Nickelodeon Creates Original Movie In-House with Dell Workstations

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Did you spend as much time watching television over the holidays as I did? If so, then you might have caught Nickelodeon’s first original animated TV movie, Albert. In the film, Bobby Moynihan (from “Saturday Night Live”) is the voice of a little Douglas fir tree named Albert who wants to become the Empire City tree.

 A Nickelodeon employee works on the Albert movie using Dell Precision workstation and Dell monitors

Albert’s 3.1 million total viewers in Live+7 (which in TV ratings talk means the number of viewers within seven days of first showing) helped Nickelodeon finish 2016 as the number-one kid’s network for the year, according to numbers released last week.

Even if you were one of those millions of viewers, I bet you likely missed the story about how Dell Precision 5810 workstations helped them bring their first 45-minute movie to life, though.

“Using the Dell Precision with NVIDIA Quadro M6000 graphics cards has allowed us to stay competitive with overseas studios because we’re able to turn around results much faster and we’re able to keep a smaller team longer and be more efficient,” said Jason Meier, animation director at Nickelodeon, in the video below.

The combination of Dell Precision workstations with NVIDIA graphics cards and Redshift software, which leverages a computer’s graphics card rather than its CPU, enabled Nickelodeon’s in-house team to see render times that they’d never been able to see before. While it used to take two-three hours to see a final frame, Meier said they were able to do it in just a half hour.

“This movie in particular, doing as much work as we’re doing in-house, keeping as much work in Los Angeles, in the United States, has been a huge game changer,” said Macgregor Middleton, producer at Nickelodeon. “And I think showing people that it can be done at a reasonable price with a reasonable timeline is something that people are going to be most impressed with.”

So while many of us enter the new year with plans to decrease our spending and do more with less (especially less holiday treats), the team at Nickelodeon already has a head start on such resolutions. Dell workstations like the ones they used for Albert are designed with creators and their visions top-of-mind; and, we’ve got more great products for creative professionals coming soon. (Hint: #ces2017)

And if you missed it, or just want to hold on to that Christmas spirit and watch it again, the full Albert movie is available on Nick.com!

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