Constant Flood of Data
Soho VFX turned to BlueArc storage for the Herculean task of bringing Marvel Comics characters to life in "The Incredible Hulk." Despite the immense size and volume of files used to render fight sequences between the Hulk and his archenemy, the Abomination, the project proved to be well within the capability of the BlueArc Titan 2000 series server that anchors the visual effects studio's production technology infrastructure.
"Certainly nobody else had done as much work on 'Incredible Hulk,' since we did both main characters, Hulk and Abomination," Bannayan said. "We were one of only two companies to do that. We chose 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."
The scope and sophistication of the project sequences, characters and dynamics-smoke, flames and water-meant managing a constant flood of data, compounded by rendering day and night in the final weeks of production, Bannayan said.
"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," Bannayan said.
Soho VFX generated a number of shots for major fight scenes between the Hulk and the Abomination in a bottling plant and on the rooftops of New York. Creating these sequences placed simultaneous split-second demands on Titan for hundreds of gigabytes of data-intensive image files as well as intermediate files produced in the three-dimensional animation project.
Texture-mapping work meant loading 700GB of color-related data over and over again in any given week, Bannayan said.
As long as people keep buying tickets to CG movies in high numbers, competition will remain fierce among storage vendors mentioned earlier, who will keep competing for this key storage business based on arrays with high throughput and low cost per terabyte of capacity.