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HP Helps Power 'Rise of the Guardians'

HP and DreamWorks Animation mark the latest chapter in their ongoing collaboration by working together to create an epic adventure for worldwide audiences with the breakthrough animation of the studio’s upcoming 3D movie, “Rise of the Guardians.”

Palo Alto, CA --

HP and DreamWorks Animation marked the latest chapter in their ongoing collaboration by working together to create an epic adventure for worldwide audiences with the breakthrough animation of the studio’s upcoming 3-D movie, Rise of the Guardians.

Like each DreamWorks Animation film before it, Rise of the Guardians, which hits theaters on November 21, pushes the boundaries of digital animation as the studio’s most technically advanced film to date. 

To create a new level of visual richness in an animated film, DreamWorks Animation uses HP Converged Infrastructure technologies 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.

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

DreamWorks Animation uses HP technology throughout the production cycle—from creating character designs, to developing detailed animation scenes, to processing massive amounts of data. Throughout the years, HP technology has played an integral role in creating DreamWorks Animation’s groundbreaking animated feature films, including the franchise properties of Shrek, How to Train Your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar and Puss in Boots.

Rise of the Guardians tapped the power of several HP technologies, including:

  • The HP Z800 and Z820 high-performanceworkstations, powered by Intel multicore processors. The Xeon E5 based HPZ820 was used to process more than 1 million Rise of the Guardians render jobs in the desktop render farm,utilizing spare computing power residing on desktop workstations at nightand on weekends.
  • HP DreamColor professional monitorssupporting 1 billion active colors and providing color consistency acrossmultiple departments in the studio. Jointly developed by DreamWorksAnimation and HP, HP DreamColor Monitors surpassed the performance of allother LCD displays available on the market.
  • HP Remote Graphics Software, allowingfor seamless collaboration for artists split across multiple locations tofinalize intricate details. DreamWorks Animation’s studios are located inGlendale and Redwood City, Calif.
  • HP Flexible Compute Cloud Service,providing 20 percent of total rendering in 2012, up from five percent in2010. As digital resource demands continue to increase from production toproduction, HP has helped the studio to stay within their existing datacenter footprint—eliminating a multimillion dollar physical expansion,while continuing to provide the needed resources to meet artistic demands.
  • HP Networking: To support the studio’sscalable 10G WAN/LAN infrastructure, 100 percent of the networkingequipment used in the United States production of the film was HP networkgear.
  • HP BladeSystem servers with ProLiantBL460c server blades, enabling the studio to render more efficiently andeffectively. HP G8 blades achieved more than 40 percent higher renderthroughput compared to previous blades and delivered more than 42 percentbetter performance per watt.
  • HP Storage: 3 petabytes of HP storagewere used to facilitate data protection and archiving, and the storing ofreference data. The studio collaborated with HP to create a dynamicstorage infrastructure that can scale storage and performance acrossgeographies to meet the studio’s needs and future growth.
  • HP Managed Print Services andmultifunction printers help DreamWorks Animation convert electronicworkflows and digital images into living, color-rich documents used inprevisualization, storyboarding and other animation processes.

Rise of the Guardians fun facts:

  • The DreamWorks Animation render farm,spanning across three geographic sites, is the most powerful ever used fora studio production. 
  • 250+ terabytes of disk storage wereused in the making of Rise of theGuardians.
  • The 97-minute Rise of the Guardians is composed of more than 130,000individual computer-generated frames.
  • The production of Rise of the Guardians required more than 65 million renderhours.
  • One of the more complicated and amazingspecial effects is sand. The sand is created by generating lots of pointsinside the computer called particles. As many as a billion particlesmay be needed to create the sand shapes for one scene.

Source: HP

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.