Linux and Star Trek

Robin speaks with the studio Digital Domain on using Linux to render special effects in Star Trek Nemesis and other films.
______________________

Comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Blender > Maya

guitarMan666's picture

And it runs on Linux. I understand this article is quite old but I do certainly hope they have considered replacing Maya with Blender because of it's cross-platform abilities by now.

Re: Linux and Star Trek

Anonymous's picture

Thats excellent, someone know what linux distribution was used here?

Re: Linux and Star Trek

Anonymous's picture

Nice article!

Links regarding the mentioned paint packages Amazon16 and Photogenics would have been nice...

BTW. What about Corel Photo Paint?

If D2 whines GIMP is not capable of something, why dont they contribute?!? Saving license fee is cost effective...

Re: Linux and Star Trek

Anonymous's picture

If D2 whines GIMP is not capable of something, why dont they contribute?!? Time constraints probably. Most non-programmers have this idealistic pie-in-the-sky fantasy that if you want something changed, you just check the code out of CVS and dive in. For a larger project such as the GIMP it might take several weeks studying the code just to get an idea of how things work.

Re: Linux and Star Trek

Anonymous's picture

Actually one of the best things about the (non film) gimp's latest versions has been the code cleanup.... Its now possible to find exactly what you are looking for with a few well placed greps... It still takes some time to get an overall picture of exactly how the app works.

Kudos to the gimp team.

Re: Linux and Star Trek

Anonymous's picture

Photopaint + the Gimp are primarily 8 bits per channel. For the kind of work that these guys are doing 16bits per channel is necessary and 32bit floats is nice to have....

This puts filmgimp as the only other runner and it is still very much in development.

Re: GIMP vs. Photoshop

Anonymous's picture

I often hear "Photoshop is better than GIMP" but when

pressed, the speaker just means "GIMP doesn't have my

favorite feature, so I can't use it."

Did this guy give any details on why the GIMP is immature?

I am not defending GIMP, I am just looking for non-lame

reasons to use Photoshop. Here's an example of a lame

reason: "We need a function/import routine that GIMP

doesn't have and we wrote the plug-in for Photoshop already

so we don't want to write it again."

Linux PC vs Irix SGI

Anonymous's picture

The MIPS CPU's used by SGI's are quite slow compared to current Pentiums and Athlons. The speed difference between the SGI machines and Linux desktops has far less to do with the OS and much more to do with the hardware.

This website is pretty imbalanced and likes to attribute everything to Linux without mentioning the hardware. If you want a fair test run Irix and a piece of software on the SGI then run Linux and the Linux version of the same software on the same SGI.

Working with digital media myself I can say that performances is firmly dictated by the hardware.

~Bill

Re: Linux PC vs Irix SGI

Anonymous's picture

Why choose the slower hardware? Move all the software to Pentiums and Athlons, they are cheep. Then you will have a good test.

Re: Linux PC vs Irix SGI

Anonymous's picture

I've seen the same software running with IRIX and Linux. With IRIX the process was over 2,30 min. The same software, so, the same process, at the same machine, with Linux was over 1,30 min.

So what's better?

PD: I'm working at a media company. The software is for filming the films.

Re: GIMP vs. Photoshop

Anonymous's picture

you want to know what's wrong with the gimp?

the user interface SUCKS.

it's just... a horrible mess. if somebody took out and read a book about usability engineering and applied it to the gimp, it would benefit greatly.

Re: GIMP vs. Photoshop

Anonymous's picture

Oh, really? Yestrday, friend of mine asked me how to change thicknes of the brush in photoshop... He's 23 years old. My sister, who is 7, draws in Gimp and changes thicknes of the brush with her eyes closed...

Re: GIMP vs. Photoshop

Anonymous's picture

Personally I like the way that Corel Photopaint handles changing a brush size.... (somebody should implement that).

As for the UI... It doesn't suck it is just different. There have been improvements made in the latest development releases but the UI is very usuable if you are not hung up on having an application that works the same as the programs you are used to..... Anyways if you have specific complaints let me know... something might happen about it ;-)

One thing I don't seem to be able to do in photoshop is have layered 16 bit images..... (I am very exited about the film gimp for this reason).

Re: GIMP vs. Photoshop

Anonymous's picture

What's holding you back?

Re: Linux and Star Trek

Anonymous's picture

Were the article says

"For ships exploding we use as many practical effects as possible. Practicals are faster"

should "practical" be "particle"?

