Monday, April 8, 2013

Croods News For Computer Geeks

Confession: When it comes to Croods news, my interests run more towards the cast and crew anecdotes than the technological breakthroughs. That said, there are a whole lot of non-me Croods fans who prefer poring over the nuts and bytes of CG film-making. These links are for them.

Via: Dreamworks divides its data into three tiers of storage: high performance, near-line and asset protection. The high-performance tier includes data in production and business applications such as its Oracle database, near-line is for bulk storage, and asset protection is for archiving. The high-performance tier uses 3PAR and NetApp arrays with Avere for caching. Near-line storage includes the StoreAll and StoreOnce along with HP and NetApp storage. Older disk systems, the cloud and tape are used for asset protection.

 To decipher this gobbledygook, click here.

Via The amount of processing power and storage capacity required during the production of a CG 3D film can be tremendous. There are more than 300 high-end workstations used for creating the animation. One film can take more than 60 million hours of rendering work, using 17,000 cores simultaneously. Each animated character has up to 2,000 control points or features that can be manipulated by an animator. And, each character takes six months to craft, according to Swanborg. "Each pixel in every film is controllable," she said, adding that a competed film has more than 250 billion pixels in it. At 24 frames a second, and 120,000 frames per film, just one movie production can consume 200TB of data storage capacity and contain half a billion data files. "That's the same number of components as a Boeing jet," Swanborg said. There are about 400,000 processing jobs per day on the studio's servers. DreamWorks uses Red Hat Enterprise MRG for messaging and scheduling those jobs in the proper sequence. "And, most of it is done in parallel," Cutler said. Not including developers working on actual film productions, DreamWorks has 150 software engineers who keep applications running smoothly.

Not numb to numbers yet? Here's some even the non-techies can crunch:

One 90-minute feature film, such as Shrek 4, costs about $130 million to produce. An additional $130 million to $150 million is then spent on distribution and marketing. And, while CG imagery may be the final product, creating an animated movie takes hand crafting. Each DreamWorks film is story boarded, meaning that each scene is hand drawn by an artist. Films can require anywhere from 70,000 to 100,000 story boards.

Crave more commas and zeros? Click here.

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