AMD Technology Allows Studio to Slice Through Special Effects Work in New “Machete” Film

Robert Rodriguez harnesses the power of AMD hardware to revitalize the action genre
SUNNYVALE, Calif. 9/1/2010

AMD (NYSE: AMD) today unveiled its close collaboration with Troublemaker Studios to produce the striking visual effects for the action epic “Machete”, a project for the studio that saw the Troublemaker team finalize more than 500 shots, a personal best made possible with AMD graphics and computing technology. Directed and conceived by Robert Rodriguez (director of “Predators”, “Sin City”, and “Shorts”), and featuring an all-star cast including Danny Trejo, Robert De Niro, Lindsay Lohan and Jessica Alba, “Machete” is set to revitalize the action genre.

Described by Rodriguez as a “spaghetti western for day laborers,” the film centers on a former Mexican ex-Federale named Machete, who after being setup, embarks on a quest to seek revenge and clear his name. From start to finish, Troublemaker Studios made use of a unique combination of AMD’s graphics and computing technologies to bring the film to life, pioneering new special effects techniques while cutting down on production time and cost.

“I’ve had the idea for ‘Machete’ since meeting Danny Trejo while filming ‘Desperado’ in 1993, and it’s only now after years of refining that idea combined with the advancements in AMD technology, that I’ve been able to bring my creative vision to life in the way I truly envisaged it,” said Robert Rodriguez, co-owner, Troublemaker Studios. “The incredible developments in AMD platform technology continue to fuel my creativity, driving me to push it to its limits. In fact, I’ve made plans to incorporate AMD’s Fusion Render technology into the production of my next film ‘Spy Kids 4’.”

AMD technology was integral to realizing Rodriguez’s vision for “Machete”:

  • Breaking Troublemaker Studio’s personal record: For “Machete”, Troublemaker Studios made use of a unique mix of high-performance AMD hardware, including AMD FirePro™ V8800 professional graphics accelerators and six-core AMD Opteron™ processor-based workstations to produce the film on a compressed schedule. A team of ten artists with a post-production period of only six months accomplished 500 final shots with AMD’s platform technology, a personal best for Rodriguez and his Troublemaker Studios team.
  • Packing more action in: The Troublemaker Studios team worked to fill the scenes of “Machete” with an incredible level of detail using AMD-based graphics workstations. Extensive set damage, a huge number of bullet holes, and wide-ranging set extensions were all added digitally to give the action movie even more bang for its buck, while sophisticated particle simulations helped more accurately render realistic blood spatters that interact with each other, the actors and objects in the environment.
  • Working at the “speed of thought”: “Machete” is a return to the guerrilla-style movie making that made Rodriguez famous, incorporating a myriad of mediums and film-making techniques all of which had to come together seamlessly to achieve Rodriguez’s artistic vision. AMD workstations served as the technological glue that brought everything together. Shots from three different digital camera models, one film camera, camera tracking work using PFTrack, 3D special effects work using Softimage, and compositing work using Nuke, all came together through AMD’s professional grade technology to produce a film that looks as though it has a blockbuster budget.

“Leading graphics and workstation technologies from AMD opened a new world of possibilities for Troublemaker Studios, allowing them to deliver a volume and quality of special effects shots for ‘Machete’ that they’ve never been able to before,” said Charlie Boswell, director of Digital Media and Entertainment at AMD. “With six-core AMD Opteron™ processors and ATI FirePro™ V8800 graphics solutions, Robert and his Troublemaker Studios team have delivered a look and vibe as distinct as the plot itself.”

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Contact Information
Dave Erskine
AMD Global Product Communications
905-882-2600 x8477
Dave.Erskine@amd.com

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