SOURCE: BlueArc

June 16, 2008 08:00 ET

BlueArc Storage Solution Tames "The Incredible Hulk" for Soho VFX

Super-Heroic Storage Performance Behind Box-Office Hit's Stunning Visual Effects

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - June 16, 2008) - BlueArc® Corporation, a leader in scalable, high-performance unified network storage, today announced that Toronto-based visual effects creator Soho VFX turned to a BlueArc storage solution for the superhuman task of bringing Marvel Comics' characters to life in this weekend's box-office smash, "The Incredible Hulk." The movie debuted in theaters nationwide Friday, June 13, grossing an estimated $54.5 million in its opening weekend, leading the box office. Despite the immense size and volume of files used to render fight sequences between the Hulk and archenemy Abomination, the project proved no match for the world-record-holding speed, capacity and reliability of the BlueArc Titan storage system that anchors the visual effects studio's production technology infrastructure.

"We chose the BlueArc Titan for its capacity and throughput, and 'Hulk,' our largest project yet, gave us the opportunity to really take advantage of Titan's strengths," said Berj Bannayan, co-founder and software engineer, Soho VFX. "The scope and sophistication of the project sequences, characters and dynamics -- smoke, flames and water -- meant managing a constant flood of data, and was compounded by the need to render both day and night in the final weeks of production. As we build a sequence the sheer volume of shots could create problems of scale but for 'Hulk,' as for our past projects, BlueArc and Titan never let us down."

"Hulk" is the latest of Soho VFX's projects that demand a balance of dramatic effects and character -- from a convincing and consistent range of expressions to physical motion -- from the digital creatures as well as the settings where the action plays out. Soho VFX generated 150 shots for major fight scenes between the Hulk and the Abomination in a bottling plant and on the rooftops of New York City. Creating these sequences placed simultaneous split-second demands on BlueArc for hundreds of gigabytes of data-intensive image files as well as intermediate files produced in the course of 3D animation. Texture-mapping work meant loading 700 gigabytes of color-related data over and over again in any given week.

The BlueArc Titan's capacity and performance became indispensable at different stages of Hulk effects production. As Soho VFX artists' work filled up storage volumes with shots that generate a sequence, server throughput became essential to ensure consistently fast server response to artists' demands. As rendering work takes place around the clock in order to meet project milestones and deadlines, Soho VFX also depends on BlueArc technology for reliable performance.

In advance of production, test shots helped Soho VFX anticipate the storage requirements for "Hulk" and another, concurrent feature-film project. As a result, the visual effects studio expanded disk capacity from 16 to 38 terabytes of Fibre Channel storage. The investment builds on what Bannayan regards as Soho VFX's competitive advantage, namely, its readiness to take on projects whose complexity has risen steadily over the years.

About BlueArc

BlueArc is a leading provider of high-performance unified network storage systems to enterprise markets, as well as data intensive markets, such as electronic discovery, entertainment, federal government, higher education, Internet services, oil and gas and life sciences. Our products support both network attached storage, or NAS, and storage area network, or SAN, services on a converged network storage platform.

We enable companies to expand the ways they explore, discover, research, create, process and innovate in data-intensive environments. Our products replace complex and performance-limited products with high performance, scalable and easy to use systems capable of handling the most data intensive applications and environments. Further, we believe that our energy efficient design and our products' ability to consolidate legacy storage infrastructures, dramatically increases storage utilization rates and reduces our customers' total cost of ownership. Information about BlueArc solutions and services can be found at http://www.bluearc.com/.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Louis Gray
    BlueArc Corporation
    (408) 576-6684
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