Autodesk announced yesterday that Discreet Flame was coming to the Linux platform, which was exciting news for the Flame community. Early Tuesday in Tokyo, the Autodesk Japan site posted information regarding Inferno for Linux being shown at InterBEE. In an fxpodcast exclusive, we speak with Bill Roberts of Autodesk about the recent introductions and get the real translation.

Updated Wednesday afternoon with exclusive fxPodcast

If flint is flinux, flame is flamux, inferno would be linferno. Whatever it’s called, it huge news for the Autodesk/Discreet community.

Why was it announced Tuesday? InterBEE 2005 opened in Chiba Prefecture outside of Tokyo. The conference is essentially the Japanese equivalent to North America’s NAB conference in Las Vegas. There are well over 70 inferno systems in Tokyo, where they are the preferred compositing system for television commercial work. So it is no surprise that the inferno announcement was made at this conference.

The inferno suite in IMAGICA's new Tokyo commercials facility. One of many inferno suites in the city.

IMAGICA recently opened a beautiful commercials facility in Tokyo which fxguide was fortunate to tour on its opening day. The facility is gorgeous….outfitted with telecine and several Autodesk systems, including an Inferno. The lack of a current and progressive inferno product was a concern in speaking with artists and facility managers in the city, as it is definitely the tool of choice for commerical work. The announcement today will surely make a huge impact on the market.


For the full and exclusive scoop, download and listen to our fxpodcast. This week we talk about the Linux products with Bill Roberts, Director of Product Management for Autodesk Media & Entertainment.

OK…so what exactly is this Inferno on Linux? It recognizes that Inferno holds a different and special place in the Tokyo post production market. For this reason, the product is only being offerred to the Japanese market. Inferno on Linux essentially shares the same creative workstation hardware of Flame on Linux in a special custom housing with some additional Japanese software. The workstation is bundled along with burn systems to speed background rendering, as well as the required integration software. The 20 CPU mention on the web site refers to the 4 CPUs of the workstation plus a 16 CPU burn render farm.

The product will not be offered outside the Japanese market, as Autodesk is still evaluating options for inferno around the world.

After the close of the US markets, Autodesk sent out a media advisory about the new Inferno on Linux product:

SAN RAFAEL, Calif., Nov. 16, 2005 – Autodesk, Inc. today announced a new configuration of its Academy Award-winning* Discreet Inferno visual effects system for the Japanese market. The system is designed to meet the specific platform performance and branding requirements of many Japanese post-production facilities.

The new Japanese configuration is being offered in addition to the currently shipping version of Discreet Inferno on an SGI Onyx 350 Visualization System. The new, Japan-only Discreet Inferno system runs on a dual-core IBM, AMD workstation with high-performance parallel server processing capabilities and several Japanese components.

The Discreet Inferno system has helped digital artists realize ideas for high-end film and television content, as well as commercials and television channel branding. It provides a fully interactive 3D compositing environment and advanced creative tools for video, standard-definition (SD) and high-definition (HD) TV and 2K digital cinema post production

“The Discreet Inferno brand has always represented ultimate performance and Autodesk is pleased to be able to tune the solution for specific market needs. It is particularly strong in Japan, and our Japanese customers’ workflow and performance requirements are unique,” said Bill Roberts, director of product management for Autodesk’s Media & Entertainment Division. “As a result, this platform alternative is suited to the Japanese market’s needs. It delivers compelling performance and throughput, particularly for project-based commercials work.”

Roberts added, “We have invested substantially to ensure that the Discreet Inferno software can extract maximum performance from many platforms; we continue to explore other platform options for this product, such as the newly announced Altix blade-based architecture from SGI. Our goal is to ensure that the creative power of Inferno software is available on the right platform for as many customers as possible.”

For general information on Autodesk’s Discreet systems, please visit For information on configurations and pricing, please contact Autodesk’s Media & Entertainment Division at 800-869-3504.

