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Pixelux [of LucasFilm fame] team up with AMD on OpenCL




After going through all the details of AMD and Pixelux Entertainment announcement, seeing the big picture is clearer than ever before. The market for high end digital FX [effects] is expanding from Hollywood AAA titles to a more massive market, including low-cost video production, computer games and the like.

If you never heard about Pixelux Entertainment SA, don’t be surprised. This company is mostly known for the creation of DMM Engine [Digital Molecular Matter], key component inside LucasFilm and LucasArts production pipelines. After years of exclusivity contract with George Lucas entertainment empire Pixelux Entertainment recently launched DMM Plug-in for Maya for end users as well – at only $400 per seat. This opening up is a result of an experiment called “Star Wars: The Force Unleashed”, when game creators saw that they can use DMM for creation of computer games as well. Even though SW: The Force Unleashed wasn’t exactly a great game, capabilities of DMM engine showed in a big way – prompting the adoption inside GameByro engine. This was the first time that any user can purchase the plug-in and work in the same way LucasArts/LucasFilm are creating special effects for their titles.

The announcement between Pixelux and AMD can be credited to Mr. Dave Hoff, Director of Application Engineering over at AMD. The tie-up between AMD and Pixelux Entertainment fits perfectly in Cinema 2.0 movement [which by some reason, AMD did not mention during their Evergreen family briefings – in our opinion, BIG mistake], enabling content creation with top quality tools even to entry level commercial users. Pixelux will work closely with AMD in order to push OpenCL CPU+GPU acceleration of its Digital Molecular Matter Engine, and the platform of choice is AMD Opteron with ATI Radeon 5800 series and FirePro graphics cards.

This move only confirms the influence AMD has in Hollywood, as majority of studios rely on Opteron processors, nForce chipset and Quadro graphics. But with Pixelux Entertainment moving to complete AMD platform, the base for “Graphics Integrated Joe: Rise of FirePro”, to bastardize the first GI Joe movie – is now set.

Update September 17, 2009 at 16:52 GMT – We learned that the key member of AMD staff was Dave Hoff, Director of Application Engineering. We have updated the article accordingly.

Original Author: Theo Valich

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