REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 31, 2005 — Microsoft Corp. and Digital Dimension, a four-time Emmy Award-winning visual effects and animation studio, today announced that Digital Dimension used Microsoft
technologies to create the visual effects for the opening sequence of Super Bowl XXXIX. When the Philadelphia Eagles meet the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 6, an estimated 140 million viewers worldwide will see one minute of cutting-edge visuals that were developed using Microsoft Windows Server System (TM) .
“We are currently implementing Windows Server System and customizing it for our unique needs for many reasons: total integration, performance and collaboration capabilities unheard of on any other platform,” said Ben Girard, president and founder of Digital Dimension, which was named one of 10 digital studios to “storm the world” in 2005 by 3D World Magazine. “When it comes to truly understanding the needs of studios in today’s new Digital Age, Microsoft gets it.”
“The visual effects production market is booming,” said Gerry Kaufhold, principal analyst with In-Stat. “But major networks need to keep tight control on what’s being done, and the timelines for creating memorable images are constantly shrinking. Digital Dimension solved both of these problems by making extensive use of Microsoft’s entire range of collaboration and image production products and services. By using Windows® SharePoint®
Services, Windows Server System and the Microsoft .NET Framework, Digital Dimension was able to push its exciting new Super Bowl sequences through the process with tremendous speed.”
Digital Dimension, whose highly acclaimed visual effects have appeared in numerous movies, including “Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed” and “The Last Samurai” starring Tom Cruise, has a reputation for leaving audiences amazed. Since the company’s inception in 1997, Digital Dimension’s workload has tripled every year, creating a serious challenge for the successful company. Digital Dimension managers and artists needed a powerful collaborative workflow environment to manage the enormous volume of information required to create, review, revise, finalize and return to FOX Broadcasting Co the many scenes that make up the computer-generated sequence.
Digital Dimension developed a customized solution based on Microsoft technologies to create that environment, which allowed the company to reap the following benefits during the production process:
High volumes of information were managed more efficiently. The use of Windows SharePoint Services enabled Digital Dimension to create an integrated information “dashboard” for sharing notes, collaborating on projects and managing workflow with greater efficiency.
Mobile interactivity was enabled. To accommodate the mobility of many of its project managers, Digital Dimension provided each project manager with a Tablet PC with wireless network connectivity. Using the Tablet PC made it even easier for project managers to interact with key information — anywhere, anytime.
Production costs were reduced. Digital Dimension built its entire production environment on Windows Server System-integrated software and .NET Framework-based solutions, creating a coherent information technology (IT) framework that was easy to use, integrate and support.
Customer satisfaction was improved. Deploying Windows SharePoint Services created a cost-effective collaborative workflow environment, enabling Digital Dimension to yield impressive efficiencies and better respond to its clients.
“For studios wishing to maintain a competitive edge, it’s become increasingly important to keep up with technology advances,” said Kimberly Till, vice president of the Worldwide Media & Entertainment Group at Microsoft. “Digital Dimension’s workflow environment, achieved by using Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services, Windows Server System and .NET Framework-based solutions, is an example of how the Microsoft platform enables innovation and extraordinary entertainment experiences.”
“Collaboration, efficiency and visual impact — these are the winning factors behind our Super Bowl success,” Girard said. “With Windows SharePoint Services and Windows Server System, we were able to create a unified production environment that made it faster and easier to manage vast amounts of information throughout the production of the Super Bowl’s opening visual effects sequence.”
About Windows Server System
Microsoft Windows Server System is integrated server software providing the infrastructure for IT operations, application development, integration and information work. Built on the Windows Server (TM) operating system and designed with Common Engineering Criteria, Windows Server System is focused on making it easier for IT professionals to connect and manage their IT environments. Because Windows Server System products are integrated for enhanced manageability and security, they help organizations reduce complexity and lower costs. All Windows Server System products support open industry standards including those based on XML to promote interoperability with other platforms. More information on Windows Server System can be found online at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem .
About Digital Dimension
Located blocks away from Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank, Calif., Digital Dimension specializes in 3-D animation, motion graphics and visual effects for the film, television and interactive industries. The company, founded in 1997, has earned a Visual Effects Society Award and four Emmy Awards, as well as wide acclaim for providing innovative animated computer imagery. Currently, Digital Dimension is in production on its first CG short feature film using the Microsoft Windows platform. For more information, please visit http://www.digitaldimension.com .
About Microsoft’s Worldwide Media & Entertainment Group
The Microsoft Worldwide Media & Entertainment Group is a vertical organization within Microsoft that helps media and entertainment companies implement tailored enterprise solutions to meet the industry’s unique business and IT needs. Innovative Microsoft technologies enable tier-one service and solution providers to deliver integrated enterprise solutions that help media and entertainment companies increase their efficiency and effectiveness and enhance the consumer experience. More information can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/mediaandentertainment .
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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