About Autodesk Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) is wholly focused on ensuring that great ideas are turned into reality. With six million users, Autodesk is the world’s leading software and services company for the manufacturing, building, infrastructure, wireless data services and media and entertainment fields. Autodesk’s solutions help customers create, manage and share their data and digital assets more effectively. As a result, customers turn ideas into competitive advantage by becoming more productive, streamlining project efficiency and maximizing profits. Founded in 1982, Autodesk is headquartered in San Rafael, California. For additional information about Autodesk, please visit

*In 1998, Autodesk’s Discreet Inferno and Discreet Flame systems designers won the Scientific and Engineering Academy Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Autodesk, Discreet and Inferno are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc./Autodesk Canada Co. in the USA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders.

(c) 2005 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved

We passed the Autodesk Japan web page through the translator at and you can read for yourself. The following is unedited from the translation:

Autodesk Media and Entertainment Japan web page

The automatic desk, announcing the Discreet ï½® Inferno ï½® where the Linux base is new

? You adopt the leading technology which shows best efficiency always, フューチャープルーフィング establishing the flagship in the high performance?

2005 November 16th

2005Year11Month16Day ? The automatic desk corporation media & entertainment division (Louis the Tokyo Chuo Ku Harumi general manager ジラルディン), overseas broadcasting equipment spreading/displaying (InterBEE 2005) being similar, the high ended visual effect systemDiscreet® Inferno®As a new model, new Inferno where the Linux operating system was designated as the base was announced. It is newInfernoBecause a higher performance is actualized as the product which conforms to the especially Japanese market, you adopt the various leading technologies which presently lead/read industry, in order to be able to show クリエイティビティ which compromise does not have the artist you are designed. As for the automatic desk, by the fact that the model whose Inferno which is the flagship system is new is thrown to the market, it materializes converts the creative idea of the artist, in the wonderful performance at the time of image producing in the post production of the film and video. New Linux based Inferno with the InterBEE 2005 automatic desk booth (# 7105) has done demonstration.

It is newInfernoIt is feature of the former system RGB 4: where4:4 dual links HD and SD real time video I/O, 12-bit frame store bit depth and 64-bit architecture that way, loaded 20 CPU newly, it is the epoch-making turn key system. By the fact that powerful private high performance parallel server processing function is loaded, process time with respect to work flow with the single system is shortened substantially. Substantial speed up is assured the high speed due to the dual core technology of advancement CPU and high performance with graphic technology, and the optimization of the software for those, in the operativity of user feedback and module. With the early benchmark test where the automatic desk goes, as for the Linux based new model, improvement of substantial operation time has been shown by comparison with the Onyx2 Infinite Reality2 based old model.

Automatic desk media&Entertainment product management directorBill RobertsYou have commented as follows. “This it is newInfernoIt is the system which corresponds to the needs of the especially Japanese market. Splendid performance and throughput are offered at the time of image producing where production is done in the project base. The automatic desk with other several candidacy, selling this Inferno new model with world wide is in the midst of examining. ”
InfernoThe merit in the new model

LinuxThe operating system was designated as the base,InfernoMerit:

Wonderful performance:AMD OpteronThe high-speed processing due to dual core technology and,NVIDIAWith the image processing efficiency of the graphic card, high speed offering user feedback and module performance. FurthermoreIntel XeonIt loads the powerful private high performance parallel server processing function which consists of, application work flow by the fact that it accelerates, shortening the period to project end substantially. For these performance improvements, total20CPUIt loads. In addition4KAnd so on by the fact that the high resolution picture is handled without stress, as for the artist pursuit of クリエイティビティ which does not have compromise is possible.

フューチャープルーフィング: Adopting the advanced technology which shows best efficiency. One after another, even in the technological innovation which designates the work station technology which evolves as the base, is developed in high speed, as for the user in the high cost performance following possibility. Up-to-dateCPU、GPUMaking use of network technology, videoI/OTo include also storage, be able to upgrade at the component unit, investment of the user long-term protection.

DI Ready: It is newLinuxBaseInfernoWith option high performance network attached storage(Network Attached Storage)SystemInfernoWay it can include inside, the design. Installation is easy, although the “turn key system” being, being inclusive, altitudeDIAs the early system which starts the construction of environment the optimum.


We’ll post more details here as they become available….

Thanks so much for reading our article.

We've been a free service since 1999 and now rely on the generous contributions of readers like you. If you'd like to help support our work, please join the hundreds of others and become an fxinsider member.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.