NVIDIA Powers Movie Magic and the Data Center

John Rath

April 28, 2011

3 Min Read
Data Center Knowledge logo


The NVIDIA Quadro 4000, 5000 and 6000 graphic processing untis (GPUs), which helped power animation on recent Hollywood releases.

From Hollywood render farms to streaming media, and software delivery to GPU data centers, NVIDIA GPU's have powered a number of impressive projects. Here's a look at some of the noteworthy ones.

NVIDIA Quadro powers ILM's Rango
After taking a tour of LucasFilm's data center in March NVIDIA (NVDA) announced that approximately 450 Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) artists worked on the new Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon animated film Rango using workstations equipped with NVIDIA Quadro solutions. The artists benefited from the speed of the graphics processing unit (GPU) when using animation tools such as Autodesk Maya, along with a range of ILM's in-house applications.

"Our ongoing work with ILM to drive GPU optimization for visual effects and CG creation has led to incredible results," said Dominick Spina, technology manager, Digital Film Group, NVIDIA. "ILM's growing GPU integration and the dramatic impact it has made on their workflow ultimately benefits filmgoers, who continue to be delighted by ILM's innovative visual effects."

All Things Digital's Arik Hesseldahl has a nice article on the secret of NVIDIA GPU's in LucasFilm's magic.  In this Youtube video ILM's CTO Richard Kerris explains how NVIDIA Quadro GPU's enabled the impressive visual effects in movies such as Harry Potter and the Last Air Bender.

Dell and NVIDIA power Savtira

Tampa, Florida-based Cloud Commerce solutions provider Savtira announced that it has selected Dell’s PowerEdge C line of servers and solutions to deliver streamed media and applications from the cloud for the Savtira Cloud Commerce platform and Entertainment Distribution Network (EDN). Dell's Data Center Solutions (DCS) division will also provide a suite of HPC products for the Tampa data center, including the PowerEdge C410X PCIe expansion chassis running NVIDIA Tesla M2070 GPUs on the PowerEdge C6145 server.

"After a competitive evaluation we found that Dell’s Data Center Solutions team provided a versatile and economical solution without sacrificing the performance we need for server-side streaming,” said Timothy Roberts, CEO of Savtira. “According to NVidia, GPUs deliver the same performance as CPU’s for 1/20 of the power consumption and 1/10 the cost.

YFrog's GPU data center

Robert Scoble interviewed YFrog CEO Jack Levin about their NVIDIA powered data center.  In the third video of this series Jack discusses how an experiment in using NVIDIA GPU cards on their Hadoop cluster affected their data analysis speed. It is truely a unique and innovative way to utilize parallelism, Hadopp and GPU's - to "semantically analyze a lot of text".  Mr. Levin talks about using the NVIDIA JDK as well as CUDA, their Compute Unified Device Architecture, the same parallel compute technology used by Plume - a fluid movement simulation tool used by Industrial Light and Magic.  Up next for this GPU use - Wall Street statistical analysis?

Stereoscopic 3D Video

At NAB 2011 (National Association of Broadcasters) NVIDIA announced that it is making its 3D Vision video player technology available for free to Web developers, enabling them to easily build websites for streaming high-quality 3D video to 3D Vision-equipped PCs. NVIDIA is also releasing a how-to-guide outlining the key steps and additional components necessary for developers to integrate 3D streaming video capabilities into websites.

"The Web is enabling an entirely new market for creating and delivering compelling, innovative 3D content," said Jon Barad, senior business development manager at NVIDIA. "Our 3D Vision technology now makes it easy for web developers to integrate world-class stereo 3D video capabilities into all types of sites."


Center to right: Rango (Johnny Depp) and Beans (Isla Fisher) in the animated feature RANGO, which was created using computing resources from NVIDIA. (Photo credit: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures)

Subscribe to the Data Center Knowledge Newsletter
Get analysis and expert insight on the latest in data center business and technology delivered to your inbox daily.

You May Also Like