Press Release: July 01, 2003

DreamWorks Uses Linux-based HP Technology to Create New Animated Film "Sinbad"

Entertainment Industry's First Movie Created Entirely on Linux Developed on HP Workstations and Industry-Standard Servers

HP's (NYSE:HPQ) advanced Linux-based technology played a critical role in the creation of "Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas," the newest animated movie from DreamWorks which opens to audiences tomorrow. The first film ever created entirely on Linux, Sinbad was developed on HP workstations and industry-standard servers.

The project blends traditional and digital animation, leveraging the artistry of hand-drawn characters with the visual power of three-dimensional (3D) animation and high-resolution animatics to create visually complex monsters, multifaceted goddesses, intricate water environments and special-effect wielding ships. All core production work was conducted on Linux-based HP workstations and servers, evidencing a strategic shift and strong commitment by the entertainment industry to embrace the advanced capability of open systems and platforms.

More than 250 HP workstations running Red Hat Linux comprised the core of DreamWorks' graphics platform. The price and high-performance advantages of Linux-based HP workstations and servers enabled DreamWorks animators to create more movie in less time, saving significant time and money.

"At DreamWorks, we strive to be both creative and technical innovators in order to tell the best possible story," said Ed Leonard, head of animation technology, DreamWorks. "HP provides us the tools to push the boundaries of our craft. With HP technology we are creating movies that would have been impossible to make as little as a year ago."

"HP understands that today, innovative technology and truly cutting-edge digital animation go hand-in-hand," said Shane Robison, chief strategy and technology officer, HP. "Our goal in our alliance with DreamWorks is to continue to deliver more inventive technology that helps DreamWorks to continue to push the envelope of possibilities in digital animation - and in the process, to help them to retain their reputation as one of the premier Hollywood animation studios."

From Pen to Screen: HP Helps DreamWorks Brings Sinbad to Life

As animated films have become more graphics-intensive, DreamWorks has adopted high-performance, industry-standard HP workstations running Linux to provide greater flexibility and scalability required for animation, to move beyond restrictions in the animation process, and to save on hardware costs. The power and versatility of HP workstations and servers running Linux allowed for the creation of more computer generated animated characters in Sinbad than any other DreamWorks film to date.

"Creating a movie that is centered on scenes with water is a huge technical challenge in digital animation, and a challenge met successfully using HP's Linux-based workstations and servers," said Martin Fink, vice president of Linux, HP Enterprise Servers and Storage. "Our customers are using the flexibility of Linux on industry-standard hardware and open systems to save money and set new standards within their industry."

With HP Linux-based hardware, DreamWorks also developed Digital Animation Review Tool, an uncompressed and full resolution color accurate playback solution on the desktop. This tool replaced an Irix-based solution that was cost-prohibitive and limited in functionality. This new system is so cost effective that DreamWorks was able to build more director-review areas, which assisted in the efficiency of the production of Sinbad.

Due to the joint engineering efforts of HP and DreamWorks, 3D accelerated dual-monitor HP workstations were deployed to most artists working on Sinbad. Dual monitor environments increase workflow productivity by allowing artists to have multiple windows open. Previously, this type of setup would be too costly and specialized to be widely executed, but using Linux-based HP workstations, DreamWorks was able to realize enough cost savings to implement it.

The collaboration between HP and DreamWorks on the film "Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas" builds on a technology alliance that began in 2001. The alliance designates HP as DreamWorks' preferred technology provider for core technology purchases. HP supplies industry-standard workstations, servers, printers, networking and Linux technologies as DreamWorks continues to develop new animation projects.

As part of HP's ongoing +hp brand advertising campaign, this technological achievement in animation will be highlighted in national print advertising starting July 2. The ads will appear in USA Today and the New York Times.

About HP

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