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HP Plays Supporting Role In DreamWorks' 'Monsters vs. Aliens'

Jeffrey Katzenberg and other DreamWorks executives unveil some of the technology behind the movie.

The movie, which required more than 40 million computing hours to make, is the first full-length digital 3-D movie, DreamWorks executives told reporters and analysts at a press conference in the company's Glendale, Calif. headquarters.

However, the studio will use its experience with "Monsters vs. Aliens" to focus its animation feature development on 3-D movies, including upcoming films such as "Master Mind," "How To Train A Dragon," and "Shrek Goes Fourth."

DreamWorks' 3-D movies depend heavily on workstation technology from HP, said Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of the studio.

"I don't think it's an exaggeration that we couldn't do what we do here without the support of HP," Katzenberg said. "Welcome to what I say is the next revolution in movies."

DreamWorks used HP workstations, HP ProLiant blade servers, and HP's Halo telepresence technology to create "Monsters vs. Aliens," said DreamWorks CTO Ed Leonard.

The studio has one Halo site for each 75 employees, Leonard said. "HALO for cross-site collaboration is a real necessity," he said.

DreamWorks used over 9,000 server processor cores to do the 45.6 million hours of rendering needed to create "Monsters vs. Aliens," said Derek Chan, who was in charge of the studio's IT for the project.

The storage requirements for the film were also large. Leonard estimated that the movie required about 120 Tbytes of storage, while Chan estimated that one scene alone, the destruction of an alien starship, required 6 Tbytes.

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