Silverdraft Launches Mobileviz Vfx and Pre-Viz Studio-On-Wheels for Motion Pictures
April 5, 2011

Silverdraft Launches Mobileviz Vfx and Pre-Viz Studio-On-Wheels for Motion Pictures

Los Angeles, Calif. - Silverdraft LLC  announced the launch of Silverdraft Mobileviz, a supercomputer-powered digital visual effects (VFX) and pre-visualization studio-on-wheels for motion picture production. Silverdraft Mobileviz combines fast, innovative tools for digital content creation, with proprietary computing technology, into an ergonomically-designed semi-trailer that delivers unprecedented capabilities to moviemakers on-location, a Hollywood lot, or to a VFX-intensive production requiring additional computing rendering resources.

As 3D stereo and VFX proliferate, Silverdraft Mobileviz meets head-on the need for additional computing horsepower. Now, filmmakers can view and manipulate results immediately, and can work in new, more efficient and collaborative ways, with more creative choice, while saving both time and money.

Deployed on-set or on location, Silverdraft Mobileviz can be used for 2D and 3D stereo capture for digital motion pictures (2K and 4K data, HD video), in-camera pre-visualization and real-time, high-resolution visualization of VFX shots, plus performance and motion capture recording. Ground-breaking rendering capabilities mean that Mobileviz can also be used when brick and mortar facilities face 'peak load' and need extra computer resources on VFX and CGI-laden projects.

Silverdraft Mobileviz trailers can be driven to wherever shooting is taking pace, such as one of the many US states with tax incentives. The service is customizable and scalable depending on the production requirement. Being dedicated to an IT network ensures maximum security of rendered assets and production material.

The computing technology within Silverdraft Mobileviz was developed by Dr Srinidhi Varadarajan, a pioneer in supercomputing technologies. He is director for the center of high-end computing systems, and associate professor in the department of computer science, at Virginia Tech University.

The first in the fleet of Mobileviz trailers offers 30 teraflops processing, although higher-end systems can be scaled to process at up to 350 teraflops - 350 trillion floating point operations per second - ranking them amongst the top 50 supercomputers, and on par with the world's most advanced production facilities.

Cutting-edge software and hardware technology accommodations within Silverdraft Mobileviz include: Autodesk MotionBuilder, Maya and 3DS Max; Mental Images' Mental Ray renderer; Chaos Group's Vray; Qube! render management from PipelineFX; Apple Final Cut Pro and Avid editing; plus on-set dailies and full color management capabilities. It also has 20TB of Micron superfast solid-state storage, incorporated into a cluster of 1,536 compute cores.

"Studios and filmmakers expect greater speed and efficiency, and want to create more elaborate visual effects than ever. Until now they have relied on complex, expensive and largely immobile solutions to produce live action with on-set, realtime virtual element visualization," said Silverdraft Founder and CEO Amy Gile.

"With the supercomputing power and leading-edge technologies in Mobileviz they can combine and pre-visualize live action and CG elements in-camera 'live' on the set. Every department in a film, TV or commercial production can work with the material immediately. They can see how the material looks and will edit together, and decide what reshoots/pick-ups are needed while on set. Creative decisions - such as editorial, color and VFX visualizations - are less restricted by timelines and financial constraints. Ultimately our powerful, portable resource puts creative people back in the driving seat."

Silverdraft has formed strategic partnerships, and is currently collaborating on a next-generation project revealing the advantages of on-set pre-visualization for content creators, with the following key players: pre-visualization expert The Third Floor Inc, Autodesk, VFX artist/director Alex Frisch, and performance capture specialists Knight Vision.