SGI Technology Powers L'ecole Gobelins Final Push for 31st Annual Annecy International Animation Festival


Rendering Deadlines for Millions of HD Images Easily Realized with SGI Altix XE Systems, PipelineFX Qube!(TM) Render Farm Management and Microsoft Windows Compute Cluster Server

SUNNYVALE, Calif., June 14 / / -- To render millions of high-definition image files in time for opening night festivities of the famed Annecy 2007 International Animation Festival, June 11-16 in Annecy, France, Gobelins, l'ecole de l'image ("school of the image"), utilized a powerful combination of servers, cluster management software and render management software from SGI (NASDAQ:SGIC) and SGI partners.

Introduced by SGI at NAB 2007 as a high-performance package for media production and other rendering application segments, this is the first installation of SGI(R) Altix(R) XE cluster systems based on Dual-Core Intel(R) Xeon(R) 5000 processors, running Microsoft(R) Windows(R) Compute Cluster Server (CCS) 2003, and PipelineFX Qube!(TM) render farm management software. Gobelins chose to render student animations in full HD for the first time, making the selection of this powerful combination of technology a necessity.

PipelineFX Qube! is the leading render farm management software for film production, game development, and digital media education. SGI Altix XE clusters leverage SGI's expertise in high-performance computing to provide solutions that are transparent across mixed workflows. Windows CCS provides an enterprise-class high-performance computing operating environment. Ideal for production facilities that use Microsoft Windows applications, this solution accelerates workgroup productivity and collaboration.

"At the moment, it's the final rush; during the past five months everything possible has been done to meet the delivery schedule for these shorts (plot, story board, decors, characters, animation, etc.) on time," said Christian Fodere, IT Manager at Gobelins. "The only thing we had left to do was render the images, which make up the films and which, for the first time, were produced in full HD. Needless to say, the 50 students concerned are counting on the render farm solution the school, working with SGI, has set up so that the deadlines are met. Our render farm consists of Qube! software and an SGI Altix XE cluster running Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003, which are going full speed ahead to meet the crunch and deliver the highest quality animated films, on time."

Gobelins, l'ecole de l'image, is a school of visual communication operated by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Paris. It offers both basic and professional training in multimedia (web design, interactive projects), photography, graphic arts, industrial graphics (traditional and digital printing), video and animation (hand-drawn, digital and 3D).

The animation department was founded over 30 years ago to prepare artists for the needs of the emerging French animation film industry. Working professionals, taking time out from their busy schedules in studios and production companies, teach nearly 90% of the courses. Numerous Gobelins graduates of the animation course currently work in major studios around the world and are prized for their creative and technical excellence as well as their professional level.

The Annecy International Animation Festival, held June 11-16, 2007, is the number one international competitive festival. For over 45 years the town has been showing off the very best in the art during six days of animated festivities. Annecy is one of the high points of studies at Gobelins. For more than 20 years, the school's animation students have created curtain-raisers for this worldwide gathering. The animated shorts from prior years are available for viewing on the Web at http://www.gobelins.fr/galerie/animation/

Gobelins, l'ecole de l'image, utilized a four node SGI Altix XE cluster with Dual-Core Intel Xeon processors (32 processors total) to process animations running on Microsoft(R) Windows(R) Compute Cluster Server 2003 (64-bit processing), and PipelineFX Qube! 5.1 render farm management software. The solution was set up in association with the informatics teams from the school, systems integrator Caliseo IDF of France and SGI France.

"Gobelins is world-renowned for closely monitoring the constant changes -- technical, artistic and organizational -- that characterizes the animation industry in order to prepare students and trainees today for both the current and future skills required by the professional world of animation production," said Floyd Christofferson, senior business development manager, Media and Entertainment at SGI. "Gobelins has chosen a powerful solution from SGI and our strategic partners that will indeed prepare those students with the best technology has to offer -- now, and into the future."

"We are proud to work with a noted animation school like Gobelins," said Troy Brooks, CEO of PipelineFX. "Their students' work speaks for itself in terms of quality, story and entertainment value. They really push the envelope in an educational environment and are taking advantage of Qube!'s ability to maximize the throughput on their hardware, and make the best use of their time. Their students will be completely prepared to enter a professional environment, after their experience at Gobelins."

About Qube! and PipelineFX

Qube!(TM) is the leading enterprise-class render farm management system for film and game production. Qube! is highly customizable, scalable and can be integrated into any production workflow. Qube! has custom pipelines for creative applications like Autodesk(R) 3ds Max(R), Autodesk Maya(R), SOFTIMAGE(R)|XSI(R), Shake(R), Adobe(R) After Effects(R) and many more. Qube! operates in Linux(R), Windows(R) XP, 2000 and 2003, Linux(R) and Mac OS(R)X environments. PipelineFX, with headquarters in Honolulu, HI, and offices in San Francisco, CA and Vancouver, B.C. Canada was founded in 2002. Qube! is used by world-class studios and universities around the world including South Park Studios, Electronic Arts, Buena Vista Games, DKP, ReelFX, Guava Graphics, and Radical Entertainment the School of Visual Arts in N.Y., Carleton School of Architecture, Full Sail in Florida, the University of Advancing Technology, Pratt Institute, and the University of Hawaii-Academy for Creative Media. More information can be found on the Web at http://www.pipelinefx.com/.

SGI - Innovation for Results(TM)

SGI (NASDAQ:SGIC) is a leader in high-performance computing. SGI delivers a complete range of high-performance server and storage solutions along with industry-leading professional services and support that enable its customers to overcome the challenges of complex data-intensive workflows and accelerate breakthrough discoveries, innovation and information transformation. SGI solutions help customers solve their computing challenges whether it's enhancing the quality of life through drug research, designing and manufacturing safer and more efficient cars and airplanes, studying global climate, providing technologies for homeland security and defense, or helping enterprises manage large data. With offices worldwide, the company is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., and can be found on the Web at http://www.sgi.com/.

(C) 2007 SGI. All rights reserved. SGI, Altix, the SGI cube and the SGI logo are registered trademarks of SGI in the United States and/or other countries worldwide. Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. Qube! is a trademark of PipelineFX, LLC. Intel and Xeon are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in several countries. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.

MEDIA CONTACT
Lisa Pistacchio
pistacchio@sgi.com
650.933.5683

Source: SGI

CONTACT: Lisa Pistacchio of SGI, +1-650-933-5683, pistacchio@sgi.com

Web site: http://www.sgi.com/

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