HP delivers new levels of imagery and power to DreamWorks Animation movie

DreamWorks Animation, the powerhouse behind hits such as Shrek and How to Train Your Dragon, stated that it used HP technology to develop cutting-edge animation for its latest film, “Turbo”.

HP Converged Infrastructure technology spanning servers, storage, networking, services and management software; HP Converged Cloud; and HP Workstations and printers helped DreamWorks Animation process massive amounts of data, creating new levels of imagery and powering innovative computer graphics (CG) animated movie-making techniques.

“DreamWorks Animation’s strategic alliance with HP ensured that we had the high-performance computing, continuous availability and streamlined management capabilities needed to accurately depict Turbo’s dream of becoming the world’s fastest racer,” said Derek Chan, head of Technology Global Operations, DreamWorks Animation. “HP’s advanced Converged Infrastructure portfolio enabled our artists and engineers to create the highest-quality picture possible.”

The production of “Turbo” required 75 million render hours to create fully realized images, including 32 Indy 500 race cars and 32 million crowd character instances, the most  of any DreamWorks Animation film to date.
DreamWorks Animation utilized HP Enterprise Cloud Services to provide a robust, scalable, cloud-based infrastructure that offers the additional compute power needed to render the 10 CG films that are in production at any given time. HP Enterprise Cloud Services, part of the HP Converged Cloud portfolio, enables DreamWorks Animation to meet growing business needs while remaining within its existing data center footprint.
To handle the rendering demands of “Turbo,” DreamWorks Animation relied on the high-performance computing capabilities of HP ProLiant Generation 8 (Gen8) servers. HP ProLiant Gen8 servers increased render throughput by approximately 40 percent and performance per watt by approximately 42 percent,(1) allowing DreamWorks Animation to render an average of 500,000 jobs a day to ensure that the studio had the compute power to complete the production on time.

DreamWorks Animation used a number of HP solutions to enhance several aspects of production, including:

  • Reliable application performance through HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage, creating a storage infrastructure for critical production pipeline tools. Secondary HP 3PAR StoreServ arrays provide disaster-recovery capabilities to keep operations up and running.
  • Secured archiving with HP StoreAll 9730 Storage allows artists and engineers to protect and conveniently access the 230 terabytes of files that make up “Turbo,” in addition to the studio’s other films and production assets.
  • Simplified network management with the HP Intelligent Resilient Framework (IRF) enables the studio to manage multiple article network switches and configure redundancy without unwanted downtime.
  • Increased data center density and flexibility with HP BladeSystem c7000, allowing engineers to smoothly implement next-generation servers with minimal disruption.
  • Improved color accuracy and consistency across workstations and printers with HP DreamColor displays to simplify creative decision making without the need for specially designed color rooms.

Technical Specifications

  • DreamWorks Animation tapped the power of HP Z Workstations to recreate the thrill of the Indy 500, with a snail traveling 220 miles per hour and more than 500,000 crowd characters filling a replica of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
  • HP Z800 and Z820 Workstations, powered by Intel Sandy Bridge Xeon E5 processors, enabled artists to execute iterations 50 percent faster than previous workstations and develop increasingly complex camera angles and special effects. When not in use by creative teams, workstation processing power was used to run nighttime rendering jobs, contributing to the millions of compute hours needed to produce the movie.
  • Integrated with HP Workstations, HP Remote Graphics Software enabled animators to collaborate more efficiently across geographies by viewing ideas and assets on a single display.
  • HP FlexNetwork architecture enabled DreamWorks Animation to increase performance, reduce latency between global studio locations and provide constant availability to support faster rendering and review times while boosting animator productivity. 
  • HP Networking provided animators with access to a central repository of assets, simplifying collaboration by allowing artists to easily share and retrieve resources across all locations. In addition, the highly reliable network infrastructure allows creative teams to work anytime from anywhere, with production spread across studios from Glendale and Redwood City, Calif., to Bangalore, India.


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