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____/ Homer on Friday 19 Aug 2011 17:38 : \____
> Verily I say unto thee that Albert "flatty" Frickstein spake thusly:
>> linux is simply the "render farm" for the countless hours of work that
>> humans did to make the movie.
> Linux is used in far more than just the "render farm" these days,
> While "Shrek" and other movies including "Lord of the Rings" have used
> Linux to power server farms, the creators of "Shrek" also used IRIX on
> SGI workstations. So "Spirit" is DreamWorks' first animated feature
> using Linux both on the front and back ends.
> Servers were only one piece of the puzzle, as PDI/DreamWorks also
> migrated all of its workstations to Linux as well. Using Linux as a
> desktop environment for artists was a challenge. Initial problems arose
> with the X server. At the time, XFree86 did not meet the performance
> needs of DreamWorks artists. HP offered to port its own X server to
> Linux to serve as an interim solution -- a decision that just may have
> been the deciding factor for DreamWorks, Chapin says. As the XFree86
> project ironed out a few wrinkles, PDI/DreamWorks migrated back from
> HP's X server to XFree86. HP and Red Hat have continued to offer support
> services to DreamWorks, tackling problems ranging from efficient
> installation of new workstations to kernel timing issues.
> With desktop performance and stability achieved, PDI/DreamWorks
> Animation began working on applications. DreamWorks uses a wide array of
> tools for the production of films, ranging from unadorned and
> straightforward drawing programs developed internally to
> Alias|Wavefront's wildly popular Maya 2D/3D modeling engine. The
> transition to Linux required that PDI/DreamWorks Animation port all of
> its own tools from SGI. At the recent National Association of
> Broadcasters' show in Las Vegas, Chapin demonstrated the Linux version
> of PDI's 2D sketching program, an animation tool, and a piece of
> hardware called ToonShooter. ToonShooter has a camera precariously
> mounted a couple of feet above a drawing board. Artists first sketch on
> paper, and then slide the paper through ToonShooter, where the image is
> digitized and animated on the fly. From that point, the artists can
> easily work with those same images on their workstations and quickly
> integrate those images into existing scenes, saving many animators many
> hours of work.
> Sequences of drawings can be rapidly captured and stored, preserving the
> transition of animation from paper to pixels. Ultimately, ToonShooter is
> a means for PDI/DreamWorks to meet its goal of "conserving trees" while
> providing artists with a better way of creating animated scenes, Chapin
> Third-party tools presented a bigger porting challenge. Few of the
> high-end commercial graphics tools supported Linux out of the box.
> Together, HP and PDI/DreamWorks worked to convince Alias|Wavefront and
> others that they needed to port their applications to Linux. Ultimately,
> HP and PDI/DreamWorks Animation were successful, and DreamWorks has
> fully integrated Linux versions of all of its major tools including Maya
> and Wacom's Cintiq interactive pen display.
> DreamWorks is quick to point out that, in the words of one DreamWorks
> representative, "We are not Linux zealots. DreamWorks just wants to tell
> the story." For the company, Linux and an Open Source platform provided
> the best way for them to accomplish their aims.
> It's the same story at Industrial Light and Magic:
> All ILM 3-D particle simulations are done in Alias|Wavefront Maya. âWe
> have, I'd say, 90% of our Maya users on Linuxâ, says Weaver. âIt seems
> incredibly stable on Linux. I haven't had Maya crash on me in months.
> âOur compositing software, CompTime, has been ported to Linuxâ, notes
> Weaver. ILM created its own compositor with a plugin architecture for
> doing motion picture editing rather than choosing a commercial package.
> Weaver writes compositor plugins, too. âThe compositor plugins are in
> Pythonâ, he notes. âWe're a big Python shop...and MEL.â MEL is the Maya
> scripting language.
> Maya is considered by ILM a tool best for TDs (technical directors);
> animators at ILM use SOFTIMAGE. The conversion to Linux triggered a
> company-wide upgrade from version 3.8 of SOFTIMAGE (on IRIX) to the 4.0
> version that recently became available for Linux.
> Who's the idiot now, flatty?
I read in several places that historically they used UNIX/Solaris on their
desktops and recently moved to RHEL desktops. They don't have time to tinker
with patches and long boot times, etc. They have real work to get done.
~~ Best of wishes
Dr. Roy S. Schestowitz (Ph.D. Medical Biophysics), Imaging Researcher
http://Schestowitz.com | GNU/Linux administration | PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
Editor @ http://techrights.org & Broadcaster @ http://bytesmedia.co.uk/
GPL-licensed 3-D Othello @ http://othellomaster.com
Non-profit search engine proposal @ http://iuron.com
Contact E-mail address (direct): s at schestowitz dot com
Contact Internet phone (SIP): schestowitz@xxxxxxxxx (24/7)
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