Mr. Peabody and Sherman is DreamWorks’ latest flick to hit the big screen. During its creation, it generated more than 800 million data files – consisting of 118,000 individual computer-generated frames and 250 billion pixels – which required 200 Tb of storage space.
It also demanded 70 million render hours, with servers processing an average of 500,000 render jobs per day, although 15 per cent of animation was rendered using the cloud.
“HP’s end-to-end converged infrastructure powers the whole movie-making process,” said Helen Tang, lead, worldwide HP converged infrastructure solutions, HP. “High performance computing enables the artists to more seamlessly work across time zones and continents. A reliable network is critical, so that the movie production never ends.”
To keep its artists connected at all times, DreamWorks utilized HP Networking for secure, around-the-clock availability.
Also, during the creation of Mr. Peabody and Sherman, DreamWorks relied on the HP Z800 and Z820 high-performance workstations paired with the HP DreamColor professional monitors. They also used HP’s ProLiant servers and converged storage, based on HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage appliances combined with other vendor storage.
Kate Swanborg, head of technology communications and strategic alliances, DreamWorks Animation, says that although her company encourages technical brilliance among its engineers, it still relies on outside sources to deliver the infrastructure it needs to produce its films. That way, the engineers, artists, and graphics developers that form its ranks can focus on the important part: the creative process itself.
“We want HP to be able to ensure that we have the infrastructure and components that provide the highest degree of performance so our engineers can focus on solutions that are inventive for our business,” said Swanborg.
Although DreamWorks investigated the possibility of working with other providers, the choice to partner with HP seemed like a natural one for DreamWorks. DreamWorks is an animation studio that values new ideas and invests heavily in technology; HP, meanwhile, is investing in innovation.
“The HP Labs division is brilliant. They’re doing tremendous research and development,” said Swanborg. “Frankly, you don’t see that kind of investment at most other technology companies. In other companies, they only invest in one area, but HP is an end-to-end solution provider.”
At the end of the day, the most important thing to DreamWorks is that its artists have the freedom to come up with new ideas and make the company’s products truly unique. It is because of HP’s end-to-end solution that it was able to do what it did with Mr. Peabody and Sherman.
“[Mr. Peabody and Sherman] travel through time in the movie,” said Swanborg. “In traveling through time, they go to Egypt, France, and Italy. We simply could not have shared that many environments with that level of detail without HP as our partner. HP lets us tell stories we couldn’t tell otherwise.”
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