Technology

Our Technology

Introduction

Our status as a world-class visual effects facility has been achieved through the development of industry-leading software, which empowers our artists to create stunning visual effects. We provide an infrastructure that enables multiple projects with thousands of shots to be simultaneously completed across the globe efficiently and with the highest quality.

Technology

MPC has a rich history of technical innovation. We recognise that it’s the partnership of leading creativity and technology that delivers spectacular results. We are committed to technology in service of creativity and are constantly exploring new approaches to deliver higher quality.

We have a talented team and many of the leading technologists in the industry started their careers at MPC. Our recent focus has been on artist productivity and the challenge of collaboration across different time zones.

We partner with hardware and software vendors who understand the unique requirements of large scale VFX production.

We are always looking for talented individuals to join the team, be it in Systems, Imaging, Software or Research. There are great opportunities at MPC to make a real difference and create new opportunities for your career.

Click on the MORE tab above to find out more about our Technology and Software teams as well as accessing papers, talks and interviews.

Our infrastructure

The creation and delivery of a large volume of high-end visual effects requires rapid turnaround of significant quantities of data 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our computing infrastructure is critical to the success of the movies we work on.

Our philosophy is to allow scalability with a strict focus on efficiency. We are always interested in how we can reduce render times and data requirements without impacting on visual quality. 

Being more efficient means we can be more agile, provide quicker turnaround, more iterations to our clients and reduce the environmental impact of our technology infrastructure. We don't measure our render farm by the number of CPU cores but by how many frames we can render.

We are a global company and have a secure high speed global network to enable seamless collaboration and asset sharing across time zones.

The Software

Our Software team combines award winning, third party software with our own tools and technologies to create powerful and innovative solutions to the most challenging visual effects requirements. Our developers create software, which addresses the needs of clients in today’s constantly evolving visual effects environment. 



Because of the unique requirements of high-end, large-scale production, we often need to build our own software. We have built a considerable portfolio of artist tools, all linking back to core asset management and CG pipeline.

 We have a dedicated team working on various different areas, including rendering, animation, fur and destruction.


Alice:

ALICE stands for Artificial LIfe Crowd Engine. Our in-house crowd software was created originally for Troy in 2004 and has been used in over 30 films. ALICE enables artists to manage crowd behaviour, motion clip editing and blending, and customised scripting for large groups of agents, and is one of MPC's flagship software products.



Further Reading: A System for Crowd Rendering (SIGGRAPH 2006)


Packaging:

Packaging is MPC's asset management system which enables us to handle hundreds of thousands of assets across multiple shows and our five global facilities seamlessly and efficiently. Originally developed for Poseidon in 2005, Packaging has continuously evolved to meet the growing demands of our productions and clients.



Further Reading: A Pipeline For 800+ Shots (SIGGRAPH 2008)



Further Reading: Managing thousands of assets for the Prince of Persia city of Alamut (SIGGRAPH 2010)


Kali:

Kali is MPC’s finite element tool destruction set, originally developed for Sucker Punch in 2011. Named after the Hindu god of destruction, it has quickly become one of our primary tools for film FX work. Based on the DMM engine from Pixelux, Kali continues to find new uses in our FX toolset.


Pronto:

Pronto is MPC's internal production management software. It is deeply integrated into our business from initial bidding, global resource planning and scheduling, to final delivery. It enables our production teams to analyse past shows to increase efficiency and devise more accurate bids for new shows. Pronto is a fully-integrated web application, taking advantage of the latest web technologies and pushing the limits of data handling and display within the browser.


Furtility:

Furtility is MPC's technology for creating photorealistic hair, fur, feathers, vegetation, and other fibres like clothing and ropes. The first version was written in 2005 for 10,000 BC and was fully re-written for The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian in 2006. It has since been used on most of our film and advertising work, and remains one of our key technologies for creating our visual effects.



Further Reading: Furtility: Dynamic Grooming for Wolfman (SIGGRAPH 2010)



Further Reading: Feathers for Mystical Creatures: Creating Pegasus for Clash of the Titans (SIGGRAPH 2010)


Flowline:

Our main fluid simulation tool, licensed through a long-standing partnership with Scanline VFX. Originally used on Poseidon in 2005, it allows us to direct and simulate a wide range of fluid effects

Our global family of studios are all permanently connected and networked through an integrated production pipeline, allowing our team of artists and technologists to work closely together on shared projects whether they are in the same building or working remotely from separate locations.