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DreamWorks tops compute-cycle record with 'The Croods'

Lucas Mearian | March 27, 2013
As many as 400 artists worked on the sophisticated 3D film's production, meaning lots of pixels to push

The network connection between its Glendale and Redwood City studios consist of two 10Gbps Ethernet networks with automatic fail over, said Dave Thomas, storage and backup supervisor for DreamWorks Animation.

Those networks are tied into a central hub that offers up to 500MB/sec to artists in Bangalore, India, where, in 2008, DreamWorks established a special unit within Technicolor named DreamWorks Dedicated Unit.

DreamWorks has a "render farm" of servers made up of about 20,000 processors. The image rendering jobs are broken up into small pieces, distributed out to the server farm, and are later recompiled to create the final images for a film.

"When we look at a film like 'The Croods,' we don't think it's better or worse if it takes more render hours or less," Swanborg said. "Obviously, how it's beloved by audiences and how well it does at the box office is our measure of how great that product is.

"Our philosophy is to create an infrastructure and engineering approach that allows us to say yes to our filmmakers' visions," she added. "If they have a vision that requires a certain amount of compute, we don't want technology to get in the way of that, we want the technology to enable that."

 

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