HP Hardware, DreamWorks Animators Team On “Rise of the Guardians”

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DreamWorks’ animated “Rise of the Guardians” features more than 130,000 individual computer-generated frames. The company used HP hardware to render these scenes.

In the world of digital animation, the status quo just doesn’t cut it. “Our goal is to push the limits of what is possible in digital animation and storytelling,” said Derek Chan, head, Global Technology Operations, DreamWorks Animation SKG.

To keep its technology at the cutting edge for its new 3-D animated film Rise of the Guardians, Dreamworks (DWA) collaborated with long-term partner HP (HPQ). Dreamworks has used HP’s converged infrastructure and cloud services for producing digital animation for past feature films such as ShrekHow to Train Your DragonKung Fu PandaMadagascar and Puss in Boots. For “Rise of the Guardians” DreamWorks again used HP Converged Infrastructure that included HP Cloud Services, HP Z Workstations, HP DreamColor displays, HP Networking and HP Proliant server solutions, HP Managed Print Services and digital rendering resources.

“Using HP Converged Infrastructure technologies, we increase the functionality that allows our artists to create more innovative animation with every film,” said Chain.

The 97 minute “Rise of the Guardians” movie is comprised of more than 130,000 individual computer-generated frames, and stored on more than 250 terabytes of storage. A total of 3 petabytes of HP storage was used to facilitate data protection and archiving, and the storing of reference data. The studio collaborated with HP to create a dynamic storage infrastructure that can scale storage and performance across geographies to meet the studio’s needs and future growth. HP Z800 and Z820 high-performance workstations with Intel Xeon E5 processors processed over 1 million render jobs, with the total production taking more than 65,000 million render hours. HP BladeSystem servers with ProLiant BL460c server blades enabled the studio to render more efficiently and effectively.

HP Flexible Compute Cloud Service was used, providing 20 percent of total rendering in 2012, up from 5 percent in 2010. As digital resource demands continue to increase from production to production, HP has helped the studio to stay within their existing data center footprint—eliminating a multimillion dollar physical expansion, while continuing to provide the needed resources to meet artistic demands.

About the Author

John Rath is a veteran IT professional and regular contributor at Data Center Knowledge. He has served many roles in the data center, including support, system administration, web development and facility management.

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