Computer Graphics World

Dec/Jan 2011-12

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The Foundry Introduces Katana 1.0 T he Foundry recently released Katana 1.0, a look development and lighting tool, replacing the conventional CG pipeline with a flexible recipe-based asset work- flow. In tandem with this release, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), a Lucasfilm Compa- ny, has purchased a site license. Currently in use for upcoming productions, ILM made this investment to boost their production pipeline across its ILM and Lucasfilm companies. As a Katana site license holder, ILM will deploy the software both in its San Francisco and Singapore studios. Katana is specifically designed to address the needs of a highly scalable asset- based workflow to: allow updating of assets once shots are already in progress; share lighting setups, such as edits and overrides, between shots and sequences; and allow use of multiple render- ers and specifying dependen- cies between render passes; allow shot-specific modifica- tion of assets to become part of the lighting "recipe" for shots, to avoid having to deal with large numbers of shot-specific asset variants. Furthermore, Katana is built from the ground up with the needs of modern productions in mind. Exten- sive APIs mean it integrates with current pipelines, shader libraries, and workflow tools, while its collaborative nature allows it to scale to meet the needs of the most demanding productions. The main attraction of The Foundry's Katana stems from the flexibility of the product, as it has the ability to produce incredibly complicated shots while allowing artists to retain control. Katana is backed by The Foundry, a provider of high-end visual effects tools, and has been production-proven on over 20 shows since 2004 at Sony Pictures Imageworks. Dell Takes a Terabyte from Mobile Workstation Storage D ell's Precision M6600 and M4600 mobile workstations, which launched in May, are now available with 512GB (SATA3) Mobility Solid State Drives. The M6600 is also offering the Nvidia Quadro 5010M mobile profes- sional graphics GPU with 4GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory. The Dell Precision M6600 and M4600 are the first mobile workstations to offer 512GB SATA3 Mobility SSDs, giving users 500MB/sec read and 300MB/ sec write times. With the M6600 offering two full storage slots with up to two 512GB SSDs and one mini-card slot with up to 128GB, workstation users can experience more than a terabyte of solid-state storage in a mobile workstation. The 512GB SSD and Nvidia 5010M are available with pricing starting at $1120 and $1640, respectively. 4 December 2011/January 2012 Dassault Looks to the Cloud D assault Systèmes (DS) recently announced a cloud-based part- nership with's Web Services arm that will enable clients to use its 3D design and manufac- turing software remotely over the cloud. PLM and 3D software are traditionally memory-intensive, but by partnering with Amazon Web Services, DS will be able to offer clients a preconfigured environ- ment to remotely run 3D and PLM software without having to buy expensive hardware. DS is leveraging multiple AWS services to power its Version 6 software platform, providing high performance and highly available resources via the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) for discrete compute environments. This expands the geographic reach of DS customers, regardless of their physical location. Customers now easily access design content, while DS can store volumes of design data without having to support an extensive array of legacy platforms. In other news, DS has made its new online Version 6 plat- form—offered as a subscription model—available over the cloud. Also, DS announced its strategic investment in Outscale, a start- up providing next-gen SaaS for leveraging dynamic public cloud resources allocation. Lastly, the firm has updated its Version 6 software to V6R2012, delivering an open, collaborative platform by broaden- ing the value of digital assets into new solutions such as immersive retail store experiences and global production system planning.

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