IBM's end-to-end IT solution to 'animate' Crest Comm

MUMBAI: 'Creating opportunities' - the catchphrase for FICCI Frames 2004 is translating into actual deals taking place on the ground. Mumbai based animation company Crest Communications has tied up with IBM to set up an end-to-end IT infrastructure that will help Crest ramp up its digital animation movie production.

IBM will provide and implement its open source based Digital Content Creation solution for Crest's next generation digital animation studio.

IBM Digital Media Solutions and Services Asia Pacific manager Quentin Staes-Polet, who was in Mumbai for FICCI Frames 2004, was quoted in a statement saying, "We are passionate about working with an innovative company such as Crest Communications to exploit the flexibility and power of open standards-based computing technology in the fast-growing animation industry."

Since the IT architecture provided by IBM will be based on the open source technology, it will allow Crest to quickly ramp up or down their IT infrastructure on demand, depending on the workload.

IBM's digital content creation offering will enable Crest to simplify their operations and technical environment, making it possible for the company to lower the high cost of rendering (creating an image of objects designed in a three-dimensional modeling program) and significantly shorten the content creation cycle time.

IBM will help Crest evolve the way digitally animated movies are made by making the animation process faster, more effective and cost efficient through the use of on demand computer technology, Staes-Polet added.

As part of the solution, IBM is also providing a variable IBM Global Financing leasing program which allows Crest to better manage their costs without sacrificing the quality of the content or the time needed to create it. IBM has also offered Crest a variable payment model that leverages IBM Global Financing options.

Additionally, IBM Global Services will help Crest manage its IT investments and improve operations and performance with infrastructure and systems management services, business continuity and recovery services, technical support services, and maintenance services.

"IBM's Digital Content Creation solution enables us to simultaneously produce a number of computer-animated shows for our diverse client needs," Crest Communications CEO AK Madhavan said in the statement. Crest is currently negotiating with clients across the television, home video and theatrical space, in India and across the US and Europe.

The IBM Digital Content Creation solution is a comprehensive suite of IBM workstations, servers, software, storage and services all designed to support animators, special effects wizards and digital media producers.

Increasingly, animation companies in India are now looking at open source technology for developing their businesses. Apart from Crest, Bangalore based Jadoo Works is also using the open source engine for animation.

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