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Platform’s Load Sharing Facility (LSF) Used By British CGI Specialists To Bring The Coliseum To Life


BASINGSTOKE, March 28, 2001 – Platform Computing Corporation, the global leader in distributed resource management (DRM), today announced that its LSF software suite played a major role in managing the computing resources used to produce the stunning visual effects, which won blockbuster movie Gladiator its fifth Oscar. Mill Film, a UK-based visual effects company based in London used LSF to automate and optimise the processing of computer generated digital effects that brought ancient Rome to life.

Unlike Scott’s other film successes - ‘Alien’, ‘Blade Runner’, ‘Black Rain’ and most recently ‘Hannibal’, Gladiator is set in the past, which meant the effects had to be both fantastical and realistic in order for them to be in keeping with the rest of the film. Mill Film used the very latest CGI technology to bring an unbelievable level of detail and realism to the fight scenes, including a stunning sequence where the hero, Maximus, grapples with tigers in front of a baying Coliseum crowd. The processing power required to generate these effects was managed by Platform Computing’s LSF.

David Lomax, head of 3D CGI at Mill Film explained, “Recreating Rome took a huge amount of compute power and time, with the workload on the animator’s workstations and dedicated rendering machines all being scheduled under the control of Platform’s LSF resource management solution. LSF made optimal use of all the compute power available for rendering, while maintaining quality of use and responsiveness for the animators.”

“LSF provided Mill Film with a robust and scaleable solution that has made optimal and automated use of our entire processor resource, releasing our creative staff from the time consuming tasks of render baby-sitting,” concluded Lomax.

“We’re delighted to have played such a major part in the success of Gladiator,” said Alain Weidmar, European Managing Director, “Platform Computing’s LSF load sharing software is an enabling technology that helps companies, such as Mill Film, maximise the benefits of their computing and processing resources. The amount of processing power needed to render computer generated graphics and animation is immense, and LSF plays a pivotal role in managing that processing power to prioritise and monitor jobs ensuring they are completed successfully and on-time.”

About Mill Film

Mill Film was created in 1997 as a partnership between commercials facility The Mill and film directors Tony and Ridley Scott. With bases within Soho, London and at Shepperton Studios, Mill Film is a premier end-to-end feature film facility combining superior visual effects talent and technical strength with vast experience in digital effects and miniature construction and photography. Mill Film boasts an impressive range of digital film technology including inferno, flame, Domino, Illusion, Cineon, Lightwave, Softimage 3D with Sumatra, Discreet 3D Studio MAX and Maya. The studio location has a model workshop plus two motion control stages with some of the most advanced rigs in Europe including the Super Cyclops, a car turntable, two Milo's with extendable arms and a Gazelle. Over the past two years Mill Film has worked on large scale projects such as ‘The World is Not Enough’, ‘Pitch Black’, ‘Mission Impossible II’, ‘Entrapment’, ‘Babe: Pig in the City’, ‘Enemy of the State’ and the award winning blockbuster ‘Gladiator’.


About Platform Computing

Platform Computing Corporation is a world leader in Distributed Resource Management software. Platform’s software, LSF Suite and SiteAssure Suite, enables some of the world's most creative companies to achieve outstanding results by allowing them to maximise the productivity potential of their people, computing resources and processes. Platform’s products give both technical and Internet environments unprecedented control over their mission-critical hardware, software and network resources. With Platform solutions, customers are able to bridge the worlds of networks, systems and applications and realise higher availability and performance to achieve their business objectives.

Founded in 1992, Platform has more than 2,100 customers worldwide and has strategic partnerships with Compaq, Sun, IBM, Cisco, HP and SGI.
For more information, please visit http://www.platform.com

Editor’s Contacts
Interviews, photography/screen shots/stills and information on all Platform products and services are available from Paul Wooding/Tamsin Keynton at MCC International.

For more information:

Platform Computing Corporation Sharon White

swhite@platform.com

+44 (0)1256 370516

MCC International Paul Wooding/Tamsin Keynton

Tel: +44 (0)1962 888100

Fax: +44 (0)1962 888125

paul.wooding@mccint.com

tamsin.keynton@mccint.com



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