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HP Expands Deal With DreamWorks, Cleans Up Classic at WB

HP has announced an expanded relationship with DreamWorks and a new deal with Warner Bros. to clean up the image quality of Technicolor films in Warner Bros. library.

HP and DreamWorks will team on new technologies for off-site animation rendering and remote collaboration. Built on a technology partnership that began in 2001, the collaboration provides DreamWorks Animation with state-of-the-art technology solutions from HP, which will be used on SHREK 2, SHARK TALE, MADAGASCAR and the NBC computer-animated TV series, FATHER OF THE PRIDE.

HP's Utility Rendering Service (URS), developed by HP in close collaboration with DreamWorks, provides a simple, flexible and scalable solution to manage the enormous amount of computational power that is needed to render high-quality film animation. Working closely with HP, DreamWorks developed the Virtual Studio Collaboration (VSC) project to address the need to connect geographically dispersed teams and provide advanced collaboration capabilities.

"Through our partnership, we are changing what is possible in animation. With HP we are breaking down technological barriers and achieving great results," said Jeffrey Katzenberg, DreamWorks co-founder. "HP enables us to realize our current ambitions, and to feel more confident about dreaming even bigger for the future."

"As a partner to DreamWorks, HP's goal is to deliver technologies like the URS that enhance DreamWorks technologies and like VSC, which free the artistic spirit, improve the collaborative process and cut production costs," said Shane Robison, csp/cto, HP. "Together, the two companies will continue to evaluate technology synergies to enhance DreamWorks' reputation as one of world's leading animation studios."

The HP URS was built by researchers at HP Labs in Palo Alto using a 1,000-processor compute farm built on industry-standard systems, including HP ProLiant DL360 servers running Linux and HP ProCurve network switches. It is linked via a secure, high-speed network to DreamWorks Animation studios to provide an extension of DreamWorks' internal data center. This gives the studio a pooled set of resources that can be tapped as needed without having to make a major capital investment.

HP also partnered with DreamWorks to launch the Virtual Studio Conferencing, which creates a virtual collaboration center for producers, directors and animators working in different locations around the world. Using HP Remote 3D software and DreamWorks' high-resolution imaging technology, VSC links all creative elements together, enabling realtime communication and the efficient exchange of storyboarding, content review, editing, creative consulting and other vital production information.

HP and Warner Bros. Studios announced a pact will see the digital restoration of many of WB's classics including THE WIZARD OF OZ and GONE WITH THE WIND and create new technology solutions for motion picture and television post-production and distribution.

"The impact of music, film and television moving toward all-digital platforms is profound," said Shane Robison, chief strategy and technology officer, HP. "Warner Bros. Studios is at the cutting edge of embracing the digital transformation. By partnering, HP and Warner Bros. Studios will leverage technology and expertise to create compelling, personalized experiences for consumers that will set the bar at a whole new level."

"We are delighted to partner with HP on all these projects. They have a true appreciation for the value of intellectual property and understand that protecting it and creating new ways to deliver content legitimately to consumers are vital to the digital future," said Kevin Tsujihara, evp, corporate business development and strategy, Warner Bros. Ent. Inc. "HP's unparalleled experience and resources make them the perfect partner to bring our industry into the future while restoring and preserving some of the best loved films from our past."

HP and Warner Bros. Studios also plan to team on addressing the technical and business challenges posed by digital post-production. The companies intend to collaborate to develop a pilot project to create a more flexible, adaptable digital post-production studio. Part of the plan is to define and develop the tools necessary to manage and manipulate the hundreds of terabytes of data that will be needed to make sure that what goes into the vault after production meets or exceeds the historical quality of 35mm film. In addition, the companies have agreed to work together to promote technologies that will aid the industry's transition to full, secure digital delivery of entertainment content.

HP is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses and institutions globally. The company's offerings span IT infrastructure, personal computing and access devices, global services and imaging and printing. More information can be found at www.hp.com.

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
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