Movies powered by Dell technology

You remember Red from angry birds the movie or maybe Terence the big, very big bird who doesn’t say much just grunts. Did you know those visually fantastic CG animations are powered by dell technology and Nvidia graphics.

A while back I did a  render experiment of a 10 seconds animation on cinema 4d, it didn’t have much just a bridge model with global lighting and a bit of texture. The only animation was just the steel like cables swinging. It took about 20 minutes to render that simple animation on my friend’s Dell XPS 9350. I was a bit surprised cause the machine had quite high specs and a good Nvidia graphic card or so i thought

While 20 minutes mine not sound like a lot. Its quickly adds up to days and hours when you factor in Hollywood movie standards with 1080 and 4K now the norm.

What surprised me with my little experiment was how simple the animation was but took a whole 20mins. Now imagine the Hollywood blockbuster movies with high resolution complicated scenes, texture, lighting characters that look so real  they could just walk out the screen into your living room. That would take hundreds of years to render on a regular consumer computer off the shelf.

From an article on Venturebeart it took about a 100 million CPU hours to render the full Monster University animation. So how is Hollywood able to release animation after animation with so much computational power needed?

Its with the use of render farms. Basically lots of servers packed with powerful graphic card, processors and ridiculous amounts of RAM all optimized for the sole purpose of rendering.

Enough with that  here some of the movies which had intesnive use of Dell technology from their workstations to servers

Angry birds – Dell Precision workstations

Dell Precision workstations with NVIDIA Quadro M6000 24GB, M4000, and K2200 graphics cards were used in the rendering of the animation. With cores numbering up to 40000, providing the computing power for the Sony Pictures imageworks teams  to deliver an amazing animation.

Gravity – Dell Precision workstation towers

Yes the award winning one with Sandra Bullock. The movie was also powered by Dell Precision workstations. More than half of the scenes in the movie were animated or computer generated. Framestore the animation studio behind the scenes on gravity used the computing power of the Dell Precision tower workstations. Framestore uses the Dell Precision T5610 and T3610 and Intel Xeon processors for the bulk of their work. They also used the Dell poweredge servers.

Ex-Machina – Dell Precision workstations, Dell PowerEdge M1000 blade servers

Dell Precision workstations, Dell PowerEdge M1000 blade servers and Dell PowerVault MD storage provided  the team at Double negative with the customised solutions for efficient workflows. Molly Connolly from delldirect shares the excitement as Double Negative scooped the award for best visual effects.

Hugo – Dell Precision workstations

Pixomondo another of Dell’s customers scooped the Academy award for visual effects. They used the Dell Precision T5500 tower workstations, Dell Precision T3500 and T5500 in their various studio in Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt Germany and China. They also use dell servers, storage and services

The New Ghostbusters  – Dell Precision Rack 7000 workstation

With the processing power of 1000 dell workstation backed by intel processing power, 24GB M6000 Quadro graphics and  K2200, M4000 graphic card Sony Pictures imageworks did not let us down with the new Ghostbusters movie. The team on PCoIP smoothening out the technical and processing power leaving the creative team to work focus on the creativity.

Conclusion

Dell technology has powered  a lot of companies and is behind a lot more movies than the 5 i mentioned above including Ironman, Inception  and Interstellar.

Seems like the workstation is the way to go when you need to do some animation as most of the visual effects studios are using them.  Well you can buy that one but before you do its important to understand the process needed in the creation of high quality video. Having the equipment is half the story. If you plan only on experimenting like i did check if  your current system can run 3d softwares like Maya, Cinema 4d  system. If not, then upgrade or go ahead a get a another one.

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