Press Release: March 26, 2010

HP Technology Powers DreamWorks Animation’s 3-D Film “How to Train Your Dragon”

The power of HP technology and the creative strength of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. (Nasdaq: DWA) fuse once again as the studio’s bar-raising achievement in 3-D animation, “How to Train Your Dragon,” hits theaters today.


Audiences will experience thousands of fire-breathing flying dragons and hundreds of armored Vikings along with crashing waves and lush forests – all in spectacular 3-D. The film’s technological breakthroughs a|re due in part to the unprecedented power of the HP technology that helped bring to life the characters and story of “How to Train Your Dragon.” This includes HP Z800 Workstations, HP ProLiant blade servers, HP Halo Telepresence Solutions, HP DreamColor displays, storage solutions and HP Designjet printers.


“How to Train Your Dragon” is an adventure comedy set in a mythical world of Vikings and wild dragons that is based loosely on the book by Cressida Cowell. The film tells the story of Hiccup, a Viking teenager who doesn’t exactly fit in with his tribe’s long-standing tradition of heroic dragon slayers. Hiccup’s world is turned upside down when he encounters a dragon that challenges him and his fellow Vikings to see the world from an entirely different point of view.


For ultimate performance, production artists at DreamWorks Animation used powerful HP Z800 Workstations to design everything on the film from characters to lighting. According to DreamWorks Animation, the HP Z800 proved to be significantly faster than its predecessor – providing speeds up to 50 percent faster.


“At DreamWorks Animation, technology and creativity go hand in hand and a large part of my job is to ensure that our filmmakers can dream without boundaries,” said Ed Leonard, chief technology officer, DreamWorks Animation. “With the help of HP’s amazing technological breakthroughs, our artists are able to bring our worlds and characters to life on screen in sequences that are just as detailed and visually rich as they can possibly imagine.”


Released in 2001, Dreamworks Animation’s original “Shrek” film used more than 6 terabytes of data and required nearly 5 million render hours. With the artistic bar rising ever higher, the production of “How to Train Your Dragon” used nearly 100 terabytes of data and more than 50 million render hours.


DreamWorks Animation’s current render farm – a grouping of computers that work in concert to process animation sequences – is the largest and most powerful render farm ever used in the studio’s production of a computer-generated (CG) animated film. Relying on a render farm that comprised more than 25,000 computing cores, the production of “How To Train Your Dragon” kept nearly 10,000 cores busy almost 100 percent of the time – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 28 weeks.


“DreamWorks Animation is a leader in bringing the next big thing in animation,” said Jim Zafarana, vice president and general manager, Workstations Global Business Unit, HP. “HP thrives on working with customers like DreamWorks that continually push us to bring them the technology they demand to make their business more productive.”


To achieve new looks in lighting, DreamWorks Animation worked with award-winning cinematographer Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC. Using HP Z800 Workstations to control a powerful array of back-end HP ProLiant blade servers, Deakins was able to interactively explore and design the lighting in full final-frame quality with DreamWorks Animation VFX and CG supervisors.


HP Halo helps DreamWorks Animation connect


DreamWorks Animation teams are enjoying deeper, more effective collaboration as the studio continues to use HP Halo Telepresence Solutions. For “How to Train Your Dragon,” creative teams in Glendale and Redwood City, Calif., met face to face, virtually, via HP Halo. Using the system’s high-definition collaboration screen, teams were able to work on the detailed, CG characters and environments that bring the film to life.


In particular, HP Halo was an instrumental part of collaboration between directors, art designers and the effects artists on “How to Train Your Dragon.” The filmmakers’ ambition was to match the unique personalities of each dragon with a distinct fire style while maintaining the overall artistic direction. Having the ability to pull the different development teams into one virtual room for reviews and feedback helped to enable that artistic achievement.


Fun facts about ”How to Train Your Dragon”

  • At 1,630 shots, the film has the highest shot count produced by DreamWorks Animation
  • More than 800 Vikings appeared in a single shot
  • More than 2,500 dragons in another single shot


DreamWorks Animation uses HP Designjet Z6100 Printers in nearly every production to print large color images, such as visual development shots for large landscapes or final character images for marketing, tours and presentations. A printed drawing allows the production crew to see both the larger picture and the subtle nuances of the shot.


About DreamWorks Animation


DreamWorks Animation creates high-quality entertainment, including CG animated feature films, television specials and series, live entertainment properties and online virtual worlds, meant for audiences around the world. The Company has world-class creative talent, a strong and experienced management team and advanced filmmaking technology and techniques. DreamWorks Animation has been named one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” by FORTUNE® Magazine for two consecutive years. In 2010, DreamWorks Animation ranks #6 on the list. All of DreamWorks Animation’s feature films are now being produced in 3D. The Company has theatrically released a total of 18 animated feature films, including the franchise properties, Shrek, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda. DreamWorks Animation’s three feature film releases in 2010 are How to Train Your Dragon, Shrek Forever After and Megamind.


About HP


HP creates new possibilities for technology to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, governments and society. The world’s largest technology company, HP brings together a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure to solve customer problems. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com/.


This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. If such risks or uncertainties materialize or such assumptions prove incorrect, the results of HP and its consolidated subsidiaries could differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and assumptions. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including but not limited to statements of the plans, strategies and objectives of management for future operations; any statements concerning expected development, performance or market share relating to products and services; any statements regarding anticipated operational and financial results; any statements of expectation or belief; and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. Risks, uncertainties and assumptions include macroeconomic and geopolitical trends and events; the execution and performance of contracts by HP and its customers, suppliers and partners; the achievement of expected operational and financial results; and other risks that are described in HP’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended January 31, 2010 and HP’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to HP’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2009. HP assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements.


© 2010 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. The only warranties for HP products and services are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. HP shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein.


Editorial contacts:

Jim Christensen, HP: jim.christensen@hp.com

Kiley Hayward, A&R Edelman for HP: kiley.hayward@ar-edelman.com

Shannon Olivas, DreamWorks Animation Corporate Communications: shannon.olivas@dreamworks.com

About HP

HP Inc. creates technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere. Through our portfolio of printers, PCs, mobile devices, solutions, and services, we engineer experiences that amaze. More information about HP Inc. is available at http://www.hp.com.