Re: Linux and Star Trek

Anonymous's picture

by using practicals you get more bang for the buck. Yikes that was cheesy :)

Re: Linux and Star Trek

Anonymous's picture

There are still many shots for a movie that are done as "practical" or "in camera" effects. They are faster to create, still look more realistic, and are usually far cheaper than the pixel constructs. That score changes daily, but the computer based elements will somehow always be lacking the tangibility and awe that seeing a film miniature inspires. Not everything you see my button pushing friends is a computer flavoured reality.

For Supernova, and Mission to Mars, we built the spaceships in 8 to 9 weeks. From design to stage and waiting to be filmed.

We built over 500 miniatures for Star Wars I and nearly 100 for Star Wars II. Though they were not advertised on the mountain tops, they were there. Basically, the real fancy close-up shots or the organic shots in a film are miniatures more often then not.

Granted, there are still things the computer rendered models can do that is either physically impossible or dangerous for a real model to do. Instant scalability is certainaly a plus. We would have to ultimately build a new model should the director want a different shot that required a closer or more distant view of the miniature. Now days, usually what happens is that we would build a miniature to use in whatever scene it was initially employed, then the computer folks would scan the miniature(s) - dragging it(them) into the digital world kicking and screaming. From there, they would be manipulated as needed.

A good filmmaker will use either the digital or analogue techniques - whatever will make the shot look the best and be the most efficient use of available resources.

Re: Linux and Star Trek

Anonymous's picture

No, *****.

Re: Linux and Star Trek

Anonymous's picture

"practical" means real film footage of a real object. It used to mean "not a special effect" but now seems to mean "not computer graphics", ie minatures are "practical".

Re: Linux and Star Trek

Anonymous's picture

No he means Practical as in they do it for real, shoot on film, blow stuff up :-)

I'll buy this firework and let it rip.Lets see how long it take you to recreate it in 3D. you see.. it's the old time is money.

Flameop

Re: Linux and Star Trek

Jenga's picture

Does anybody know how much Amazon and or Amazon16 costs? I'm very interested in these products and upon a scan over interactive effect's website there wasn't any readily available pricing info.

Just interested.

thanks,

Jenga

Amazon 16

Anonymous's picture

I really don't know, but it's probably a lot. I used to work at a place that had a few Amazon Paint licenses a couple years back, and I seem to recall our IT guy saying they were like 16,000 USD a pop. It is a good paint program, though. It has no competition.

January 01, 2003

Anonymous's picture

Me: Checks calendar on toolbar. Scratches head. Sunday, 08 December 2002. Oops.

Re: January 01, 2003

Anonymous's picture

werd

Re: January 01, 2003

Anonymous's picture

It's the cover date of the print issue.

Re: January 01, 2003

Anonymous's picture

oh, I see. They dumbed-down the web to suit their monthly publication. Kinda like putting audio-only radio broadcasts on television. That was a good decision. Highly enlightened.

Still... damn interesting article, so I'll let them off ;)

White Paper
Linux Management with Red Hat Satellite: Measuring Business Impact and ROI

Linux has become a key foundation for supporting today's rapidly growing IT environments. Linux is being used to deploy business applications and databases, trading on its reputation as a low-cost operating environment. For many IT organizations, Linux is a mainstay for deploying Web servers and has evolved from handling basic file, print, and utility workloads to running mission-critical applications and databases, physically, virtually, and in the cloud. As Linux grows in importance in terms of value to the business, managing Linux environments to high standards of service quality — availability, security, and performance — becomes an essential requirement for business success.

Learn More

Sponsored by Red Hat

White Paper
Private PaaS for the Agile Enterprise

If you already use virtualized infrastructure, you are well on your way to leveraging the power of the cloud. Virtualization offers the promise of limitless resources, but how do you manage that scalability when your DevOps team doesn’t scale? In today’s hypercompetitive markets, fast results can make a difference between leading the pack vs. obsolescence. Organizations need more benefits from cloud computing than just raw resources. They need agility, flexibility, convenience, ROI, and control.

Stackato private Platform-as-a-Service technology from ActiveState extends your private cloud infrastructure by creating a private PaaS to provide on-demand availability, flexibility, control, and ultimately, faster time-to-market for your enterprise.

Learn More

Sponsored by ActiveState