When you go see a movie premiere, like, say, DreamWorks Animation’s “Puss in Boots,” you expect to see people like Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek sauntering down the red carpet. But what about all the people that are making the actual animation happen? You know, the teams of animators and engineers that spent hours working on computers to bring these movies to life. In 3D, no less.
Well, the Z800 Workstation – and its entourage – had a moment on the red carpet for Puss in Boots.
Here’s an example of what you’d find on average animator’s desk:
INSIDE THE Z800 WORKSTATION:
Two Intel (Westmere) Xeon X5670 2.93 GHz 6-Core Processors (for a total of 12 cores)
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.0
nVidia Quadro FX4800 graphics card
Two 300GB 15000rpm SAS Drives
24” DreamColor Color Accurate Display – 1900 X 1200
24” Stereo Display – 1900 X 1200
Wacom Cintiq tablets
I look at that spec list and imagine what I’d do with that kind of power. (Oh, who am I kidding? GAMES!) It’s these sorts of machines that allowed artists to create complex tornados and cloudscapes, the furry cast and everything in-between.
Beyond what’s on their desks, HP also provided the networking backbone to pull all the pieces together. One part that seemed kinda neat (to me, at least) is how DreamWorks Animation worked in the cloud – HP Cloud Services, to be precise. Out of the 63 million hours of rendering time required for the new movie, eight million were rendered using HP Cloud Services, which represented 45 percent of the studio’s overall cloud computing needs. (I have no inside knowledge of this, but I sure hope that they threw in at least one LOLcats reference in one of those rendered scenes.)
If you’re heading out to the theaters this weekend, think for a second about all the horsepower required in the background in order to even make movies like this possible. And the guys that made it happen.