80 Million Hours of Digital Rendering Produce “The Croods”


DreamWorks Animation SKG and HP have a long history of pushing the boundaries of hardware and animation innovation with a partnership that delivers computing power  to render digital effects for films such as “Rise of the Guardians” and “Kung Fu Panda 2.” DreamWorks’ latest movie, “The Croods,”pushed the boundaries of high-performance workloads, requiring more than 80 million render hours to generate visual images from 3-D models.

HP said its  converged infrastructure rose to the challenge, enabling DreamWorks Animation to render the large amount of data required to produce the film. The studio increased render capabilities to an average of 500,000 jobs a day with the use of HP ProLiant BL460c Gen8 server blades.

“Cutting-edge digital manufacturing requires a huge amount of compute power and orchestrated collaboration across our studios,” said Derek Chan, head, Technology Global Operations, DreamWorks Animation (DWA). “HP Converged Infrastructure ensures that our filmmakers have the technical resources they require to bring their creative vision to life and deliver amazing films to our audiences.”

Serving as a foundation for the new movie were HP servers, storage, networking, services, management software and workstations, as well as HP printers and digital rendering.  DreamWorks relied on ProLiant servers and HP Enterprise Services in render farms across four geographic locations.

Additionally, HP Z820 workstations with dual Intel Xeon processors helped artists work on large, complex scenes, HP Z800 workstations were used  in the new DreamWorks Animation state-of-the-art recording studio, and HP Remote Graphics Software allowed  artists across studios in Glendale, Redwood City and Bangalore to collaborate in real time on a single desktop display.

HP hardware, software and services were used from start to finish in the making of “The Croods”, building on a relationship with DreamWorks that began in 2001. Through that relationship DreamWorks takes advantage of HP FlexNetwork architecture, HP Managed Print Services, HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage, HP Remote Intelligent Management Center, and HP DreamColor professional displays and printers.

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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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