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BlueArc part of the Avatar storage team

I like stories about the intersection of our technologies and popular culture. So this one is a natural.

As James Cameron’s latest project, burns up the box office, BlueArc is talking about its role in helping create the stunning imagery

Avatar posterWeta Digital [the visual effects company] relied on a BlueArc storage solution for artistic rendering of groundbreaking animation and scene development for the major motion picture “Avatar.”

…Avatar is highly acclaimed as revolutionary filmmaking for its 3D viewing and all-digital virtual filming environment, made possible by stereoscopic cameras that were specially designed for the film’s production. For Weta, this unique process resulted in unprecedented demands on animation rendering workflows and storage infrastructure. To keep pace, Weta used a clustered system of 12 Titan servers to store and manage over 500 terabytes of data feeding thousands of render nodes acting in concert to produce the special effects for Avatar, as well as an additional 700 terabytes of nearline storage.

BlueArc wasn’t the only storage vendor who’s gear was used during the project, but they did have 12 Titan servers in the mix. According to the release, Weta spent close to two years in production, and at peak times the BlueArc system was supporting 34,000 cores on the render farm, a sustained load of 6-8 GB per second and up to 16,000 concurrent rendering processes 24 hours a day.

Weta has been a BlueArc customer since 2006, leveraging BlueArc storage infrastructure to continue a tradition of developing world leading visual effects as for Academy-Award winning works such as “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and “King Kong.”

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