HP helps DreamWorks Animation to rise ‘Over the Hedge’

'Over the Hedge' screenshot with Hp and DreamWorks Animation logo

We all have been raving about RJ, Verne, Hammy and other such characters from the DreamWorks Animation SKG’s recent animation hit film ‘Over the Hedge.’ But what most of us don’t know is that the brilliant work created by DreamWorks Animation SKG would not have been complete without the support, expertise and proficiency of HP Technology.

DreamWorks Animations zeroed upon HP as their preferred technology provider. The Palo Alto, California, United States-based company delivered servers, workstations and HP Halo collaboration studios to DreamWorks Animations in order to satisfy the demanding business and production requirements to develop the new-computer-generated (CG) film.

DreamWorks Animation’s digital artists created lighting and special effects for “Over the Hedge” using HP xw9300 Workstations and HP ProLiant DL145G2 servers powered by Dual-Core(1) AMD Opteron™ processors. These systems provided enhanced computing power over DreamWorks Animation’s previous generation of systems, helping artists work on multiple scenes simultaneously. In fact, the ProLiant based compute cluster provided “Over the Hedge” more than 15 million render hours – three times more than DreamWorks Animation’s original “Shrek” film – making it the most powerful render-farm in DreamWorks Animation’s history.

Producing animated feature films involves a tremendous amount of person-to-person interaction. With two California campuses more than 350 miles apart in Redwood City and Glendale, geography posed a challenge for DreamWorks Animation because of the cost and time involved with traveling.

'Over the Hedge' screenshot

“HP recognizes that performance-hungry users work in a variety of environments, and these powerful workstations provide the right set of tools to get the job done whether they are in the office or at a job site,” Li Li Chung, Vice President, Workstations, HP Personal Systems Group, Asia-Pacific and Japan. “HP’s latest suite of products delivers a compelling combination of smaller form factor, reduced noise, greater energy efficiency and innovative chassis design. The technology innovations, functionalities and solutions enable users to take their HP workstations to performance levels they’ve never reached before.”

HP’s workstation solutions are the preferred platform for high-performance computing users in the Computer-aided Design & Engineering, Video Editing and 3D Animation business as well as Original Equipment Manufacturers in Asia Pacific.

Nitin Sethi, Country Manager – Workstations, HP India said, “HP continues to push the envelope for world-class computer-generated filmmakers like DreamWorks Animation.” Sethi continued, “HP is now bringing this technology to Animation Studios, Video Game Developers and Post-Production Companies in India to enable their artists to continually push the boundaries of world-class computer-generated animated filmmaking by creating richer, more visually compelling movies in the country.”

People from various locations can communicate in a vibrant, face-to-face surrounding in real time thanks to HP’s Halo collaboration studios. DreamWorks Animation received an enormous backing from Halo studios to improve the association and make possible a 24-hour global communication.

Ed Leonard, chief technology officer, DreamWorks Animation SKG said, “Computer-generated filmmaking consumes an extraordinary amount of computational power and our creative ambition always seems to stay two steps ahead of what’s possible. With HP and AMD’s help we are able to deliver on our ambition with releasing two high quality CG films a year – unprecedented in the industry.”