HP servers and workstations powered by AMD64 processors contributed significantly to the digital magic behind DreamWorks Animation’s (NYSE: DWA) comedy, “Over the Hedge,”
The use of AMD64 technology helped DreamWorks Animation enhance the artistry of “Over the Hedge,” arming digital artists with the processing power necessary to create the film’s breathtaking imagery.
“Over the Hedge” is about RJ, a traveling raccoon who encourages a group of animals to venture over a large hedge in search of food. The adventure unfolds when the animals interact with humans living nearby.
“Audiences have come to expect a more immersive experience in every computer animated film,” said Jeffrey Katzenberg, DreamWorks Animation co-founder and CEO. “As a leader in this field, DreamWorks Animation holds itself to the highest standards of innovation and excellence. And that’s why we partner with AMD. Their products and commitment to our partnership result in better animation.”
“AMD64 technology offers outstanding performance per watt, delivering the power and performance that DreamWorks Animation’s artists need to continually raise the bar of computer-generated animation and achieve greater on-screen detail while saving time,” said Henri Richard, executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer, AMD. “Consumers can enjoy the same level of computing performance at home or practically anywhere with desktop and notebook media center PCs based on AMD Athlonâ„? 64 X2 dual-core processors.”
DreamWorks Animation digital artists created much of the lighting and special effects for “Over the Hedge” using HP xw9300 workstations and HP DL145G2 ProLiant servers powered by Dual-Core AMD Opteronâ„? processors. These systems provided more than 30 percent additional computing power over DreamWorks Animation’s previous generation of systems, helping artists work on multiple scenes simultaneously – similar to how PCs based on AMD Athlon 64 X2 dual-core processors help consumers improve multi-tasking capability. DreamWorks Animation production management staff also used HP Compaq nx6125 notebooks based on AMD Turionâ„? 64 mobile technology to help streamline a variety of production activities.
In the largest and most powerful render farm ever used for a DreamWorks Animation film, HP servers powered by Dual-Core AMD Opteron processors delivered more than 15 million combined render hours to turn digital information into full-fledged images of fur and foliage, not to mention water, fire, an explosion of artificial nacho cheese flavoringâ€¦ and virtually everything else that can be seen on the screen.
“Today’s computer-generated filmmaking demands ever increasing performance of technology,” said Jim Zafarana, vice president and worldwide marketing manager, Workstation Global Business Unit, HP. “By partnering once again with DreamWorks Animation and AMD, HP is helping to enable filmmakers to create visually stunning films that fans can enjoy in the theater or at home.”
As the Preferred Processor Provider for DreamWorks Animation, AMD provides AMD64 technology for desktop and notebook PCs, as well as servers, workstations and render farm nodes used by DreamWorks Animation’s artists in their computer-generated filmmaking process.
Consumers have the ability to tap into similar technology used by DreamWorks Animation’s artists with PC systems powered by AMD Athlon 64 X2 dual-core processors and AMD Turion 64 mobile technology. With AMD’s dual-core technology, home users can usher in the next generation of digital media software for fantastic high-definition video creation and editing, downloading and retouching photos, as well as music recording and mixing.
How AMD was used in the making of Over The Hedge
To make Over the Hedge, DreamWorks Animation artists and technicians relied on over 200 AMD – powered state- of – art HP workstations .They worked tirelessly on these cutting- edge, dual monitor HP xw9300 workstations outfitted with an enormous capacity at their fingertips.
And, in a first for DreamWorks Animation team, production teams used HP’s new 6125 laptop computers – powered by AMD turion 64 mobile technology – which provided a significant processing power boost over previous technology, potentially up to 40 percent in some cases.
What does processing power mean to artists? In short, more raw processing power allows DreamWorks Animation artists to render images quickly. And rendering is a process which takes the bulk of artists computing time ; it involves converting millions of various graphic elements involved in telling the story – transforming light , colour ,texture – in to a visual form.In simple terms ,a complex renderings make the images look more realistic than you would ever think possible.
It’s similar to touching up a photograph on your home PC when you remove red – eye or add brightness.
Imagine the kind of computation one would need to render thousands of images of long- haired, complex, furry characters, dense woods, and detailed and exterior setting! For DreamWorks Animation, that meant connecting its workstations to uniquely powerful and versatile array of AMD Opteron based HP servers.
The additional processing cores ,memory, and disk space in this array enabled an environment where DreamWorks Animation artists could effectively work on multiple shots simultaneously.
This impressive capability also enabled a unique virtual environment that allowed teams of artists at both the company’s Northern and Southern California facilities to work together for daily review sessions .Directors and producers ,storyboard and visual development pitches ,artistic collaborations meeting, and many, many training sessions all worked together on a robust computing environment powered by HP and AMD.