Feeds

The Avatar storage effect

Aspera feeds 3D flick

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

Comment Avatar - James Cameron's 3D-enhanced sci-fi CGI space-western movie - is set to be a stunning success, and the storage industry is jumping on the bandwagon carrying its 10 feet tall, blue-skinned aliens.

Avatar is being produced by California-based LightStorm Entertainment, which has contracted out much of the CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery) work to Weta Digital in New Zealand. Lightstorm ran an all-digital virtual filming environment with performance capture technology and a Pace/Cameron Fusion 3D Camera System, invented by Avatar director James Cameron and Vincent Pace. This produced scores of information-rich, high-resolution 3D film files from the Los Angeles studio, which had to be rendered into viewable movie components. These files were stored on a clustered Isilon IQ filer setup.

Avatar movie scene

A scene from Avatar

An Isilon release says: "The Avatar production generated terabytes of data in various formats, including massive digital files used in creating Avatar's all-digital, virtual filming environment, small metadata and instructional files, still frames for review, and large media files from Avid systems." The terabytes of data were created on a weekly basis and, sometimes, a daily one.

Lightstorm could shoot hundreds of takes of any given scene and then access the latest content from the Isilon IQ cluster with its global filesystem. Isilon says that new nodes were added as needed.

Well, that's terrific, except that the photo-realistic CGI rendering work was carried out by Weta Digital in New Zealand, which isn't an Isilon customer. Weta used NetApp kit to store the incoming data, then used a huge number of workstations and bladed servers - with 30,000 cores in total - to work on it. The NetApp filers were fitted with up to five 160GB DRAM cache accelerator cards in their controllers, the PAM (Performance Acceleration Modules) caches, to speed file access by the Weta creative people and the servers.

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

Next page: File transfer

More from The Register

next story
Wanna keep your data for 1,000 YEARS? No? Hard luck, HDS wants you to anyway
Combine Blu-ray and M-DISC and you get this monster
US boffins demo 'twisted radio' mux
OAM takes wireless signals to 32 Gbps
Apple flops out 2FA for iCloud in bid to stop future nude selfie leaks
Millions of 4chan users howl with laughter as Cupertino slams stable door
No biggie: EMC's XtremIO firmware upgrade 'will wipe data'
But it'll have no impact and will be seamless, we're told
Students playing with impressive racks? Yes, it's cluster comp time
The most comprehensive coverage the world has ever seen. Ever
Run little spreadsheet, run! IBM's Watson is coming to gobble you up
Big Blue's big super's big appetite for big data in big clouds for big analytics
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.