Isilon Systems announced that James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment, the production company behind such films as “Abyss,” “Terminator” and “Titanic,” deployed Isilon scale-out NAS to power the production of its major motion picture “Avatar”. To create “Avatar,” Lightstorm Entertainment employed an all-digital virtual filming environment with leading edge, performance capture technology and Pace/Cameron’s Fusion Camera System to create a 3D movie experience unlike any yet produced. Using Isilon IQ, Lightstorm was able to unify, manage and access vast stores of unique, extremely high resolution 3D content from a single, high-performance, highly scalable, shared pool of storage – accelerating and simplifying its entire digital workflow from the virtual environment’s creation, to live-action motion capture and 3D convergence.

“Our unique and highly demanding workflow created terabytes of data on a weekly and even daily basis, necessitating a storage solution with the scalability and high performance to efficiently manage our data and accelerate production,” said Jon Landau, producer at Lightstorm Entertainment. “Isilon is so hands off, we simply turn it on and go to work.”

The “Avatar” production generated terabytes of data in various formats, including massive digital files used in creating “Avatar’s” all-digital, virtual filming environment, small metadata and instructional files, still frames for review, and large media files from Avid systems. Prior to using Isilon IQ, Lightstorm’s traditional storage system lacked the concurrent performance, scalability and ease of management necessary to support “Avatar’s” intense production pipeline. By deploying Isilon clustered storage, Lightstorm achieved the flexibility to shoot hundreds of takes of any given scene and then immediately access this content from one, highly reliable, easily scalable file system, significantly reducing workflow complexity and accelerating production. Additionally, Isilon’s unique “pay as you grow” architecture enabled Lightstorm to create massive amounts of content without storage capacity limitations, speeding time-to-results while saving valuable time and resources.

“High-definition, 3D filmmaking is the next phase in the evolution of motion pictures and represents an unprecedented opportunity for Hollywood to capture audiences like never before,” said Sam Grocott, senior director of product management, Isilon Systems. “Lightstorm’s ‘Avatar’ is pioneering this next generation of filmmaking and its never-before-attempted production techniques have laid the groundwork for the rest of Hollywood to follow its lead.”