Lenovo ThinkStations Transform Special Effects in Transformers 3

Lenovo ThinkStations Transform Special Effects in Transformers 3

Kerry Troester is a marketing manager for Lenovo’s ThinkStation workstations.  With a passion for both art and technology, Kerry enjoys seeing the two blend together in animated film.

Both my parents are artists, so I grew up surrounding by creativity and color.  That’s why I enjoy seeing how Lenovo ThinkStation customers push the limits of our computers - creating cutting-edge animation and games.  I have been lucky enough to work with Allen Bolden, founder of Bit Theory, to learn how they used Lenovo ThinkStations to create many of the great effects shown in this summer’s blockbuster, Transformers 3.

Bit Theory is a Lenovo ThinkStation customer that uses our C20 and D20 workstations. As background, Bit Theory is a leading visual effects company based in southern California. Bit Theory creates high-end computer generated (CG) images and animations using a proprietary CG animation software engine known as “Athena” to develop animation used in video and film productions.   Allen developed Athena to automate key parts of the animation and rendering process that are labor, hardware, software, and capital intensive.

Bit Theory was one of the companies that worked on the production of Transformers 3 primarily around the conversion of the 2D movie to a 3D format.  It seems like nearly every movie has a 3D version these days! They used C20s and D20s for rotoscoping, which is the process by which animators trace over live-action film, frame-by-frame, for use in animated film.

Here's an example of the work they did on the Lenovo ThinkStations. They had to select images on film, remove the image and then recreate the background around it in 3D as seen on the clip.  This process is called ‘clean-plating’.

If you’ve seen the movie in 3D, you know Bit Theory had great results with their Lenovo ThinkStations. I love to hear from happy customers, so hearing that:  “Our C20’s never let us down,” and “Our other workstations crumbled under the workload but we were always happy with the C20s performance,” from  Allen Bolden, Founder and Chief Architect at Bit Theory, is music to my ears.

I enjoyed working with Bit Theory and seeing the painstaking efforts it takes to get things just right.  When I watch my next animated film, I will have a much better understanding and appreciation of the hours that go in to making their art come alive.