functions are noticeably faster, which makes it easy for me to brainstorm and experiment with different concepts for a scene." ILM is using Autodesk Inferno running on Linux for several upcoming films, including PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END, TRANSFORMERS, HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX and EVAN ALMIGHTY.

The Mill upgraded its Autodesk Smoke editing/finishing systems and Flame visual effects systems to Linux-based workstations. "The Mill is proud to be an early adopter of Autodesk Smoke and Flame systems running on Linux. We're using the systems in our London, New York and Los Angeles facilities," said Angus Kneale, creative director at The Mill. "The systems are highly interactive, extremely efficient and more capable of handling our HD projects. Smoke and Flame on Linux demonstrate the longevity of Autodesk's editing and finishing, and visual effects products."

New York-based commercial post facility Quiet Man also transitioned its Flame systems to Linux. The upgrade was spurred by the facility's growing number of high-definition projects. "The speed and stability of Autodesk Flame on Linux makes it easy for us to generate multiple versions of a TV commercial in real-time during client supervised sessions," said Johnnie Semerad, Quiet Man's founder and creative director. "We are able to quickly meet the needs of our clients, which has definitely increased the amount of work our facility can handle."

Other Autodesk clients that have embraced the company's visual effects and editing/finishing systems on Linux, in the past six months, include:

Americas* AXYZ Edit/Animation (Canada)* Brickyard VFX (U.S.)* Che Revolution Post (Argentina)* Grace & Wild (U.S.)* Hybride Technologies Inc. (Canada)* Interface Media Group (U.S.)* Rhino FX (U.S.)* Rhythm & Hues (U.S.)* Tango Prods.Inc. (U.S.)* The Syndicate (U.S.)

Europe, the Middle East and Africa* Chimney Pot AB (Sweden)* Condor Video BV (United Arab Emirates)* Duckling A/S (Denmark)* Moving Picture Company (U.K.)* Riviera Music Sound & Post (Sweden)

South Asia Pacific* Cutting Edge (Australia)* Omnilab Media Group: the LaB Sydney and Digital Pictures (Australia)* Prime Focus (India)* The Post Lounge (Australia)* Beijing Television Station (China)* Korean Broadcasting System (South Korea)* Fame Post-Production Co. Ltd. (Thailand)

Autodesk Inc. ( is the world leader in 2D and 3D design software for the manufacturing, building and construction and media and entertainment markets.

Bill Desowitz's picture

Bill Desowitz, former editor of VFXWorld, is currently the Crafts Editor of IndieWire.