Comment on The IDEA

"Silicon Graphics @ India"

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a comment from Ajit Rajkumar, E-Animation Artist


Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI) has been around in India for quite sometime now, but exactly how many of us were aware of it was still a point to be contemplated upon ~ that is, until recently. With the entry of SGI into the PC-platform marketplace, they have now very simply ensured a better chance at survival into the next millieneum with a firm shot at top-of-the-mind awareness for (at least) graphics professionals around the world.

It's been a pivotal strategic move by SGI to launch the new 320 range of machines prior to Intel's introduction of the Pentium 3 series of processors. With this, they've entered into a field with which most computer-users around the world are already familiar. However, these are machines which were first used by the US military for simulations of situations such as the Gulf War. Their potential was then understood and utilised in the entertaintment industry by major film producers such as Steven Speildberg in movies like Jurassic park ~ which took the world of graphic entertainment onto a wholly new plane, largely undreamt of before.

Till very recently, these were "state-of-the-art" machines that were inaccessible to the common small-time graphics professionals and companies, but with the launch of the 320 range SGI has now put within reach of this large section of budding creative individuals, access to cutting-edge technology. Beyond just ensuring a revival of growth for the company's dimished client-base, ~at least in India,~ the move will probably also contribute to the very survival of SGI as a graphics-platform major into the new millenium.

The launch of softwares such as Maya for the PC platform may be expected to also have the same effect on the psyche of the graphic artists and industry in countries like India on the whole. Earlier, people in the industry (let alone the general computer-user) were not very aware of softwares like (e.g.) Alias PowerAnimator, but now with the advent of Maya on the Windows NT platform, powerful animation softwares are becoming very common knowledge and are also now accessible to a very large section of the people in the creative new-media industry. Maya has in fact brought the power of new-age graphics right to the doorsteps of the common man, and all the visual effects that were earlier restricted to a few people with access to "high-end" softwares and hardwares are now available to almost anyone with creativity and drive.

The upshot of the whole transition is that the criterion for excellence will now only be Creativity,.. and not accessibility or inaccessibility to power-softwares and hardware. Over the coming years, this should contribute hugely to a rise in our whole standard of animation and graphics,.. which will now never again be bound by insurmountable resource-constraints.

I believe we are in the process of a subtle but sure revolution for the good! Let us therefore dare to dream beyond the so-called boundaries of our own creativity and imagination!