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The Force is Strong With AMD

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Never being ones to miss an opportunity to mention Star Wars, we were intrigued to discover that AMD Opteron-based servers are being used in the making of the new film “Revenge of the Sith”. The announcment was made today at Siggraph, the graphics technology conference currently happening in Los Angeles.



Apparently JAK Films, the production company working on Star Wars: Episode III uses Opteron processor-based workstations running Microsoft Windows XP Professional, Alias Maya and Adobe After Effects software. The machines are part of its digital processing pipeline, responsible for pre-visualization and pre-postproduction, which involves 3-D match moving, 3-D modelling, lighting, shading, texturing, compositing and rendering techniques.

Pre-visualization' is essentially the art of creating a full-motion animation that enables the director to quickly and inexpensively see the scene in his head before the final version. The technique was popularised by George Lucas on the first Star Wars prequel and is now commonly employed by modern filmmakers in place of traditional storyboards on complex CGI-heavy films.

Dan Gregoire, AMD64 Masters Group member and pre-visualization effects supervisor at JAK Films says that, “AMD Opteron processor-based systems are substantially dropping our render times and enabling the team to complete sequences during sessions with George {Lucas} in a matter of hours that used to go back and forth for weeks. The net result is an entirely new and more efficient way of moviemaking. AMD64 technology provides {George Lucas} with an uninterrupted creative flow in everything from designing galaxies and futuristic cities to choreographing action sequences that take place at hyper-speed."



The only question that remains is, do the Sith use AMD and the Republic Intel, or is it the other way round? The AMD Opteron is available now but you'll have to wait to summer 2005 to see if AMD has helped make the final Star Wars film less dissapointing than the last two. We're not however, holding our breath.

For more on the AMD Opteron go here, while the official Star Wars site is here.

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