If you haven’t been to see the movie Avatar yet then I thoroughly recommend it. I went into the movie theatre half expecting to see an over-hyped version of Pocahontas in space though walked out thoroughly impressed not just with the story line, which admittedly was a little predictable, but with the quality and integration of the CGI and real-world actors.
So what sort of hardware was behind the rendering of this CGI intensive block buster? Well, the answer is a rather large farm of HP BL2×220c blade servers located down under in New Zealand at Weta Digital. There have been some rather good posts outlining more of the technical details and cooling behind this massive blade implementation such as Kevin Houston’s post, “The Hit Movie, AVATAR Processed on HP Blade Servers” and HP’s own article, “The Magic of Avatar hits New Zealand screens“.
To get an appreciation of this, the worlds largest rendering farm, I thought what better way than to put it into pictures:
Quite a an impressive infrastructure I think you’ll agree. Despite the efficient HP power saving technologies used in HP’s blade products, I’m glad I don’t pay the power bill… 🙂