Pixelution has installed a new studio infrastructure for Cornwall-based animation company Spider Eye to aid with production of the new pre-school Disney series Jungle Junction.

The systems integrator and reseller has added two HD editing suites, a 160-core render farm and two 16 terabyte servers.

Also included in the deal are twenty nine workstations (12 high-end and 17 mid-range) and a gigabit laser-link between two of Spider Eye's premises in Cornwall. (For a full tech spec see below).

The custom-built set-up will underpin the 52 x 11-minute Disney Playhouse series which follows the adventures of a group of characters that are part-animal and part wheeled-vehicle.

Spider Eye managing director, Morgan Francis said that there is pressure to make sure the production goes without a hitch and this influenced his decision to choose a systems integration specialist rather than a straight ‘box-shifter.'

“This is the first TV series to be commissioned by Playhouse Disney outside of the US and as such puts quite a burden on Spider Eye to ensure a very smooth production,” he said. “Part of our strategy was to avoid large bulk resellers.”

The whole installation will be completed next week when the final parts are delivered to Cornwall.

Jungle Junction, created by Shaun the Sheep writer Trevor Ricketts, is being produced using Softimage and Lightwave and is likely to air from Spring 2009.

Tech spec

All the workstations are custom built and promoted under the generic label Pixbox.

The high end Pixbox workstations
Dual Intel Xeon 5420 systems, 12 GB RAM, nVidia FX4600 graphics, 146 SAS system disk, 24" monitor.

The mid-range Pixbox Shuttles
Intel 9300 quad core Shuttle systems (small form factor), 8 GB RAM, nvidia FX1700 graphics, 250 GB SATA system disk, 24" monitor

The edit suites
Pixbox workstation based, this time with dual Intel 5450 quad core processors. Storage is provided by 2U Infortrend fibrechannel RAID array. The workstation and RAID array are housed in an acoustic cabinet to cut down noise. Broadcast video monitor by TVLogic (LVM241WG). Logic keyboard, shuttle controller, running Adobe CS3.

The Render farm
10 units of the Pixbox 1U Twin system - 16 cores in 1U of space - plus rack, network switch etc. Each 1U system has four Intel 5420 quad core processors and 32 GB of RAM.

The servers
Custom built under the 'qNAS' label, they are 4U systems with 16 x 1 TB SATA disks with hardware RAID controllers, multiple gigabit connections, 'Open-e' NAS operating system.