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ZDNet: Linux takes Hollywood by storm

May 17, 2001, 22:14 (9 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Simon Avery)

[ Thanks to George Mitchell for this link. ]

Open source may have been the thematic star of "AntiTrust," but in the movie "Shrek," opening tomorrow, it's what's driving the special effects. According to this article, Dreamworks chose Linux over Microsoft and Silicon Graphics to provide the digital animation, and it's part of a larger trend.

The ornery, mud-loving creature morphs into a romantic hero through some of the richest digital animation yet created. Producer DreamWorks SKG gives considerable credit for the performance to another transformation -- animators' use of the free Linux operating system instead of software from the likes of Microsoft Corp. and Silicon Graphics Inc.

...Hewlett-Packard, a longtime competitor to both SGI and Sun, is promoting Linux in the digital-content market as part of a broader campaign to market the software. The Palo Alto, Calif., company says that its workstations and servers running Linux played a key role in "Shrek," bringing a 10-fold speed boost to DreamWorks' rendering chores. That speed, aided by the use of multiple-processing units, allowed animators to squeeze more frames per second through the rendering process, says Martin Fink, head of Linux operations at H-P.

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