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Puss in Boots goes hi-tech

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HP has announced that DreamWorks Animation selected HP technology to push the boundaries of digital animation and produce the company’s most technically advanced film to date, ‚ Puss in Boots‚ .

As part of a technology relationship that began with HP in 2001, DreamWorks deploys HP Converged Infrastructure as the technology backbone for complex animation, helping shape the future of digital filmmaking. To bring feature films to life, DreamWorks Animation utilises everything from HP desktop workstations to HP networking products to HP digital rendering resources accessed via the cloud.

HP technology has played an integral role in many of DreamWorks’ awe-inspiring films, including the ‚ Shrek‚ series, ‚ How to Train Your Dragon,‚ ‚ Kung Fu Panda‚ and ‚ Kung Fu Panda 2.‚

To create ‚ Puss in Boots,‚ artists used more than 200 high-performance HP Z800 Workstations, allowing the flawless execution of exceedingly detailed and creative tasks. The workstations helped design everything in the film ‚ from the swashbuckling hero Puss, to digital effects such as complex tornados and cloudscapes.

For ‚ Puss in Boots,‚ HP ProLiant BL460 blade technology, geographically dispersed in five server render farms across the United States and India, provided peak compute power at crucial stages of production. The blade servers powered an unprecedented 117 terabytes of data and more than 60 million render hours.

‚As with all of our films, ‚Puss In Boots’ required powerful systems to support the digital demands of our creative teams,‚ said Ed Leonard, chief technology officer, DreamWorks Animation SKG. ‚Knowing that we have the support of our partners at HP allows us to free our artists from technical limitations, letting them focus on creating the most powerful 3-D CG experiences.‚

DreamWorks chose HP Networking solutions including HP 12508 and 5800 series switches, HP Networking Intelligent Management Centre, and HP Intelligent Resilient Framework to provide improved levels of network performance while simplifying network management across the studio’s scalable 10G WAN/LAN environment. Additionally, DreamWorks used HP X9000 IBRIX Network Storage System as a solution that can scale capacity to respond to the demanding needs of the studio while allowing for future growth.

To meet the massive data demands of the film, DreamWorks deployed HP Cloud Services, which eliminated the need for an estimated multimillion dollar physical data centre expansion. Eight million of the total 63 million hours of rendering were rendered using HP Cloud Services, which represented 45 percent of the studio’s overall cloud computing needs.

‚Our decade-long collaboration with DreamWorks has challenged HP to develop technology that continually meets the intense, high-performance needs of the world’s best digital animators,‚ Frank van Rees, MD and Enterprise Business Lead, HP South Africa. ‚HP effectively serves as an infrastructure extension of a premiere Hollywood animation studio providing cutting-edge technology to support some of the most creative minds in film and animation.‚

HP DreamColor technology was utilized in the film’s production process to provide high-end color prints of the creative team’s visual development work. This technology enabled designers to print accurate color proofs of critical reference imagery such as character designs, environments and key storytelling moments.

In addition to jointly developing the HP DreamColor technology in HP printers, DreamWorks and HP also developed the billion-color HP DreamColor Monitor, which surpasses performance of any other LCD display available, enabling artists to achieve consistency, depth and richness of color.

HP Converged Infrastructure is a key foundation of an Instant-On Enterprise. In a world of continuous connectivity, the Instant-On Enterprise embeds technology in everything it does to serve customers, employees, partners and citizens with whatever they need, instantly.

HP’s premier client event, HP DISCOVER, takes place Nov. 29 – Dec. 1 in Vienna, Austria. The event showcases how organisations can get started on their Instant-On Enterprise journeys.

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