Press Release: June 03, 2010

HP Enables Visual Effects Company Weta Digital to Provide Advanced Graphic Effects for Blockbuster Film “Avatar”

PALO ALTO, Calif. -- HP today announced that Weta Digital, a visual effects company based in Wellington, New Zealand, used the superior performance and rendering power of HP BladeSystem technology and HP Z Series Workstations to deliver advanced graphical effects for the recent award-winning blockbuster film “Avatar.”

Weta Digital depends on its ability to innovate and speed time to market to land significant projects like “Avatar.” Using the HP ProLiant BL2x220c, which contains two independent servers in a single blade, Weta doubled its compute power while reducing data center space requirements.

“As a digital visual effects company, it’s crucial that our technology infrastructure is robust and reliable enough to handle very intense workloads so we can meet tight production deadlines,“ said Tom Greally, general manager, Weta Digital. “We chose the HP BladeSystem as the backbone of our infrastructure because it delivered twice the density of other solutions and offered clear compute, power and space benefits.”

Weta Digital also needed its data center to efficiently address the rising costs of power and cooling. HP BladeSystem features advanced thermal design that allows for higher operational temperatures, reducing cooling requirements and overall energy consumption. Water-cooled racks are used for temperature control. When outside temperatures decline, the water for the racks cools down naturally without using electricity, except for the pumps, which further reduces costs.

For the extensive CGI (computer-generated imagery) developed for the film “Avatar,” Weta implemented award-winning HP Z800 Workstations. The workstations provided significant compute power while improving reliability with advanced animation, rendering, lighting and special graphical treatments.

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