DreamWorks “Turbo” Accelerated By HP

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DreamWorks Animation has used HP’s converged infrastructure portfolio to develop cutting-edge animations for its latest film, “Turbo”. HP (HPQ) and DreamWorks (DWA) have been partners for many years, with HP solutions helping to power films such as Rise of the Guardians, Shrek, How to Train Your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda, and Madagascar.

“DreamWorks Animation’s strategic alliance with HP ensured that we had the high-performance computing, continuous availability and streamlined management capabilities needed to accurately depict Turbo’s dream of becoming the world’s fastest racer,” said Derek Chan, head of Technology Global Operations, DreamWorks Animation. “HP’s advanced Converged Infrastructure portfolio enabled our artists and engineers to create the highest-quality picture possible.”

 75 million render hours

DreamWorks animators use HP Z800 and Z820 workstations with Intel Xeon E5 processors, a HP FlexNetwork architecture, and HP networking to simplify collaboration among artists. To create fully realized images including 32 Indy 500 race cars and 32 million crowd character instances the production of “Turbo” required 75 million render hours. Rendering demands for “Turbo” was completed with ProLiant Generation 8 servers, which increased render throughput by approximately 40 percent and performance per watt by approximately 42 percent. This allowed DreamWorks to render an average of 500,000 jobs a day. DreamWorks Animation utilized HP Enterprise Cloud Services to provide a robust, scalable, cloud-based infrastructure that offers the additional compute power needed to render the 10 CG films that are in production at any given time.

Additional HP converged infrastructure used in the making of “Turbo” included 3PAR StoreServ storage, archiving with HP StoreAll 9730 Storage, simplified network management with HP Intelligent Resilient Framework (IRF) and HP BladeSystem c7000. Artists and engineers were required to protect and conveniently access 230 terabytes of files that make up the film. When not in use by creative teams, workstation processing power was used to run nighttime rendering jobs, contributing to the millions of compute hours needed to produce the movie.

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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