"Barnyard" Uses Sun Technology for Groundbreaking Computer-Generated Animation
SANTA CLARA, CALIF. --
Nickelodeon Movies' computer-animated movie "Barnyard," distributed by Paramount Pictures, which hits theaters nationwide today, features complex computer-generated animation that required unique and creative solutions from Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW). The film is Nickelodeon's most challenging animated film to date – featuring vast landscapes with vivid details, realistic shading and lighting, and scenes that incorporate more than 200 characters that move with surprising fluidity – the complex data requires more time-intensive computing. Leveraging a rendering farm based on Sun Fire servers
and Sun StorageTek data management systems
, "Barnyard's" artists were able to quickly identify incomplete scenes, make necessary edits, and manage finished shots. The complex scenes were executed using high-performance 64-bit computing solutions from Sun that revolutionized how computer-generated imagery (CGI) is created and managed.
"With a state-of-the-art computer-animated movie like 'Barnyard,' a seamless interaction between the technology and artist is essential to make the characters come to life," said executive producer Aaron Parry. "Sun raised the bar by providing the only solutions that met this challenge and exceeded business expectations."
"We were thrilled that Sun was able to come up with a solution for us," said executive producer Julia Pistor. "Steve Oedekerk had some very specific and complex ideas that he wanted to see up on the screen and Sun was integral in helping Steve and his team realize them."
Sun provided a 620-node server farm and storage solution that was crucial in the completion of the complex animation required. The solution is based on Sun Fire x64 enterprise servers powered by AMD Opteron processors with Direct Connect Architecture, and 100-terabyte Sun StorageTek 3510 and 3511 FC arrays and a Sun StorageTek tape library for online storage and backup of shot files and other movie assets. Sun Customer Ready Systems helped migrate the production from its previous 32-bit render farm, and then configured, assembled and tested the new Sun render farm for the production. In addition, Sun provided continuous on-site consultation and support to the Barnyard production team.
"Barnyard's" producers believe their Sun solution may represent the first time a studio has relied entirely upon 64-bit technology to render a full-length animated movie.
"Animated movies are evolving rapidly, demanding more and more lifelike characters and scenes that are challenging artists, directors and the technology industry to create better CGI in faster and easier ways," said Pradeep Parmar, Sun's x64 product line business driver. "Sun is excited to meet these challenges with our expanded product line and range of service offerings."
From Steve Oedekerk and Nickelodeon Movies, two of the co-creators of "Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius," and filmed entirely in CGI, comes this hilarious look at what really happens in a barnyard when the farmer's back is turned. "Barnyard" is a lighthearted tale centering around Otis (voiced by Kevin James), a carefree party cow, who enjoys singing, dancing and playing tricks on humans. Unlike his father Ben (voiced by Sam Elliott), the respected patriarch of the farm, and Miles, the wise old mule (voiced by Danny Glover), Otis is unconcerned about keeping the animals' humanlike talents a secret. But when suddenly put in the position of responsibility, the "udderly" irresponsible cow finds the courage to become a leader.
Paramount Pictures presents in association with Nickelodeon Movies an O Entertainment production, a Steve Oedekerk film, "Barnyard." Written and directed by Steve Oedekerk, the film is produced by Steve Oedekerk and Paul Marshal. The executive producers are Julia Pistor and Aaron Parry. Animation production is by Omation Animation Studios. The film is rated PG for some mild peril and rude humor.
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