Academy for Creative Media announces completion of animation render farm at Leeward Community College

Technology will facilitate digital art advancements for students throughout Hawaii

University of Hawaiʻi
Tom Brislin, (808) 956-3788
Academy for Creative Media
Kristen Bonilla, (808) 956-5039
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: Oct 6, 2006

HONOLULU — Hawaiʻi students at all levels of the educational pipeline—from elementary school through graduate studies—and particularly those in digital media education programs throughout the state now have the latest technology at their fingertips as the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa‘s Academy for Creative Media (ACM) announces the installation of a powerful animation render farm in partnership with PipelineFX, the makers of Qube!™ software.

Housed at Leeward Community College, the rack of multiple, networked servers is controlled by special management software that efficiently assigns and monitors animation projects, greatly multiplying available computer time for students and boosting productivity.

The project is considered to be "the inaugural initiative to demonstrate the promise of the Academy for Creative Media systemwide," said ACM Director Chris Lee. "Since many programs in the state, including Leeward Community College, ACM and Waiʻanae High School, will be sharing this resource, we expect the system to have a major impact on Hawaiʻi‘s digital media education system and the length and quality of work that students are able to produce."

The animation render farm project is made possible by a generous donation from PipelineFX, makers of Qube!™ software, the leading render farm management system for film production, game development, and digital media programs around the world. The company is contributing hardware, software, installation and training, as well as support funds for the specialized computer facility.

"PipelineFX is thrilled to support such a leading-edge deployment of digital media resources for education programs in our home state," said PipelineFX CEO Troy Brooks. "Rendering really is the bottleneck for many animation and graphics programs. This state-of-the-art render farm with seamless remote connectivity provides the number crunching power to increase the complexity and detail of local students‘ work to a professional level."

Other generous supporters of the $200,000 ACM project include the James and Abigail Campbell Foundation, Ko ʻOlina Foundation and Hollywood director Roland Emmerich.

The animation render farm is a bank of over 50 computers that provides the necessary but time consuming task of converting modeling and animation data input by an artist into actual animated images, a task that has made possible movies such as "Finding Nemo" and the special effects for "Superman Returns." What would normally take an individual computer 24 hours to process can now be accomplished by the animation render farm in less than one hour, which means that existing classroom computers can be used by more students.

The ACM Animation Render Farm is accessible through broadband access and will initially serve Leeward, Kapiʻolani and Honolulu Community Colleges as well as UH Mānoa, and public high school media programs such as Waiʻanae High School‘s Searider Productions. Because of its accessibility via the Internet, any public or private school digital media program is invited to utilize the facility.

Qube!™ is used by world-class studios around the globe, including South Park Studios, Electronic Arts, Buena Vista Games, Liberty Entertainment — DKP Toronto, Reel FX, Guava Graphics, and Radical Entertainment. The software is also utilized by numerous educational institutions around the world, including the School of Visual Arts in New York; Carleton University School of Architecture in Ontario, Canada; Full Sail in Orlando, Florida; University of Advancing Technology in Tempe, Arizona; University of Teesside in the United Kingdom; The Pratt Institute in New York; and now the UH Academy for Creative Media.


ACM was established by the UH Board of Regents in 2004 to create degree programs in filmmaking, computer animation, and video game design, and to coordinate resources in digital media for the UH system. ACM emphasizes story telling across multiple platforms of digital media and within a context of cultural and aesthetic values. It is one of the few programs in the nation developing an indigenous filmmaking course of study. For more information about ACM, visit .


With headquarters in Honolulu, PipelineFX was founded in 2002 and produces Qube!™, software that manages thousands of simultaneous 3D graphics programming tasks on large clusters of computer servers called render farms. Originally built for Square USA‘s groundbreaking film, "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within," the first fully-animated feature film, Qube!™ has patent-pending techniques for batch queuing, process control, and render farm management. The PipelineFX team has direct experience working on some of the film industry‘s largest 3D animated movies. PipelineFX provides its customers with 24 x 7 phone and email technical support. For more information about PipelineFX, visit .

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