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Partnerships that make dreams come true

Nadhan on ‎06-23-2014 11:49 AM

“DreamWorks Animation (DreamWorks) moves to state-of-the-art data protection and retention, safeguarding creative assets for future audiences” was the title of the HP Discover breakout session where Scott Miller, Senior Engineer, shared the mind-boggling volume of data processed for How to Train Your Dragon 2, which took about 3.5 years to make. Miller detailed technologies that enable the underlying storage infrastructure. Infrastructure, however, is a lot more than just storage. Curiosity took me to the How to Train Your Dragon 2 exhibit at the conference, which showcased the technologies that enable the lifecycle of movie-making—thanks to the HP / DreamWorks partnership that makes dreams come true.


It was more than a decade ago, in 2001, Miller explained, when DreamWorks transitioned from Silicon Graphics to HP. Life-size figures of Hiccup, Toothless and Gobber greeted conference attendees, prompting a photograph with the animated celebrities.


How To Train The Dragon 2 Nadhan.jpg



And then, Voila! An array of stations described what is really involved in animated movie-making.




HP Technologies


Artists digitally sketch out in storyboards, a graphic representation of how the story will unfold illustrating characters, environments and actions.

100K+ storyboards are printed and collaborated on, providing filmmakers with a visual overview. Meanwhile, checkout printing of ~800 million personalized Coca-Cola® labels.



Cinematographers create composition and visual direction of a movie to provoke emotion and strengthen a scene.

Software running on HP Dreamcolor Professional Displays is used to digitally set the camera movements for every shot.



Animators bring characters to life, through detailed expressions, using DreamWorks Animation's Apollo suite of tools.


HP Z820 workstations with up to 24 cores enable this interactive environment.


Visual Effects Artists add movement to the environment with fire, ice, smoke, water and explosions.

This activity is shared across three global studios through HP Networking – used by 58% of the Global 100 companies.


Final Rendering

Digital layers from more than 12 departments, including layout, animation, effects and lightning, are carefully assembled.


Final images are rendered on HP server blades.


How to Train Your Dragon 2 took 20,000 processor cores and 90 million render hours to produce. Throughout each stage of production, DreamWorks used HP's Z820 high performance workstations and Dreamcolor Color Accurate Displays. With next-generation Intel Xeon processors, support for up to 24 processing cores, 512 GB memory, 15TB of storage and the latest professional graphics, the HP Z820 enables DreamWorks features the latest Thunderbolt 2 technology.

Back at the HP Discover session, Miller shared the array of technologies that enable DreamWorks storage needs, differentiated by accessibility requirements and timeline:



HP Technologies

High Performance

Online assets in production for rapid access


HP StoreServ


High-demand reference in Production

HP StoreAll, HP Cloud (Helion)


Asset preservation

Preserve completed shows and Business Continuity

HP EVA 6400, HP XP 20000, StoreEver, StoreOnce



Family entertainment companies like DreamWorks require an infrastructure that builds a better enterprise with partnerships that make amazing stories (like How to Train Your Dragon 2) come true.


How about you? Have you checked out this movie? How about other technologies and partnerships that make dreams come true for your enterprise? Please let me know.





Team up with HP Technology Expert, E.G.Nadhan

Connect with Nadhan on: Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Journey Blog.




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