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Linux Journal: Linux Dreamworks Redux

May 28, 2002, 19:00 (19 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Robin Rowe)

"Last summer we visited the DreamWorks SKG Glendale studio where the animated motion picture Spirit, Stallion of the Cimarron was in production using Linux. Spirit, the story of a wild mustang's adventures in the untamed American West, will be in US wide release on Memorial Day, May 27th, 2002. Let's find out what's happened with Linux at DreamWorks since our cover feature in the August 2001 issue of Linux Journal.

"'For Spirit the Ink and Paint department was entirely Linux, as was half of rendering,' says DreamWorks Head of Animation Technology Ed Leonard. 'Now all the departments have been converted. For our current production, Sinbad, every workstation and the entire renderfarm is Linux.' Linux gained its first toehold in the motion picture industry on servers for rendering and has now become a standard desktop for artists. For Spirit DreamWorks utilized more than 150 Linux desktops. More than 350 are in use for Sinbad.

"Leonard describes the DreamWorks Linux conversion as a two-step process: porting an extensive library of internal proprietary tools and convincing vendors of commercial tools to do the same. Alias|Wavefront's Maya 3-D animation package already had a Linux port underway, but DreamWorks' core 2-D system based on Cambridge Systems Animo came to Linux later. In the DreamWorks production pipeline Adobe Photoshop is the sole Linux holdout..."

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