HP Technology Helps DreamWorks Bring Shrek Forever After in 3-D to Life
Press Release from HP Technology
PALO ALTO, Calif., May 24, 2010 – The power of HP technology and the creativity of DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (Nasdaq: DWA) fuse once again as the studio’s final chapter to the Shrek film series, “Shrek Forever After,” hits theatres Friday in 3-D.
Audiences will experience an army of green ogres, hundreds of dancing witches and all of the original Shrek characters as never seen before – in spectacular 3-D. The film’s technological breakthroughs are made possible in part by HP technology, which powered the development of the entire Shrek series, from start to finish. For “Shrek Forever After”, these technologies included HP Z800 Workstations <http://www.hp.com/go/workstations>, HP ProLiant blade servers <http://www.hp.com/go/proliant>, HP Halo Telepresence Solutions <http://h71028.www7.hp.com/enterprise/us/en/halo/products.html>, HP StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Array <http://www.hp.com/go/eva>, HP StorageWorks X9000 Network Storage Systems <http://www.hp.com/go/x9000> and HP DreamColor displays <http://www.hp.com/go/dreamcolor>.
“At DreamWorks Animation we create two to three 3-D films a year, and our intention is to ensure that audiences enjoy a higher-quality premium experience with each new film,” said Ed Leonard, chief technology officer, DreamWorks Animation. “HP helps us to accomplish this goal by giving our filmmakers the best tools and products so they can be empowered by technology… not limited by it.”
“DreamWorks Animation is famous for pushing the limits of innovation to engage with audiences in new ways,” said Jeff Wood, director, Worldwide Marketing, Workstations, HP. “HP is committed to a continued investment in research and development to provide customers like DreamWorks with innovations that break through creative barriers to enable the next generation in film.”
For ultimate performance, production artists at DreamWorks Animation used powerful HP Z800 Workstations to design everything in the film from characters to lighting. According to DreamWorks Animation, the HP Z800 proved to be significantly faster than its predecessor – providing speeds up to 50 percent faster.
DreamWorks Animation’s render farm for “Shrek Forever After,” a grouping of computers that work in concert to process animation sequences, was the largest and most powerful render farm ever used in the studio’s production of a computer graphics animated film.
The production of “Shrek Forever After” required nearly 76 terabytes of data and more than 46 million render hours, in contrast to the 6 terabytes of data and near 5 million render hours needed in 2001 for “Shrek.”
In addition to advancements in lighting technology, character development has taken leaps forward with state-of-the art effects and tools in hair. In “Shrek,” character hair was kept short, modelled as a solid mass and rendered with multiple strands to create the best look possible. Because of the challenges at the time, Fiona’s hair was designed in one long braid with no significant movement.
With the latest advancements used in “Shrek Forever After,” artists have the technological freedom to animate hair that helps define their characters. As a result, Fiona now has fiery locks that flow in the wind to accentuate her new role as a glorious warrior ogress.
Using the most current animation tools, and having them supported by HP’s cutting-edge products, “Shrek Forever After” became a living lab of new technologies being used in remarkable ways. From Z800 Workstations driving story artists using Cintiq tablets, ProLiant BL460c G6 blades for server management, to DreamColor Displays and printers to ensure color accuracy across the studios, HP supports and enables DreamWorks Animation filmmakers from the original idea until a film reaches the screen.
Fun facts about ”Shrek Forever After”
— Beast Fiona’s “hair cut” took about nine months of development between digital artists.
— Shrek is seven feet tall, has 22 teeth and his hand is about 13.5 inches from the base of his palm to the tip of his middle finger. His shoe size would be a size 22 (15.5 inches), similar to Shaquille O’Neal.