Lucas turns to the Green Side

Written by Geoff Richards

May 11, 2005 | 09:13

Tags: #amd64 #athlon-64 #render #revenge-of-the-sith

Companies: #alienware #amd

Keen to exploit the mass hysteria for anything Star Wars related, AMD are "technology sponsor" of a Star Wars: Episode III "Celebration Day" event due to take place in London's Leicester Square this Monday (16th May). The main event is the world's first screening of all six Star Wars movies including Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, but for those who can't stomach the idea of tolerating Jar-Jar Binks once again, there will be other activities to keep any avid Star Wars fan spooging for weeks:
<ul><li>Free performances of unforgettable Star Wars music performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra</li><li>501st UK Garrison of Stormtroopers patrolling Leicester Square </li><li>Red carpet appearances by:<ul><li>George Lucas</li><li>Rick McCallum</li><li>Hayden Christensen</li><li>Ian McDiarmid</li><li>Anthony Daniels, and</li><li>Peter Mayhew</li></ul><li>plus other surprise activities.</li></ul>OK, but where is the AMD link you may ask? Lucas used production company JAK Films for pre-visualization work for Episode III just as he did for Episode II, which involved utilising racks of Opteron servers to render animatics to test different ideas before committing shots to expensive, final rendering:

&quot;Pre-visualization is the art of visual story telling, and it’s my department’s responsibility to make sure that George Lucas’ ideas get translated so that he knows whether or not his ideas are actually working in a digital sense, in a movie sense.&quot; said Dan Gregoire, Previsualization Effects Supervisor for JAK Films. &quot;He can take the movies that we create for him early in the process and use them to maintain a higher level of creative control over the entire production process. That way, there are no questions about what he really wants in the end.&quot;

Such was the power of these AMD64 systems that Lucas was able to direct 3-D assets in real-time, thus avoiding the usual interruptions and delays usually associated with this type of rendering work. As a result, the team at JAK Films was able to complete sequences during sessions with Lucas in a matter of hours that once went back and forth for weeks.

&quot;The difference AMD has made to the production of the film has been immeasurable for both George and myself,&quot; said Episode III’s producer, Rick McCallum. &quot;Having AMD participate with us in this extraordinary celebration in London is a fitting tribute to their contribution to the movie.&quot;

&quot;Revenge of the Sith is a masterpiece of storytelling and vision,&quot; said Charlie Boswell, director of Digital Media and Entertainment at AMD. &quot;By removing traditional technology barriers to creativity, AMD64 technology allows the creator, in this case George Lucas, to balance his artistic vision with the appropriate amount of production power leaving only the imagination as the outer limit.&quot;

AMD are hosting a great 4Mb video highlighting some of the work that JAK Films did on Episode III: you can download it from them here, however, anyone keen to save the wow factor for the film's cinematic release next week should perhaps save it until after they have seen the film.

And finally, if you're one of those geeks who just has to own everything Star Wars, Alienware have some officially-licensed SW-themed Aurora systems powered by Athlon 64 FX processors. Alternatively, you could hang out for a Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core system.

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