Silicon Valley companies provide technology for latest ‘Shrek’ film

By Xinhua

Los Angeles : US computer giant Hewlett-Packard (HP) and chip maker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) have jointly provided technology to help DreamWorks Animation SKG create what they call the digital magic in the latest "Shrek" film.

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"Shrek the third", released Friday in over 4,000 US theatres, is expected to dethrone Sony's "Spider Man 3" from the top of box office as most industry observers estimate the family-friendly animated film would gross around $100 million over the weekend.

The two Silicon Valley companies Friday said their technologies enabled the creation of technically challenging, detail-rich images and effects in the latest film in the successful "Shrek" series.

HP servers and workstations powered by AMD dual-core processors provided DreamWorkds Animation artists with the computing power necessary to render incredibly detailed characters and simultaneously work on props and environments at a faster pace, according to a HP press release.

For example, in a fraction of the time it previously took, artists were able to create the individual strands of hair in Merlin's beard and Fiona's hair, as well as the impressive magic spells seen in the movie.

Companies like AMD and HP stay in tune with the needs of the artistic community, anticipating and addressing the technology requirements that are essential to the animation experience, said Jeffrey Katzenberg, co-founder and chief executive officer of DreamWorks Animation.

"With AMD's dual-core processors powering our technology, we have enabled DreamWorks to surpass the high standards of computer-generated film making that it set with the first two "Shrek" films and create its most visually compelling story yet," said Shane Robison, HP executive vice president and chief strategy and technology officer.

In this latest chapter of "Shrek", the popular green ogre and his friends Donkey and Puss in Boots embark on a adventure through magical lands to find Artie, the future king of their Far, Far Away kingdom.

Previously "Shrek 2" grossed a whopping $108 million in its opening weekend in 2004, marking the biggest animated film opening in box office history. It remains the highest-grossing animated film of all time with $436.7 million in total ticket sales.

AMD's leading-edge processor technology has enabled DreamWorks Animation artists to work at the speed of their imagination while constantly pushing the envelope in the field of digital animation, according to Henri Richard, executive vice president of AMD.

The company said consumers could harness the same processing power in their own homes that animators used to create the vibrant world of "Shrek the Third" with desktop systems and notebooks respectively powered by AMD Athlon and Turion dual-core processor technologies.